Sleutelwoorde

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Afrikaans-speaking South Africans hardly ever agree about anything, be it politics, religion, sex or the right of way in a roundabout (locally known as a traffic circle).

Just by way of explanation: South Africa has eleven (11) officially recognised languages.Yes, you got that right – one dozen minus one. This story is relevant to the Afrikaans-speaking population only.

As I said, they very seldom agree about anything, but there is this one exception: everybody loves koesisters, a sweet syrup infused confectionery, which Americans would probably refer to as a doughnut. However, this very tasty morsel of dough is not round, it doesn’t have a hole and definitely no stuffing of any kind. It is a piece of dough which is braided like a plait, then deep-fried until it is a golden-brown colour and crispy on the outside. Then it is dunked into a thick, sweet and icy cold syrup.

The ‘koesister’ is also referred to as a ‘koeksister’ or, in some instances, a ‘koeksuster’. It seems that no-one can really agree to the correct spelling or pronunciation. Of course. They do agree about one thing, though: no gala, bazaar, festival, fundraiser, charity event, market, corporate meeting, sport event or tea party can be successful without koesisters on the menu. A koesister is what is referred to as finger food by caterers, which means that it is usually held by hand with syrup dripping everywhere.

In my high school days we used to bake dozens of koesisters which we sold from door to door, to raise funds for school camps, sport tours and the school fund. Yes, in those long ago days, money was scarce and we had to work for it (my children just hate it when I start a story with “in the old days …”   😀 ) Baking and selling koesisters to raise funds was a folk tradition and proud Afrikaners has honoured this humble pastry by erecting the well-known Koe(k)sister Monument.

 

My man sal ver ompaaie loop om lekker koesisters in die hande te kry Ek onthou nog baie goed hoe hy my myle ompad laat ry het Port Elizabeth toe om by sy ma te gaan kuier, omdat hy gehoor het van die vrou op ‘n sekere klein dorpie wat sulke lekker koesisters bak. Hy was reg, hulle was die moeite werd, ten spyte van die slegte pad vol slaggate, maar ek was darem nie te gelukkig oor die ekstra drie ure wat ons op die pad moes spandeer nie.

Toe ons nog daar in die Vaal Driehoek gewoon het, was daar ‘n liewe mevroutjie in Walkerville wat die heerlikste koesisters gebak het en ek moes weekliks my man die hele ent pad na die Saterdagmark toe vervoer sodat hy sy koesisters vir die week kon gaan koop. Gelukkig vries dit goed.

Voordat jy vra: ek bak nie koesisters nie, ek kom glad nie in ‘n kombuis nie, want ‘n kombuis is ‘n gevaarlike plek. Ek sny gewoonlik my vingers raak, rasper my kneukels velaf en brand myself die oomblik as ek daar inloop. My dogter sê sy kook gesonde kos en basta met koesisters. Dus moet dit maar gekoop word, maar hier lê die probleem: ordentlike koesisters is nie oral te koop nie, veral nie hier waar ons nou woon nie. Hier koop ons net samoosas en curry bunnies.

Nou hang sy koesisterlus uit, sjym man. Ons sal maar op ons volgende besigheidsreis terug Gauteng toe die koelsakke moet inpak om ‘n paar pakke koesisters te gaan haal.

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