My childhood nanny, Martha, had worked for a Jewish family for many years, before her employer died. She was fluent in Yiddish and would call me to eat “Kommen Sie und essen Sie, ist die Speise auf dem Tisch!” If she served something I didn’t like, she would glare at me with her hands on her hips and say “Nu? Suddenly you are a feinschecker, Missy?” It would be many years before I realized that not all black women spoke like that, but – by the time I had come to know better – I had concluded that I am indeed a feinschmecker; a hopeless slave to all things gourmet.

During the prelude to the recent Taste of Joburg show, I was told that I had won a hamper from one of the sponsors, The Feinschmecker, a local supplier of gourmet Continental deli meats & more. I’d been given tickets to the show by the organizers, and the Feinschmecker people asked me to collect my hamper and have my photo taken. As it happened I was too ill at the time and missed the show, the hamper buried in some murky corner of my mind. A representative from the company contacted me last week, asking to make arrangements to have one of their salesforce deliver. I expected a bit of sausage and sliced ham. Imagine, then, how delighted I was when the chap gave me a boot load of goodies, foodie heaven for me! Absolute bliss, thank you so much!

PINK Polka Dot’s weekly food quiz:
1. What is an éclade des moules? A mussel hot pot.
2. What is spaetzle? German fried noodles.
3. What type of animal correctly predicted Germany’s FIFA world cup win? An octopus.
4. What is the difference between butterscotch and caramel? One is made with butterr?
5. What is the main ingredient of the Middle Eastern spread called baba ganoush? Brinjals. Yum!
6. What is the main ingredient of the Italian aperitif, called cynar? Artichokes.
7. Why is starfruit toxic to patients with chronic renal failure? No idea.
8. What is bitterballen? Meatballs.
9. What gives red velvet cake its red colour? Beetroot.
10. What are the main ingredients of a Californian roll? Rice and seaweed?


63 Comments Add yours

  1. pinkpolkadotfood says:

    You are so lucky!!!! Just looking like that have me in foodie heaven!!! Enjoy the hamper and thanks for doing the quiz!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for posting it, Pinky 🙂

  2. Tilly Bud says:

    Oh well done! That’s lovely. And I love your Nanny.

    1. theonlycin says:

      She was legendary, Tilly 🙂

  3. What a wonderful assortment! great prize.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I was bowled over 🙂

  4. Leeswammes says:

    I’m a vegetarian so I wouldn’t be at all pleased with a hamper like that but I’m also able to understand what a great present this is for you. And in case you wonder: no, I wouldn’t be the least bit happy with a basket full of vegetables. We eat meat-replacements, not veggies. 🙂

    I learned a few new things from your quiz. Nice!

    I had no idea there was an aperitif made from artichokes. How… odd! I knew bitterballen, ’cause they’re Dutch (as far as I know). They are balls made from slushy meat (I mean, some sort of meat sauce) and covered with crumbs, then deep fried. Quite nice.. if you eat meat.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Bwahahaha, Judith, slushy meat? I thought it was savoury mince?

      1. Leeswammes says:

        Haven’t eaten in for years and years, but I remember it as being a little runny. Could be wrong, though.

  5. mairedubhtx says:

    I didn’t know that about starfruit. Since I have kidney disease, I’d better be careful!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, best steer well clear of it :O

  6. earlybird says:

    I’m sure that cheered you up no end! What a lovely surprise.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I froze quite a lot of it, but it is more than I usually buy in my monthly shop 😀

  7. Sparkle says:

    Lovely gift, you are so fortunate. Have a lovely weekend Cin;-)

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am lucky, hope your weekend is turning out happy 🙂

  8. TC says:

    This was a great read, how happy I am to have stumbled upon your blog 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for stopping by, TC 🙂

  9. nrhatch says:

    How FUN! I’ve missed you this week. It’s not the same without a post each day from The Only Cin, by favorite Foodie.

    1. nrhatch says:

      oops . . . my favorite foodie.

    2. theonlycin says:

      Missed you too, Nancy 🙂

  10. granny1947 says:

    I am not a foodie but I would have been overjoed to get that lot too.
    Love you.

  11. souldipper says:

    Was The Secret based on your life, Miss Cin? Another win!

    Sounds as though your nanny could be related to Aunt Bea…

    1. theonlycin says:

      I do sem to win often, Amy, not complaining … Do you mean Charle’s Aunt Bea?

  12. Cindy, what a beautiful package to arrive. Hope you have wonderful moments with it, with good friends. And you’ll be able to find something in it to celebrate The Bun’s wonderful achievements, I feel sure.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It is proving such a luxurious treat, Kate, the wine they included was utterly sublime.

  13. SidevieW says:

    Wonderful how children just accept that which is and don’t ask why.

