Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Padkos... Padkos... Padkos

With regular stop-over options on the highways does anyone pack padkos anymore?
— Jackie Cameron
Jackie Cameron

Jackie Cameron

I have happy memories of a trip that my sister, Sheldeen, and I did with our Uncle Alistair and Aunty Norah. Their son, our cousin Shaun, was competing in the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town. We all - including his brother and sister Peter and Kim - were the support team. The day before, my dad took us to the shops so we could stock up on sweets for the trip and that evening I helped my aunt make meat balls, chicken wings and other convenient, delicious, travelling nibbles. These were happy times.

I feel like going on one of those road trips again. It's a long time since time allowed such frivolous, carefree adventures - yet they are so important. And the padkos would have to fit the occasion - nothing mundane. The usual combinations don't do it for me anymore so I have a few interesting options; nothing over the top.

When I think padkos for a road trip I want hearty, food that will heat me up from the inside out, and that will help me forget about the many kilometres ahead. A flask or two filled with a robust meat-flavoured, smooth, lentil soup works for me.

Instead of the normal rusk-with-coffee option, I suggest my grandmother's jam-drop biscuits. I remember these coming hot out of the oven and the jam still bubbling in the centre. They are deliciously decadent and so simple to make. They weren't Sheldeen's favourites so I always had two helpings!

As we all do, I have gone through stages in life. As a teenager I always wanted the chicken breast - I can even remember giving my dad the crispy skin. That wouldn't happen today! I then moved onto always having a chicken thigh and drumstick - this being the tastiest and juiciest part of the chicken. More recently I have been choosing the chicken wings. I no longer eat huge amounts at one time but rather many little meals throughout the day so I consider a chicken wing the perfect savoury, crispy snack - in fact it can be an indulgent light meal. So, in my cooler bag I'll have a container filled with crispy oat-coated chicken wings with a green-herb mayonnaise. This is just perfect for any trip.

Mince balls are a favourite snacks or finger foods so I thought I'd make it proudly South African - bobotie rolls with traditional fruit blatjang came up trumps. I don't eat enough bobotie at home the slight spiciness and sweetness combines so well with a fresh green salad. (Note to self:  Bobotie for dinner when next I’m off).

I enjoy any food that is slow cooked inside a paper packet - such exciting aromas burst out when the packet is opened. It's an exhilarating experience even before the tasting. Aromas that promise to help you forget you are sitting in a stuffy car include rosemary, mushrooms, roasted garlic and sundried tomatoes. This makes a healthy option to snack on.

Gooey and sticky make a tantalising treat so remember your wet wipes on this trip. My chocolate-dipped pumpkin seeds covered in loads of good-quality cocoa powder are irresistible; and they make an interesting sweet-and-savoury combination.

On your next journey, plan your packing time to allow you to cook up these recipes. Your family will feel a lot healthier - fit and ready to take on the holiday when arriving at your destination.  Once again, I suggest we cast our minds back to what our grandparents did - they knew a thing or two - and encourage family involvement, just as my aunt did.

Here's to happy foodie travels - hamba kahle.

RECIPES

Mince Bobotie Rolls with Homemade Chutney
Lentil Soup
Oats Coated Chicken Wings with Herb Mayonnaise
Veg In A Bag
Chocolate Coated Pumpkin Seeds
Jam-Drop Biscuits

Send comments and food-related questions to jackie@hartford.co.za. I always look forward to hearing from you.

Visit www.jackiecameron.co.za to find out more about my women's chef range, JACKIE CAMERON COOKS AT HOME and all my foodie adventures. I always look forward to hearing from you. Jackie Cameron (Head Chef: Hartford House - 033 263 2713). For the latest on local foodie news add me as a friend on FACEBOOK. Find me on Twitter - @jackie_cameron.

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef / Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Food styling and recipe development by Elaine Boshoff.

Photography courtesy of :
Karen Edward's Photography
082 441 7429
karene@bundunet.com
www.karenephotographysa.com / www.midlandsphotographers.wordpress.com