My dad was short of stature and had a ruddy complexion, helped along – no doubt – by his love of brandy and Coke. He was also partial to peri peri sauce and we always had a little bottle of the red stuff on the dinner table. A particularly good concoction earned my dad’s greatest praise and was labeled a ‘bastard’. I recall one night at supper, when one of my siblings wanted to add some zing to the meal and asked my mom “Where’s the little red bastard?” I got the short end of the stick and replied that he was away on business. It became a standing family joke that my dad, God bless him, took very well.

I’ve discovered a new product that would have invoked a howl of ecstatic agony from my dear old dad; this is a product to raise anyone’s hair on end. My recent chicken and pasta salad was positively wicked and a ginger beer and strawberry cooler was called for to render things bearable. It made me wonder – rather darkly – if anyone living alone has ever died from hot chili sauce.

I was hard-pressed to catch my breath and sweated for about an hour after eating.
My friend Paula has requested my recipe for ginger beer and I must ‘fess up that it’s a filched one. That Jamie lad gave it to me, although he doesn’t know he did:
I’m not going to be found guilty of plagiarism, so here is the link. It’s a sure win in these hot, hot, hot days of summer.
Speaking of summer and chicken, I’ve been hard-pressed to restrain myself from joining my colleagues in their daily consumption of take-away foods. I have succumbed on a few occasions and there was mass disbelief, until photographic evidence emerged…

I’ve now become disciplined and prepare healthier versions of chicken the night before. It makes me feel far more virtuous and I can almost feel my heart pumping its thanks.

I don’t quite understand, though, why everyone collapses into fits of mirth when they spy my lunch bag make its way into the office in the mornings …



  1. I was reading through .. so enjoying your writing this morning til i came to the shot of your lunch bag and yelped with delight… fantastic.. cool drink too.. I would have got the short end of a stick if i had said bastard at our table.. gracious.. c

  2. Lol @ the chilli sauce joke! I think I remember a froggie bag as well that you photographed for us back at, it surely turns heads.
    Your look-a-like lady is also divorced with one daughter but she is 16 and she 56.
    You add baby tomatoes in potato salad? Have a lovely evening Cin 😉

  3. That’s a lovely photo of you, Cin. I love your lunch bag. It’s gorgeous and how funny. It’s great that you are organised enough to prepare such great food to take to work. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man with a great sense of humour xx

  4. ohmygod the story about your Dad is brilliant.
    I’ve never seen such a fabulous lunch bag! Is it a real lunch bag with that silver padding inside?
    Nice to see a photo of you.

  5. Every time I read a post from you it makes me realise how much I miss your posts (and you!!)
    Your dad sounded like exactly the kind of man I admire!!! 🙂
    Love the bag – so you!!!

  6. I love you lunch bag. I live in a home where if there isn’t a zing of something hot on the plate, my boys ask when is the real supper coming! I love making different chilli sauces and trying them out on my boys. Well done on packing your own lunch, your body will thank you and your wallet too!

  7. Masterchef Man is the font of all knowledge as to where to get South African grade peri peri in Sydney – our fridge and pantry are full of a variety of bottles of the stuff – yum. Love the lunch bag 🙂

  8. The lunch bag is truly special!
    The hottest thing I think I have ever encountered was Joaquim Alves’ Peri-peri sauce sold in the old Mozambique. A couple of drops was all one could take on an entire plateful. The bravest (and stupidest) Rhodesian I have ever known put a whole teaspoonful on his food, against everyone’s advice, and then ate the lot while turning an ever-brighter shade of puce.

  9. What a wonderful post, as for the hot sauce I am such a wimp, cannot do anything hot at all. Your Dad seems like he had a cute sense of humour, the bastard, who would have thought of that for hot sauce. You look beautiful in the pic, so glad to see you seem to be doing better, that is a blessing you know. Love your bag, made me so happy to read your post, HUGS!!!!!

  10. Hello,

    I currently run the All Joy Food blog and facebook, I would love to share your recipe for the chicken noodles using our hot sauce!
    There’s be a direct link back to your blog if you choose to share it with us.

    Kind Regards,
    The All Joy Tea,

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