COOK OR BRAAI WITH DAD ON FATHER’S DAY
Father’s Day can be a tricky holiday, especially if you’re determined to not fall into the socks, ties and handkerchief trap when buying gifts. Nathan Adams has a solution – fire up the braai
POSSIBLY the best gift you could give your dad this Father’s Day is to spend some time cooking or braaiing with him. In many households, it’s usually the dad who fires up the braai or the grill and then makes sure that whatever is being thrown on the coals is prepared to perfection. This ritual then extends to dads teaching their sons and daughters how to start a fire and then braai meat, sausage and chicken to perfection.
It is with all these childhood memories in mind of my own dad and siblings gathered round the fire that I found inspiration in Homegrown, by Bertus Basson. It’s easy to find braai inspiration from The Ultimate Braai Master chef. Not only has he compiled a list of recipes from his own childhood, but also some that are rooted in his own family and are uniquely South African.
It’s his link to food and his dad, Theo Basson, that makes the cookbook Homegrown a great Father’s Day gift as well.
Basson writes about his family holidays and the fish his dad would buy along the way and then braai when they got home. “Braaied snoek was something I loved. There would be banter around the fire while he (Bertus’s dad) cooked, memories of the coast or regular family stuff about who was doing what; with the smell of the fire and all the opinions about the best way to keep it going, running back to the kitchen for this or that,” he says.
In his book, he also has high praise for his dad and the lessons he learnt from him that he was able to use in the kitchen.
“From my father, Theo Basson, I learned where meat comes from and why it should be treated with such respect. He would take us on hunting trips, or go off on his own to bring back something for the pot. From him I learned how to stretch the budget with ingredients for the restaurant from the veld to the ocean.”
When I questioned Basson about his cooking legacy, I discovered that the roots run deep in his family: “My grandfather on my mother’s side was a very good cook. He potted, pickled and preserved. I loved spending holidays with him while growing up. My brother is a good hunter and recently supplied me with wild ostrich,” he says.
This Father’s Day will be a special time in the Basson household as Chef Bertus passes on his foodie knowledge to the next generation.
Basson says: “This is my first Father’s Day as a father and I plan to create memories with my son.”
If you’re not planning a big lunch but the family is getting together, then consider firing up the braai to celebrate the men in your family.
Homegrown, by Bertus Basson, is available on Loot.co.za for R299. Scan the QR Code to purchase the book.