The Lemon Meringue Pie Dispute

As many of you may already know, ek is ‘n Engelsman.
The long-suffering Mrs 6000 is fully Suth Iffrikan.

From time to time, we come across little nuances and colloquialisms which set our home nations apart from one another:

England are great at cricket and have never lost a series to Bangladesh.
South Africans can cook things over coals.
England are world champions at Health and Safety.
South Africa are top 10 worldwide for traffic-related deaths per 100,000 people.
The English call them traffic lights, South Africans call them robots.
When the English say “now”, they mean immediately. That only happens in SA if you repeat it.

Stuff that every SA blogger has written a hilarious blog post about. Stuff like that. And vive la différence!
Well, vive it until yesterday, when Mrs 6000’s Mum turned up to our Transition Day braai with a lemon meringue pie. Yeah – I went there – a lemon meringue pie.

See, I was told by all the senior South Africans present yesterday that the official South African name for this delicious* dessert is simply “Lemon Meringue”; that there’s no “Pie” involved in the nomenclature at all. And a quick look at the label and the shop receipt seemed to back them up, being, as they were, wholly pie-free.

What balderdash.

How can this be? How can one simply choose to overlook one third of the tri-partite alliance that makes up this dish?
No. And it’s the all important bottom bit too, without which any attempt at serving would surely end up in a trendy “deconstruction” of the original recipe. Structural integrity is as important in desserts as in any other course and in the case of the Lemon Meringue Pie, that strength comes down solely to the pastry bit. The bit that makes it a pie and not a sloppy mess all over the bottom of an ovenproof dish.

Even putting that aside though, you can’t just drop a bit of something’s name just because it suits you. We’re always encouraged to eat more fruit and be more healthy, told that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. But what if whoever came up with that little ditty had decided to arbitrarily leave out a bit of the name of the foodstuff involved? What if it was meant to be  “An apple crumble a day keeps the doctor away” or “An apple schnapps a day keeps the doctor away” and all this time, we’ve been missing out on a tastier or more fun way to avoid medical intervention simply because someone chose to drop a word?

I did a quick straw poll around my SA collegaues in the lab and there was incredulity that I was asking such stupid questions even suggesting that name should include the word “Pie”.

But then I googled lemon meringue (on the .CO.ZA version of that site, and without the all important P-word) and it seems that not all Saffas think the same way (who knew?), because look what I found:

lmp

Yeah! Look at what the big names in SA food like Ian Paarman, Woolies and PicknPie are calling it!
Look what Google.co.za is calling it! THEY SAY PIE!

Long live Lemon Meringue PIE! Amandla!

 

* for the record, the Checkers version isn't actually that nice.
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Transition Day

We’ve quickly discovered that the ±25 hour door-to-door trip from Sheffield to Cape Town can be a little bit draining. Thus, while no-one wants to waste a day with friends and family, a ‘transition day’ between the time we get back and the time that we have to do stuff (work,  school, extra murals etc etc) is actually a very good idea.

This “extra” Women’s Day (the new public holiday to hate) (trash talking Heritage Day is sooooo 2013, dahling) fitted the bill perfectly, allowing us to sleep in a bit, sort the washing, do the shopping, polish the beagle, and then reacquaint ourselves with that South African tradition of having a braai.

You can’t immediately leave the UK behind though; such severance would be extremely harsh and possibly even a little dangerous. A little English culture is called for and so it’s a touch of West Brom versus Manchester City and a glass of Marlon for me this evening.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

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Enough already

Have you ever had that feeling that you really can’t take any more…

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This world-weary giraffe knows just how you feel.

Taken in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield, earlier this week.

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Nature is amazing

Having studied science for years and years and years, I still find myself learning new things about the world around us on a regular basis. For example, the complex relationship between bees and flowers. It’s far deeper than I ever realised:

image

Nature is amazing.

* This post pre-writted as I’m travelling all over the world again today.
See you on the other side.

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SBG

They might not have the international prowess of Kirstenbosch, nor its size or funding, but the Sheffield Botanical Gardens are still pretty impressive. We were there today, out with family for coffee and fresh air, and the summer flowers were out in force:

They’ve also done a range of flower flags, featuring England, Romania, China and Armenia (I don’t makes the rules here), and Spain, Cuba, Norway and the USA.

I used to come down here when I was a kid – they had parrots and piranhas in the glasshouses. Then I watched with distress as the money ran out and things started to fall apart. The programme of volunteers, donations and funding that they’ve got in place now is making all the difference. The gardens were busy today, the café bustling, the benches full, and the gardens themselves were a spectacular sight.

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