Danie always jokes when he says, “Don’t plan a party at a party.” Invariably, this often happens to us. It’s hard to avoid planning other social events while at a social event. One is more relaxed after a glass of something while hugs and lively conversations ensue, creating a party-inducing scenario.
Last night while at Jabula with the bar filled with many patrons who’d attended my 75th birthday party in February, Dawn and Leon suggested we have a farewell party poolside at their place. We resisted at first, but everyone said they’d attend and that having a farewell party was a must-do when we’ll be gone so long.
As of 11:00 am, the invitations have been sent, and although some of our friends have left the bush for a while, we’re expecting about 20 guests. As always, we could have invited more, but the space is limited, and we don’t want it to be too much work for Dawn, Leon, and the staff.
We chose Thursday, April 20, at 1600 hrs., 4:00 pm, and asked everyone to bring meat to braai and their drinks while Dawn had her kitchen staff make salads and sides, including the ever-popular South African dish, pap and Sheeba. Here’s a link for details on how to prepare this staple dish served at most social events.
Neither Tom nor I eat pap and Sheeba. Tom won’t like it (I never tried it), and I can’t eat it with the sugar and corn in the recipe. I’d love this if I could eat these ingredients, but I’ve never tried it. (When it comes to living a keto lifestyle, even a bite is too much).
The other sides will be vegetables in one form or another. People in South Africa are used to bringing their drinks to parties. It is more the “norm” than not, and we’ve become quite accustomed to doing this. When in the US over the past several years, we’ve noticed that most often, the hosts provide drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
With the high cost of alcoholic beverages in the US, I believe more people would entertain at their homes if they didn’t always provide ample wine, beer, and other drinks. Also, asking guests to bring their meat is as popular as it gets. When getting people together for socializing, it makes sense to let guests bring their meat and drinks.
Traditional, old-fashioned roles are observed here, more than we’ve seen in the US and other countries, especially today. Also, it seems that in South Africa, men gather around the braai, drinking beer and carrying on lively conversations. At the same time, the women often spend time together at picnic tables and hovering in the kitchen.
When the food is ready, typically in South Africa, the couples sit together while everyone dines on the delicious braai meats and side dishes.
One of the reasons I prefer not to bring meat to a braai is because Tom often overcooks my meat when he’s having such a good time talking with the “guys” while hovering over the braai. At the last “bring your meat” party we attended a few weeks ago, I made chicken salad and coleslaw ahead of time for both of us, which worked out perfectly for us. Tom could still chat at the braai and didn’t have to worry about cooking our meat.
Even here at the house, he doesn’t love cooking meat on the braai. Often, he puts the meat on while I keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t get overcooked. It works out better if the meat is the type to slow cook. Let’s face it; Tom doesn’t care to do the cooking. But he does all the dishes, and I’ll cook anytime to avoid doing dishes.
We’ll have a dishwasher when we get to Florida and won’t have to worry so much about using electricity without load-shedding impacting electric costs. It will be great to use a clothes dryer once again. Also, it will be fun to shop at grocery stores where we can get some of the grocery items we can’t find here. It’s been a while since we had such conveniences.
Hmmm…We’re both OK about leaving at the end of the month and capping off our wonderful time here in the bush with friends at our farewell party. We couldn’t ask for more of a send-off. As of the completion of today’s post, almost everyone we’ve invited to our farewell party has RSVP’d.
Photo from one year ago today, April 8, 2022: