Warden, Orange Free State, my lovely sister and family

Hayley’s Bearded Dragons
The great thing about South Africa is that I still have deevine family there and I had the opportunity to visit them this year – haven’t seen my big Sis, Patricia, in 7 years! My super nephew and his lovely wife made me feel old by making me a Great Aunt twice over…okay, so that makes me great, like you didn’t already know that!

My great nieces and I
It was great to be able to drive to Warden in the Free State for the first time in my (long) life and see the family again. Warden itself may not be the centre of the universe, but it is home to my lovely family so that does kick it up a notch. And yes, I do realise that that is a picture of a Bearded Dragon and not my Sis, but all the people photos I took are fuzzy and all animal photos are clear as daylight!

Well, except for the ones taken by my nephew’s wife, Lucy May, of my 2 beautiful great nieces and I. Aren’t they just adorable?
My great nieces
The Dragons belong to my lovely niece Hayley and are her babies, so officially I am a great-aunt many times over…there are lots of other pets/babies too! The dragons love to bath and swim about or just “deflate” and hang about waiting for someone to come by and paint their nails or something. Super duper babies!
Hayley’s Bearded Dragons
We had a “lekker braai” (that’s barbecue for the non- South Africans) at Douglas, my nephew’s house, and had a great family day together. He braaiied “skilpadjies” which were new to me too. The word directly translated means “small tortoises”, but STOP SHOUTING, there are no tortoises in them!!
At the end of the post, you can read what Wikipedia has to say about Skilpadjies. For now all I can say is, THANK YOU Patricia (my sister), Kevin (her husband), Hayley (my niece), Douglas (my nephew), Lucy May (his wife), Amber (great-niece 1) and Tracy May (great-niece 2), for such a wonderful time. We can’t wait to see you all again. Lots of love Cxxx

Skilpadjies is a traditional South African food, also known by other names such as muise, vlermuise and pofadder.
The dish is lamb's liver wrapped in netvet (caul fat), which is the fatty membrane that surrounds the kidneys. Most cooks mince the liver, add coriander, chopped onion, salt and Worcestershire sauce then wrap balls of this mixture with the netvet and secure it with a toothpick. The balls, approximately 80 mm (3.1 in) in diameter, are normally barbecued (grilled over an open fire) and ready when the fat is crisp.
Dishes such as skilpadjies had already been made by the ancient Romans[1] and the German recipe for calf's liver in caul fat appears in the book "Das Buoch von guoter Spise".[2]
The names skilpadjie (little tortoise), muise (mice), vlermuise (bats) and pofadder (puff adder) reflect its appearance. Pofadder is the largest version, the size of a man's forearm. It is made from minced lamb's liver wrapped in a large piece of netvet, and is usually served at parties where about 8 to 10 servings can be sliced from one pofadder when grilled.
It is a very rich, high cholesterol and fatty food; the consumers normally eat some starchy food in the form of mealie pap or toasted bread with the skilpadjies, so as not to attract some symptoms of over-indulgence.

Over-indulgence isn’t difficult as they are sooooo good! My nephew cooked them low and slow over the hot coals and they were just fantastic. Maybe I can try and make them and post them later on…

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