My Kalahari Kitchen is born out of a love for food… and a girl that fell in love with a tall handsome farm boy. Never did I imagine a life of breathtaking sunsets with my toes in the red Kalahari sand, bright starlit nights making a canopy over our heads as we sit at a roaring log fire and herds of Zebra eating my carefully planted herbs… a beautiful, simple life in the Kalahari, Africa.
A sharing of memories, photos, Kalahari moments, recipes and life from my Kalahari kitchen…. this is what this blog is all about. Our journey together.
Our love story began in the beautiful town of Stellenbosch where we both went to college. Janneman a law graduate playing professional rugby and myself, a girl studying Economics – with the dream of her knight in shining armour and a white picket fence. After a whirlwind romance, we got married in May 1997 and moved across South Africa and abroad, where Janneman played professional rugby. After retiring from professional sports ( my dream of a white picket fence still much alive) and two baby girls later, I thought we were ready to settle in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Never in my wildest imagination did I think (or plan) that we would be moving to live in the Kalahari where Janneman grew up as a boy.
In exchange for a white picket fence, I got open land
In exchange for oak trees and vineyards (Stellenbosch is known for the oak lined streets and beautiful vineyards surrounding the town), I got yellow oak and camel thorn trees (and red sand)
In exchange for city lights, I got dark nights filled with more stars than in my dreams
In exchange for traffic and sirens, I got the call of the jackal filling the night
In exchange for a social filled calendar, I got days full of children’s laughter
In exchange for a law practice, I got a husband living his dream
Yes, the Kalahari offered me so much more than I could ever imagine….
I found myself here in the red dunes of the Kalahari….pulling out thorns from my children’s bare feet, listening to the quiet of the day as the sun draws water and the African night sky comes alive with stars so vast and incalculable.
Kalahari Safari and my Kalahari Kitchen was born…. also in my heart.
20 years later, I am living in the Kalahari, miles from civilization and a grocery store. My Kalahari Kitchen is my footprints in the red sand of the Kalahari (no high heels! ) and a reflection of what we call home, home around my kitchen table. – Aldalene
I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happyErnest Hemmingway