You know what is ok? It’s ok to not to be successful by the time you turn 30. It’s ok not to own the house you live in, not have any kids and not be married by 30. (Although I strongly suggest you get moving on the kids thing, but that’s for another article.) It’s ok to only start figuring out how to actually run your own business after turning 30. It’s ok to aim to be truly successful by the time you’re 40, heck, 50 even. These are the things that I’ve come to realise only after turning 30.
I’ve been trying to make a decent iced coffee at home with my Nespresso machine, but everytime I’ve tried, it just doesn’t have the right sweetness or coffee flavour that you find in coffee shops. So after some experimenting and asking a few coffee shops how they do it, I’ve managed to perfect a home-made Nespresso iced coffee.
You’ll need the following:
- 2 x Nespresso pods
- dash of milk
- vanilla syrup
- ice blocks
Add to your blender, a double espresso and a dash of milk. The key here is don’t skimp on the double espresso by making a single lungo. There is a reason why iced coffees cost well over R20 in coffee shops. They are all using double espressos!
Add around 20 – 25 ice blocks, 2 or 3 tablespoons of the vanilla syrup and BLEND!
Pour into a glass, grab 2 straws and enjoy.
Just to recap
The key to the iced coffee is the double espresso and using syrup, not sugar, to sweeten. You can easily make sugar syrup at home if you can’t find any at your local supermarket. Here is a simple sugar syrup recipe and you can store the excess sugar syrup in your fridge for tomorrow’s Nespresso iced coffee.
What would you do if someone anonymous donor gave you R1 million to do with as you please? Would you quit your job, buy stuff, invest it? Would you retire at 25?
I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d take 6 months (ok, maybe 3 months) off and travel the world to experience as much as I possibly can in that time. I’d then come back to exactly where I live and carry on as if I haven’t been away for 1 day. Obviously the money left over will help whatever ideas I want to pursue, but the point of my post is I wouldn’t drastically change where I am and what I’m currently doing. I’m having that much fun.
I had quite an experience this past weekend that really made me sit up and start taking more notice of crime and safety.
My FiancÃ© was at the hairdresser on Saturday morning while I was playing a few rounds of golf on my Wii when I received an SMS from her that said the following: “I am in an emergency. Please help me.”. I started to panic thinking the worst – hijacking, kidnapping, etc. and immediately grabbed my car keys and sped out. Just before that I tried to call the cops – who were more than useless. The guy didn’t understand that my FiancÃ© was in an emergency and that could he get someone to go to the hairdresser in Gordon’s Bay immediately. I hung up the phone after the guy kept on repeating “Ehh, what must I do? What emergency?”.
I then jumped in my car and called her phone – which immediately answered. I could hear her in the car, with the radio on, but couldn’t hear anything else. I assumed she had sent the SMS somehow and was answering the phone in her pocket. This made me panic even more as I had no idea where she was heading – kidnapped and all. I was in a total panic as I was driving to get to the last place she was in Gordon’s Bay. Her sisters also got the SMS and were calling me, but I had no more information than they did.
3 minutes later I spotted her car at the robot, and there she was, looking all beautiful after being at the hairdresser. I stopped in the middle of the traffic and asked her where her phone was – and she opened her bag and showed it to me. It was a false alarm. I was totally relieved to see her safe and totally oblivious to what I had just gone through in the last 5 minutes.
Samsung’s SOS function
You see, she had activated a function on her phone that sends out an SMS to 4 people she specifies and the phone then goes into SOS mode and auto answers calls from only those people that got the SMS.
To activate it, you press the volume key 4 times while the phone is locked.
Yes, the possibility of you actually being able to activate it in an emergency might be slim, but at least you have that possibility. Vodacom have a similar function called Look4Help that you can check out if you don’t own a Samsung.
Consider setting it up, it could just save your life.
I just had a really awesome Sunday afternoon braai with my girlfriend’s family, and I was thinking I should share some of MY tips to getting a braai just right.
