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MARTIN  

POTCHEFSTROOM, SOUTH AFRICA ..As long as you are not carnivorously challenged, it is so easy to eat well in South Africa. And, I ate so well!

The congregation at Suiderkruis had a celebration on Saturday. As I painted the mural throughout the week, a host of men and women prepared South African Boerewors (a kind of sausage). Every time they had a new batch completed, they came around with samples for me to try. I never said no to any offer. It was just too good for such foolishness!

MARTIN  
MARTIN  

I learned that pooitjie was cooked in layers with the meat at the bottom and vegetables placed in order of hardness to softness. You should never stir the pooitjie and it should never have peas in it. I personally think peas would have tasted good, but what did I know about pooitjie?

Every pot of pooitjie had different vegetables. It was a magical moment when the pot was opened and the simmering treat was revealed. My favorite vegetable was a bright yellow squash that was shaped almost like a flower in bloom. So delicious! Not only did I get to sample every pooitjie, but I was given a chocolate bar as thanks. Who needs to be thanked for eating good food?

MARTIN  
Scroll over the photo to see the work in progress.  

As if I didn't have enough to paint, the people at Suiderkruis wanted a second mural. Actually, I had more to paint than I had time for painting. I sketched the second mural, but the painting and outling fell onto the shoulders and steady hands of others.

During the Saturday celebration, I spent most of my day painting on the mural. I didn't have to go out and look for food and drink. People brought me samples throughout the day. But, the carnivorous highlight of the day was the pooitjie contest. (Pronounced just like it looks. Pooi rhymes with boy and tjie sounds like key.) It was a traditional kind of South African dish sort of like a stew made from a host of meats that varied from ox tail, ostrich, lamb, beef, and chicken.

MARTIN  
MARTIN  
As I said, it was a contest, and I was one of the three judges. Actually, the couple with me decided all of the points. I was the token judge there to rave about the food and make everyone feel good. It wasn’t hard to do my job. It was much easier than blowing on a vuvuzela (the horn usually reserved for soccer games).
MARTIN  
MARTINMARTIN
 
Copyright 2000 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.