JackyBird Enterprises was incredibly proud to sponsor the annual outing enjoyed by the children of Jo’s School in Vrygrond, which this year took the little ones aboard both train and bus to see Simonstown’s famous colony of penguins. Quite beside themselves with the excitement, the 47 children hopped on board the train in Muizenburg – a first for the vast majority of them – and then choo-choo-ed their way to the Simonstown station, perched on knees and peering out the windows to see for themselves the striking False Bay coastline.
Upon their arrival in Simonstown, the children were shepherded aboard a bus to be taken to Seaforth beach, where they munched on orange and apple slices, followed by hotdogs and ice creams.
Then they strode the Boulders boardwalk, shrieking gleefully each time they spotted one of the area’s resident Jackass Penguins in the dappled shade of the beach scrub. While they’ve learned much in class about them, none of the children had yet seen a real-life version of these peculiar birds dozing in the sun or waddling about in their starched dinner coats. What a joy it was to witness the awe and delight with which each and every child experienced the moment.
Sun-kissed, sticky and still full of smiles, it was back on the bus for the return journey to school…
Conceived by Yvonne Brown as a living tribute to her late daughter Joanne, the charitable preschool situated in the heart of Vrygrond township in Cape Town is close to the hearts of all of us here at JackyBird Farms. By supporting the school with donations of food and sponsoring events such as this one, we feel that, in some small way, we are able to contribute to providing a safe and nurturing learning environment for these 50 Aids-affected and vulnerable 3- to 6-year-olds, helping to give them that crucial first step onto the ladder of life.
This morning, Maria got busy in the kitchen teaching Ma how to bake gewone plaas brood. Surely there is no fragrance more delicious than that of baking bread? Eaten still warm with a generous layer of fresh butter and a cup of tea and… oh mama, life is good!
Here’s Maria’s recipe – it’s simple enough but time and patience is needed. The results are worth the wait, trust me on this!
Maria and Yvonne baking bread
• 2 x 8g packets active dry yeast
• 2 cups warm water
• 6½ cups white, brown and nutty wheat flours mixed together
• 1t salt
• ⅓ cup butter, chilled and diced
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of the flour and the salt. Cut in the butter and stir in the yeast mixture. Beat in the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
3. Butter a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a large baking tray. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into a large oval loaf. Place onto the prepared tray. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. When the loaf is risen, cut a 1cm-deep cross onto the top of it. Brush the top with water and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 170°C and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the base of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool before slicing.
Makes 1 large loaf