(A road sign worth considering)
(The Real Thing)
( At the coalface)
(Aunty M and her Assistant Roadside Baker)
If I was more of a kitchen kitty, I would have been up early on the morning of our departure of our road trip. I would have been making flasks of tea, carefully wrapping freshly baked muffins,putting thin slices of pastrami in cooler bags and sorting out Max's doggy treats. Instead I was bitching (silently, of course, because Jacques can't deal with my moaning about my weight anymore and always offers the oh-so-unhelpful advice of 'Expend more calories than you take in. Simple mathematics.' As if I were bloody algebra...) about how I now need to pack more clothes these days than I did when I was happy with my weight, because wraps and butt-covering thingies take up much more space than a pair of Levi's and a sweater. So there was no padkos (road food) prepared. Nothing to remind us of the road trips of our childhood. Nothing to evoke the memory of blue hard boiled eggs, cold chicken legs wrapped in foil and slices of pink polony sweating in tupperware. Instead I left us at the mercy of garage convenience food. Not that I'm averse to the odd Wimpy burger and pink milkshake, but petrol burgers do take their toll.
Which is why our car came to a screeching halt just outside Oudtshoorn when we saw the sign for Tannie M's Roosterbrood. (Could be translated as grill bread; bread 'baked' on the grill (rooster) of a fire). It's not like toast. And it's not like freshly baked bread. It's something between the two. A slightly chewy, somewhat tasteless flat roll cut open and served with whatever you choose. Cheese, bacon, eggs, minced meat etc. But every time I've had it, I've always gone for the most basic option. Margarine ( which under normal circumstances I loathe, but somehow under these conditions and when butter is unavailable) is the perfect accompaniment to the ubiquitous sweet, shop bought tinned apricot jam. The two melt sublimely into the warm bread. Tannie M's was as good, if not better than I had ever tasted. If If Italian ciabatta can costR40 a pop in a suburban deli in town, then surely R9 for some local flavour is a small price to pay on the long dusty road. Especially when served with as side order of Karoo banter.