I’ve found 2 types of wood that have a medium burning time but have very long coal heat time. Kameeldooring (also known as camel thorn) and anything that comes from Namibia. Kameeldoring is more expensive than normal wood, but there is a reason for it – it is always dry and makes very good coals. If you can find those beaten up trucks on the side of the road that sell Namibian “hout”, you are in luck. Ask the guy how the wood is and he will say “Dis soos yster!” (It’s like iron!).
The meat is entirely up to you. Chicken, sosaties, chops, wors, snoek, you name it, everything goes. Anything from your local supermarket or even better, the butcher will do the job. Don’t skimp on the meat because not even a braai will fix that “ou skaap vleis”.
Spices and Sauces
Braai salt is a must for the chicken. My favourite braai salt is the BBQ salt with garlic made by marina. (The bright orange and purple plastic container available from every supermarket). As for braai sauce for your chops goes, there is nothing better than Jimmy’s braai sauce. Trust me on this one when I say, this stuff is legendary. Spar were the only stockists of it, but lately I have seen Pick ‘n Pay as well as Checkers start to stock it as well. There are a number of other sauces available – Steers, Spur, BBQ this, BBQ that, but they really don’t stand up to the great Jimmy sauce.
Getting the coals at the right temperature is crucial. You don’t want burnt meat, but you also don’t want to run out of coals and have your chicken undercooked. A rule of thumb for those beginners is once your wood has turn into glowing orange and red coals, and you can hold your hand over the coals for about 2-3 seconds, you can start the braai.
The Braai’ing of the meat
Always start with the chicken as it takes the longest. It really is the weirdest thing, but chicken wings and drumsticks take surprisingly long relative to their size. Next you can slap on the chops, sosaties or whatever you having to braai. You can put everything on at the same time if you have the space, but as I say, get that chicken on first.
Sprinkle the spices onto the chicken on both sides. Don’t be shy with the braai salt. If using normal pepper and salt, I wouldn’t put too much salt on the chicken. Marinate the chops a couple of hours beforehand if possible, otherwise keep coating the chops with your sauce while they on the braai.
Remember to also keep turning the meat. You want the chicken to be golden brown all the way round, and the chops to look slightly crispy and juicy. If you not sure, use a steak knife and cut through the middle of the meats. Chicken must be slightly moist (no running juice) and your chops should be pink with no blood. Wors, which goes on last as it cooks the quickest, must not be pink inside, but brown.
Braai’ing a Snoek
Fish is a very tricky thing to braai, especially snoek. But the very best way I have found to have a moist and tasty snoek is to braai it in a foil jacket.
Also just as important is the sauce you must cook the snoek with. Take some lemon, lots of garlic, lots of butter and some apricot jam and cook in a pot on the stove. Keep stirring the sauce until everything has melted. Keep to one side while you make the foil jacket.
Create the foil jacket by taking a very large piece of foil, and placing the snoek in the one half of the foil. Pour all the sauce over the fish. Now fold the foil over the snoek until the bottom and top end touch. (Foil comes in long pieces, so take the bottom and top end of the long piece and fold in half.). Then take the edges and fold over and over until you create a packet of sorts. It must be completely airtight because once you put it on the grid which is over your coals, the packet will blow up like a balloon and the snoek will cook in the steam that the juices create. This gives the snoek a moist texture, which is exactly what you want. No one likes a dry snoek. Once the packet has blown up, it should take between 15-20 minutes until the snoek is cooked through. This my friends will win you many a braai contest.
The Other Things
Let your mates take care of the salads, breads and so forth. If you want to cook the garlic bread on the fire, that should take around 5 minutes. To see if its ready, take your tongs and press the bread from both sides. If it’s soft, its ready.
The Unsaid Rules Of The Braai
All guys have their way of doing things, and when its not your turn to braai, shut up and drink your beer. Offer to help, but if the braaier declines your offer, stay well away from his meat, unless he asks you to keep an eye on it while he pops inside to the toilet or to grab more spices and sauces. Also don’t offer your advice on how to braai, because you definitely won’t crack an invite the next time your mates decide to braai. Rather wait until its your turn to braai to show off your skills. Your mates will quickly pick up on your slick hands and meat handling which they will, in time, try out themselves. This is the only way that skills are transferred around the braai. The ONLY way.
I’m sure you okes have some tips as well, so please do share.