Nostalgia – a meal inspired by childhood

I decided to do a series of posts where I interview people about their childhood food memories. This got me thinking about my own memories and favourite foods from when I was kid. Suddenly I had about 50 different dishes I wanted to make and there was only one solution – have a Nostalgia themed dinner party. So this post is a bit of taster for the food and craft blogs to come this week which are all centered around this dinner party. I’m pretty excited about it!

To give you a bit of context I grew up in South Africa and moved to New Zealand when I was 14. So this Nostalgia meal is based on memories of foods that I loved as a kid in SA (a NZ themed meal to come in due course). But before we even consider the food – I couldn’t have a Nostalgia themed meal without Nostalgia themed decorations!

When it comes to setting a table I have four things I think are important:

1. To tablecloth or not to tablecloth… I tableclothed this time. My tablecloth/runner thingy is made from ordinary brown wrapping paper stamped with hand-made stamps. The stamps are the logos of two well-known South African brands. My craft blog for this week will be all about how to do something similar. Easy and cheap too!

2. Tableware: I used blue and white enamel plates – because the Afrikaaners were pretty big on their enamel.

3. Centerpiece: I chose candles in enamel candlestick holders to keep with the tableware theme. I decided not to do flowers because our table isn’t very big and I needed space to put all the food!

4. Place names: I decided to make figurines to hold the place tags with guests names on. The figures are caricatures of a traditional Afrikaans family (because I am half Afrikaans I am allowed to make fun of Afrikaners) and were made using tin foil and Sculpey and then painted to finish.

The meal. I made four courses – two being dessert (you can see where my priorities lie):

1. Pap and wors with chakalaka and topped with crispy onions and chorizo – pap being a traditional African type of porridge made from ground maize – not too dissimilar to polenta. Wors being the Afrikaans word for sausage. Chakalaka is a spicy tomato and onion sauce.

2. Roast lamb with pumpkin fritters (here), roast potatoes and green beans.

3. Strawberry coconut ice cream popsicle – extreme deliciousness on a stick. The recipe will be posted as part of this week’s theme. And the story behind it will be explained too.

4. Koeksisters and lamingtons. I can only describe koeksisters as an Afrikaans doughnut.Super sweet – but soooo delicious with a strong coffee. Once I have actually perfected them I will post the recipe.

Ok so prepare yourselves for a week of nostalgia… boom.