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 …


63 Comments Add yours

  1. suzicate says:

    What a delightful lunch bag! Love the joke on your dad, and what a great sport he was!

    1. theonlycin says:

      He was, quite simply, the best, Suzicate 🙂

  2. Tandy says:

    I love ginger beer with fresh lime and mint muddled in it 🙂

  3. cecilia says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      Gracious indeed, Cecilia 😉

  4. Pussycat44 says:

    The lunch bag is simply classic. Your healthy food looks far more appetising than the concoction in the cardboard box.

    1. theonlycin says:

      That cardboard box provided a rare treat though 😉

  5. Sparkle says:

    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 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      I love adding the tomatoes, they stop the potato salad from drying out 🙂

  6. Oh I love your lunch bag!!!!! So fabulous to read a post from you! Glad your dad was ok with being called a red bastard 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      We laughed about it for years 🙂

  7. adair says:

    Love your lunch bag! I also am not a fan of takeaway foods and your homemade looks delish.

  8. Leeswammes says:

    Great lunch bag. Great lunch, too!

  9. slpmartin says:

    Oh…I think I can say that I understand their response to you lunch bag…I truly love it.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Charlie 🙂

  10. Hotly Spiced says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      A wonderful man he truly was, HL 🙂

  11. Hahaha.. love that lunch bag! It’s big enough for an awesome lunch too! Great photo of you, I do like your homemade meal better though!

    1. theonlycin says:

      The homemade lunches make me feel no guilt at all 🙂

  12. dearrosie says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      No Rosie, it’s actually a handbag. The shop where I bought it has frogs and fish too 🙂

  13. Christine says:

    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!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I miss you too, Chrissie, very much.

  14. 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!

  15. monica says:

    Tried the Very Chilli sauce ONCE, not again!!!! Lovely post, thanks for sharing. Miss our blogging days. xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      They were good days, Monica, I miss them too. So much has changed.

  16. Your dad sounds like a gem, like mine. 😀 Now you have us all wanting a lunch bag just like yours.
    Have a super weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    1. theonlycin says:

      Enjoy your weekend too, Mandy 🙂

  17. bluebee says:

    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 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Bluebee. By the way, I can’t comment on your blog at all, it keeps asking me to log in and then just boots me back to the WordPress site 😦

      1. bluebee says:

        Hi Cin,

        This is what WP says in response

        “That is because his/her email address is associated with a account, rightly or wrongly. In order to comment via that email, they will have to log in to”

        Not sure quite what this means…

      2. I’ll just keep trying, bluebee!

  18. nrhatch says:

    That lunch bag made me *cluck*cluck*cluck* with pleasure! 😀

    1. Cock-a-doodle-doo, Nancy 😉

  19. Aw, Cindy, just lovely to hear how things are going. I think your packed lunches look amazing. Especially when they emerge from a large chicken.

    1. I’m thinking of getting a froggy bag too, Kate, for when I bring French food for lunch 😉

  20. Tammy says:

    A delicious post in every way! Love the story of your dad and the peri peri and the lovely lunch bag.

    1. I think so too, Tilly 🙂

  21. colonialist says:

    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.

    1. adair says:

      Colonialist,I remember that peri peri sauce.Gosh that was a blast from the past!

      1. colonialist says:

        ‘Blast’ is about the right word. It blew the top of one’s head off!

      2. I remember it too, loved it 🙂

    2. Hahaha, Col, I once did the same with Wasabi 🙂

  22. Dee says:

    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!!!!!

    1. Thanks Dee, my dad’s sense of humour was legendary 🙂

  23. Mal says:

    I’m in love with the rooster! Cock-a-doodle-doo.. 😆 ..And, you, my beautiful friend, look smashing! 🙂

  24. Jamie Dedes says:

    Hot sauce: been there, don that, and was glad no one was around to see. Lesson learned.

    1. LOL, Jamie, some things are best suffered in private 😉

  25. footsy2 says:

    Looking good Cin. Always a treat when you post. Do you know Mauritian Mazazaru? Hotter than hell.

    1. I’ve never tried it, footsy, but I’m sure I’d love it 🙂

  26. All Joy Team says:


    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,

    1. theonlycin says:

      Give me a couple of hours and I’ll type it up for you. Would you like me to blog the recipe or email it to you?

      1. Thank you for getting back to me.

        Either would be fine but I’m sure blogging it would generate more traffic for you.

        Kind Regards,
        The All Joy Team

      2. theonlycin says:

        OK, give me a day or so. Will notify you when I post.

      3. theonlycin says:

        OK, blog post is done and I put a link on your Facebook page and a hyperlink to your blog in the post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s