    That looks like a super-special hamper, enjoy it

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll be sure and share some with you, I am certain of that 🙂

  14. slpmartin says:

    Why am I not surprised that your nanny gave you that name very early on.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I giggled like mad the first time I heard the word, it sounded so funny to me 🙂

  15. The Hook says:

    Nice kitchen! I’m not a foodie, but I enjoyed your post very much.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Mr Hook 🙂

  16. johnell74 says:

    Cindy, I am jealous.
    The only raffle I ever won was some 50 years ago at school, when I won a box of chocs.
    Enjoy it.


    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks John, I will 🙂

  17. Colleen says:

    Well done! What an awesome hamper! Star fruit contain oxalic acid that is toxic if you have renal disease. Also it contains a neurotoxic substance that the kidneys usually deal with but if you have renal disease they cannot do the necessary. So its a double blow for some people. One star fruit is enough to kill someone with kidney disease!! xx

    1. Oh my, I never knew that, we live and learn hey? Love you xxx

  18. adeeyoyo says:

    What a bit of luck, Cindy! Congratulations!

    1. Thanks adee, very lucky indeed 🙂

  19. Cin…
    I so seldom comment (although I read every day) because I can’t add much to your food and wine posts (being largely unsophisticated and incompetent in that area), but harking back to your semi-recent “hair cut”, I’ve gotta say, you wear short hair very, very well. ))

    1. sonsothunder says:

      And eyes only gots one thang to say ta you RICHARD…Lawed has murcy…wut’s wrong withcoo? Tell it like it is boah..You only goes round once in dis life…and we’s wants a hear bouts it…
      Regardless of how you say it.
      God Bless You

      1. Hahaha, you been watchng that Paula Deen again, Paul???

  20. dearrosie says:

    Great post Cindy! I love the way you segued from your nanny (who sounds so wonderful) onto winning the gift hamper (which looks marvellous).

  21. Ruth says:

    What a hamper – lucky you! And there’s nothing wrong with being a “feinschmecker”, surely?

    1. theonlycin says:

      I guess not, Ruth 🙂

  22. sonsothunder says:

    lol…hehe,,, really laughing outloud!!! Here in the southern US mine was named…” Aunt Janey” and she’d say…use bess gets with da soul food boah…and then she would say, Lawdy Murcy…I ain’t nevah seen such de like…then SHE would laugh out loud… sweetest memory I think I have.. until now, yet… had forgotten..
    okay, But, Cindy…LAw hAT Mercy I has a “Kugel” recipe faws you…I’ll post it one day.. Soon, maybe tomorrow…
    Love ya

    1. C’mon, out with the recipe immediately!!!

  23. Tandy says:

    Did Mel enjoy her time at Taste of JNB? Well done on the lovely hamper – it will see you well for lunches I am sure 🙂

    1. Mel got sick too, so we gave the tickets to another couple 😦

  24. libraryscene says:

    oy! there is my oft used yiddish for ya, ha! Not a foodie, but can appreciate any type of lovely surprise full of goodies one adores. Enjoy ~

    1. Thanks libraryscene, so far so good 🙂

  25. Linda says:

    Yum a food basket! Lucky girl you are.

    1. Oh yes, very lucky I am, Linda 🙂

  26. johnlmalone says:

    I find it fascinating, Cindy that you had a childhood nanny. I wonder if you and your family kept in touch with her over the years. Hewr story would make fascinating listening.

    And yes I understand your joy; it would be the same for me were I to win some prize in poetry especially if it came with some material reward

    1. theonlycin says:

      As I remember it she retired and went ‘home’ to her Bantustan in Lesotho (which is what the village of birth is called here). I don’t know if she kept in contact with my mother, there would not have been a local post office, and there would most certainly not have been a telephone anywhere nearby.

  27. Jamie Dedes says:

    I love this, Cindy. You combine food and words so well, such wordy rich blog posts. Brinjals = new to me word for eggplant. Bitterballen = much more fun than meatballs. “We’re having spaghetti and bitterballen tonight.” I rather like that.

    Had to look up the business on starfruit and it does have a neurotoxin in it that is fatal if one has kidney disease and can’t filter it out. Hummmmmm … they look so benign.

    In U.S.: all the trivia you probably don’t care to have: Red Velvet Cake is Southern. I have never made it or eaten it, but do believe from my reading that they use red food coloring, which may come from beetroot for all I know. California Roll is made with avocado. It’s sushi for vegans. Yum!

    Congrats on the food basket. Nice!

  28. Tokeloshe says:


    Enjoy 😉

  29. Sounds like your nanny left you with some amazing memories! She sounds like a fun, interesting character – bold and ‘out there’. I like that 🙂

    That is a really cool hamper!

  30. Wawhoooo, great prize, and how fantastic you had a nanny. I always wanted one, for no other reason than….. How like the movies it is. :)))

  31. Oh la la… what a magnificent present ! So well deserved too 🙂 You are definitely a feinschmecker, a gourmet. Very happy for you, Cin !

  32. Your nanny sounds like such a character! Hope you’re relishing every one of those gorgeous goodies 🙂

    I’m catching up on your posts….

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