Saturday, August 15, 2009

Who likes Housework? Ugh!

When forced to do my own housework, I try to amalgamate the necessary chores, like washing with pleasurable activities like taking photos. Above (excuse the blurry image) I remove the laundry from the machine with one hand while clutching my camera in my other hand

Oh me. *Sigh* Emily is on annual leave. She always has three weeks vacation in August and I always miss her more than anything else while she is enjoying her well-deserved break. I dislike having to clean the house. To me, housework is the pits!

Fellow blogger, Gattina, has a wonderful expression on her sidebar: "A clean house is the sign of a broken computer" Ha! Too true. Nevertheless, I do keep everything clean and tidy and manage until Emily returns to work in the last week of August.

One thing I don't mind doing, is cooking for the gardeners in Emily's absence. I cook porridge in the morning which they have with a cup of milk (served seperately) and a fruit afterwards. For lunch I cook a meat stew with lots of vegetables and gravy. The men dish this meal up themselves and it is eaten with porridge. This is exactly what everyone eats even when Emily is here to cook it for them. It is wholesome, filling and very tasty. To some, like John and David, the only substantial meals they have are those here at work.

Above is a pot/saucepan of stiff pap which I cook for the men while Emily is on leave. Pap - made from maize meal - the staple food of South Africa, is a porridge made from mealie meal (maize meal) cooked with water and salt to a fairly stiff consistency.

John (front) dishes the porridge into their plates while David looks on

It seems to be a sort of arrangement between John and David. John dishes the mealie meal porridge while David looks on. When the pot is completely empty (this is how the local people eat -they scrape the pots!), David takes over and spoons the meat stew on top of this porridge. BTW, Angie always sits patiently and waits for a tidbit. I've asked the gardeners not to feed her but I'm not sure that they obey me in this!

Angie waits patiently for the gardeners to throw her a morsel!
David (right) spoons the meat stew and gravy over the porridge, which John has already dished up

It always fascinates me how the local people like to eat sitting on the ground. John and David have the availability of two garden tables with chairs but they prefer to eat here (see above)
The meat stew and vegetables is served with mealie meal porridge and eaten out in the garden


  1. As I stay alone...I know the catch of Housework!
    Nice composition... :)

    In the independence day of India, I wish you all the very best!


  2. Hi Sharodindu;) welcome to my blog,. And happy Independence day in India to you. Ergh - housework but it has to be done.

  3. Today is house cleaning day for me! You're posts are always so interesting.
    Sunny :)

  4. Love that quote about a clean house/broken computer ;)

    Thanks for another lovely post, Jo ... how wonderful that you provide such a substantial and healthy meal for your workers. They are really lucky.

    I loved the photo's - especially the one of your 'beggar dog' Angie !

    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend & are not too busy packing ...

  5. I hate housework. Now I call the dust velvet. Your meal sure looks good. Can't blame Angie for wanting some.

    This is the sign hanging in my kitchen.

  6. Hi Jo,
    My God, housework and it's not so glam chores are my daily lot. Throw in an elderly FIL ( in poor health & a macular degeneration and that's a lot of my day.
    I see that you are busy filling in to cup lunch for your staff. I enjoyed looking at some of your daily life !

    People are people; tell them "dont feed the dog" and someone always feeds him !"

    Have a great Monday & take care.

  7. That stew with mealie meal looks scrumptious!

    I wish I had a housekeeper/cook!

  8. Hi Jo, this brought me back to Tanzania where maize pap or Ugali to give it its Kiswahili name is the staple. My kids loved it and one son asked a Swissair stewardess for some on a flight to Europe when he was about 4! They were weaned onto Uji which was the more gruelly version of Ugali, and we used to eat it ourselves for breakfast with milk and sugar as you would eat oat porridge. I think this is universal, in that it's served with a meat stew or in Tanzania usually a bean stew, - ugali na maharagwe (maize pap with beans) was a kind of national dish. Love your West African photos.
    By the way, Hubby is en route to your neck of the woods tonight - he is visiting Mozambique on project visits for our Irish NGO (Concern Worldwide) and is flying SAA to Jo'burg and onto Maputo tomorrow! Small world!
    All the best, Catherine.


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