Read of the Week

Real Food Real People


Review: Kaylynn Palm

Situated behind sand dunes in Strandfontein is the friendly and diverse community of 7de Laan. Residents there face a range of social challenges – but what most people don’t know is that they can cook a helluva meal.

In November last year a cookbook titled Real Food Real People containing 20 residents’ recipes was published. The book features favourite traditional recipes. On the cover are the happy faces of residents, young and old, and some tasty dishes that really makes you want to see what’s between the pages.

Turn the cover and what catches your eye are colourful, fun, well captured pictures of food, people and the area.

There are five chapters featuring a brief background of the area, explaining how the cookbook started, the main course meals, sides and desserts. Recipes include curry bunnies, lamb stew and macaroni cheese. You can also learn how to make koeksisters, homemade bread and caramel pudding.

At the bottom of some of the pages are short quotes from residents. For the vetkoek recipe from a resident only named as Katie, it reads: “They are one of the easisest things to use to bulk out a meal. Vetkoeks are especially tasty, as well as being very filling.” And for the cauliflower curry recipe, from Kevin, it reads: “After I was attacked, I thought I lost everything. I’m so grateful that I now can speak again and do everyday things, such as cook for my family.”

Reading these quotes makes you feel warm and you instantly connect with the residents.

I feel the recipes are easy and the ingredients cheap and accessible. The cover and interior was done by Felicity Davies, and the recipes were collected by Joan Ackerman and Leonie Woyke. The editorial was done by Beth Wicks and photography by Ms Davies.

I found the cookbook interesting and will definitely try a few of the recipes in the book for my friends and family. If you are interested in the book you can email or