Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hunger for Freedom

A while ago my friend, Lynda posted about her birthday present from her husband. (you can read about it here). It was a book called “Hunger for Freedom.” by Anna Trapido. It is the story of food in the life of Nelson Mandela, former South African President and contains many recipes generously shared by home cooks. These recipes are interspersed with stories of the struggle for which Nelson Mandela and his contempories were willing to die.

Ironically, I had just ordered the same book through my book club which I now have in my possession.

(From the introduction to the book)
[Quote] The book is not so much a cookbook as a gastro-political history with recipes. Food has provided the backdrop for momentous personal and political events in Nelson’s life. Life can be measured out in mouthfuls, both bitter and sweet. Tales told in sandwiches, sugar and samoosas* will speak eloquently of intellectual awakenings, emotional longings and, always, the struggle for racial equality. [Unquote]

(*Note: a samoosa is a triangular pastry parcel filled with very spicy minced meat and/or vegetables and deep fried to a crispy brown delectable treat)

Easy-to-make and delicious Rye Bread pictured above with the book "Hunger for Freedom"

Rather than embark on lengthy political story at this stage, suffice to say that for a long time I’d been looking for a recipe for Rye Bread and I've found it in this book.

Quick and easy to make, once the bread was baked, I let it cool and then sliced it with an electric carving knife (I always slice bread this way). Carefully replacing the whole sliced loaf in a plastic bag, I sealed and froze it. This way I’m able to remove two slices, defrost and enjoy them with a filling of my choice.

Rye Bread

1 ½ cups rye flour
3 cups bread flour
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoon butter
1 ¼ cups warm water

Mix all dry ingredients. Combine butter, molasses and water.
Mix well and add to dry ingredients
Mix until dough forms a ball (add a little extra water if necessary)
Knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes
Set dough aside in oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise double in size (about 1 hour)
Turn dough out onto floured surface and shape into rectangular ball
Place in greased and floured loaf tin 26cm x 9cm; cover with a damp towel
Allow to rise again, double in size, about 1 hour.
Bake in preheated oven 180° C for about an hour
Turn out onto cooling rack.
(Bread is cooked when it makes a hollow sound when tapped)

When asked once which [important] earthly person I'd most like to meet, I can honestly say: Nelson Mandela. I'd love to meet this man who could forgive all that was perpetuated against him; come out of prison after twenty-seven years and promote peace and love to all around.

So even though I may not always post recipes from this book, I may, from time to time, post interesting snippets about the life of this man whose unstinting appetite for freedom has nourished South Africa and the world.


  1. Oh Jo, the rye bread looks lovely ! I, too, when I am asked always say that Nelson Mandela is the one living person I'd love to meet ! I attended a function once where he was present - his presence is amazing although I never got to actually meet him. I'd also love to meet (not living) Joy Adamson and, and, and .... the list goes on. Thanks for another great post (I loved the photo's, too), I hope to catch up on your blog some more over the weekend.

  2. Thanks Lynda, I still have a 1/4 loaf in the freezer and it's still delicious. Yes, I can imagine that Nelson Mandela would exude a wonderful aura that you'd feel in the same room as him. Thanks for all your tips and the lovely comments on my blog :) Hugs Jo

  3. How I love South AFrican samoosas.

  4. I agree with you that samoosas are delicious. They are so crispy from being deepfried yet not greasy. I have a lady who makes me potato samoosas or mixed veg ones - being a vegetarian she makes me these. Thanks for visiting my blog! Hugs Jo


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo