South Africa, The Great

Today’s recipe: Copper Penny Salad / Carrot Salad

Table Mountain from across the bay.

I had almost forgotten how beautiful South Africa is and I am so proud of how well the country has jelled together. Yes, there is still a high crime rate, but we are a unified SA so now all nationalities can’t pronounce their vowels! Racism is still rife in all ranks, but the communal cackling of nations going on in this bus doesn’t seem to be aware of it.

Here a couple of photos from the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive:

Chapman’s Peak Drive

Chapman’s Peak Drive

Chapman’s Peak Drive

Both Joerg and I love taking the bus from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. 800km (500miles) of some of the most stunning scenery in the world. I’ve done the trip hundreds of times and enjoy it most of the time…

Two years ago I decided not to take a sandwich on the trip as I was determined to buy a (diarrhea inducing) pie at one of the local cafes (mini supermarkets). Hey, it’s a tradition of mine and I now know most bathrooms intimately along the route. In all fairness, times have a changed and they no longer keep the pies in the warming ovens for days at a time – they now nuke them in the microwave so that you scorch your (greedy) mouth.

But I interrupt myself again. I was not able to clear my bowels as the bus broke down shortly after takeoff and we sat on the side of the road for a few hours, foodless. Well, unless you count the chips I stole off the little girl sitting next to me once she’d fallen asleep. Come on, chips are not good for small children as they contain Trans fats and all types of nasty stuff. I was actually doing her a favor, but she didn’t even say thank you. The young people of today…

It was actually quite fun sitting on the motorway waiting for (food) a new bus. A traffic cop arrived pretty soon to direct traffic around our stationary vehicle, but it was winter and cold, so he soon gave it up as bad job and came inside the bus for a cuppa koffie. I mean, it’s hard to miss a huge great bus so who needs traffic control? As I had eaten all the little girls’ chips, the hostess had to call her father to bring her a muffin, so soon he pulled off the highway and joined us for coffee. I was waiting for the marching band to arrive and join in, but the next bus arrived before they got there.

I looked out of the window into the cars below and spotted a car after my own heart. There was a bottle of vodka in the cup holder!* Now that’s called travelling in style. A fellow passenger said that he had read somewhere that drinking a bottle of wine a day is good only for the economy and not much else, so he was sure to make it is only half a bottle of wine, 2 gin and tonics (malaria precaution), Amarula (support SA products) and Vodka, so clearly that car owner had read the same article as he had.
*Please note that it is dangerous to drink and drive.

The hostess had a headache even though she hadn’t drunk the night before. Now please explain to me the point of having a headache then?! Maybe she needed to read the article. Everyone agreed on this.

One of the other passengers was on her way to PE to collect her car. Lovely we all chided. Well, she said, the car had been stolen on Mother’s Day but had since been recovered. Seems the perpetrator had wanted to give his mother a car for Mother’s Day (ach sweet man) and this one even had the advantage that it had clothes in it. Double whammy!

By the time we got to PE, I had made friends for life and saved a little girl from certain death… With that done it’s time for a recipe and I am sure some of you are wondering what on earth I will come up with at this point. Steak and kidney pie was done in my blog post so I can’t do that again. For those of you wondering where the hell the pastry was in that recipe, here’s another pie recipe from a fellow blogger you might like.

But that is not all! In light of this being a South African piece (and that my mate Maggie Pies has been asking me for the recipe since June), I have decided to add a Copper Penny Salad recipe. No silly, you do not eat your small change, it’s a carrot Salad. Honestly, some people…

Carrot salad


A carrot or “copper penny salad” is a very traditional South African salad which I assume comes from our English heritage, if the name is anything to go by.

I have adapted the original recipe as:
a) I seem never to have a packet of tomato soup powder around when I need it; and
b) the original uses too much sugar and oil for my liking. I will add the original recipe at the end – I received it from a friend so I have no idea who it is from. Let me know if you wrote it so that I can give you the credit for it!

I use as little oil as possible, but you can add more oil if you feel the salad needs it.
Dijon mustard is very good in this recipe, but you can use any mustard you have on hand or which takes your fancy.

1kg carrots, sliced into “coins”
2 onions, thinly sliced into rings
2 green peppers, sliced

140g tin tomato paste
60ml / ¼ cup sugar
125ml / ½ cup vinegar
60ml / ¼ cup oil
30ml / 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp mustard
Salt and pepper

1. Boil the sliced carrots for about 5 minutes until they are almost cooked. Mix all the dressing ingredients together, bring to a boil, add the carrots and simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the onions and peppers.

2. This is best made the day before so that the flavors have time to mingle. You can also bottle the salad and keep it in the fridge. Enjoy!


1 pkt cream of tomato soup powder
250ml water
200ml vinegar
125ml oil
7ml dry mustard powder
250ml sugar
10ml Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

1. Mix all the ingredients and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the pre-cooked carrots for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the onions and peppers.

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I tried your chicken skewers!

Thanks for commenting and I tried your chicken skewers the same evening. They were amazing so I will definitely be a regular visitor to your blog from now on. Thanks!

What fun, I love the pictures

What fun, I love the pictures of the trip and the description of the bus ride. Thanks for sharing. The carrot salad looks downright yummy!

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