Published: August 31st 2010August 31st 2010
Well what a festival to remember. Proper boere style good old fashion vetpret. We spent the day at the fees from early morning Saturday right through to that time of night when you know you’ve had enough but you keep going until you’re so thankful that you don’t have to crawl much further than the parking lot to your truck to crash out. There were a few other campers scattered around but the other hundreds of people must have booked into the dozen or so guest houses or the Hotel or crawled into a hole somewhere.
There were loads of stalletjies selling stuff from kweper jelly to spotted Nguni cowhides. They had animals on display from stud Merino sheep which nearly measured to under my armpits (I bet those peertjies weren’t for sale), miniature donkeys, beautiful horses and even a couple of camels and lamas. Young kids trimmed the earfluff and bumbfluff of their prize goats in hopes of winning first prize as they showed off their groomed pets while other kids bounced meters into the air strapped onto some sort of a catapult.
The local kids did the most awesome skipping rope demonstration to hiphop moves. They were entertaining
very kewl dancers
and I loved the way they turned something simple and inexpensive into a competitive sport. Then came the Riel dancers. I’ve never seen dancers as captivating and as locally lekker as them. They jiggled around in their cappies and floral skirts creating clouds of dust around their veldskoene as they tapped to the fast beat of a trekorrel and something about as jou hond my byt and a piep. I was enthralled.
We spent the rest of the afternoon on the pavilion watching antique tractors and cars roll by while some tannie from the Karoo showed everyone how to de-bone a whole sheep, then layered it with meters of sausage, sprinkled a packet of French salad dressing over everything and then rolled the whole thing up just like a lekker jam roll, all in under 20 minutes. The whole besigheid got tied up and skewered onto a spit later. Clearly they have large families out here in the Hantam coz back in the city if you feel like a special meal a small roast leg is usually enough.
By now Theo and I had knocked back a few beers so by the time the strongman competition got under way
klein maar getrein
I was cheering rather loudly for the strappy boerseuns as they lugged tractor tyres around and flexed their muscles pulling 4x4’s across the veld.
Of course I have to elaborate about all the delicious, exotic meat delicacies which was the main attraction. We nibbled on lam sausage, skillpadjies, juicy soft ribs and the most succulent mutton chops. We tried Ystervark velletjies (porcupine skin) which tasted just like pork crackling but we never got around to the peertjies (sheeps balls) or the plat klip rib (de-boned ribs cooked between 2 hot flat stones.
Then Theo wanted his sheeps head although he couldn’t squeeze another morsel down (yes hard to believe) but he wasn’t a dam going to leave without getting head. I drank more beer and watched the thunder thigh farm bokkies dragging 70kg of mielie bags across the field while Theo went in search of his roasted sheeps head. He stood in 3 queues, only to find out the heads were all sold out so when he eventually did find the last 2, he bought them both and took them back to the truck for later on.
They had a few stages set up and the sounds of Oouuu
Stot Boetie Stoot
Ryperd and the likes wafted around setting the mood and in the beer halls other well known singers sang songs about Kaptein hys die seile and the likes.
We scoffled around the dance floor to the Klipwerf Orkes and I took the opportunity to chat to a farmer and asked him if he had heard of Kougoed. I don’t think it came out right or maybe it was my bad attempt to bgrrey as I tried to blend in with the locals and cover the fact that I was probably the only English speaking person there. Anyway the poor man looked baffled and backed away nervously while I leered at him and clutched my rum and coke.
We found another hall where all the younger Elsenburg college students hung out and I danced the night away, did a bit of head banging to a few golden oldies as if I was at a bike rally and then soon after, I think, or was it much later we found our way back to the truck.
In the week hours of Sunday morning I felt a bit tender but when I opened the fridge door and 2 heads looked right
back at me, well that’s when the nausea kicked in. Theo was quite excited (apparently the one on the right was earlessly marked for me) about teaching me the rituals of eating the thing with a pocket knife. I gave him the best smile I could muster and quietly lay down for another little rest.
Later we left the still sleeping Calvinia and stopped at a roadside pullover for the much awaited brunch. By now I was quite hungry and would have eaten anything to get my strength back. Theo boiled some vegetables (to break the richness of the meat) and stuck the heads in the oven for a bit to reheat and crisp them. I bravely thought that if I turned the head around so as not to see the snarling lips revealing two neat little rows of teeth then perhaps I could fool myself into thinking it was just a roast with a rather odd shape. I had to eat the crackling skin first, thinking it was so that I could get to the meaty cheeks underneath so I ploughed on. Once I had finished the back bit, Theo wedged his knife in the top skull bone
Ja Swaar moes ook my kerk skoene uit haal
and pried it apart nicely down the centre. GROOOOOSSSSS. In that split second I got a glimpse of neatly packaged white coiled brains nestled inside. Eeuuwww. Sorry that was enough for me. I made him close it up but not before he turned it around and the jaw bit opened and in another flash I saw inside it’s immaculate pinky white mouth and there rested this long thin white tongue snuggled between its teeth. EEEEUUUUWWWW. No ways could I carry on. I turned away in disgust while Theo cut the meat up and took the bones away out of site.
I could have handled brown meat falling off the bone like the roast you buy at Pick ‘nPay but that pinky white patterned tongue with knobbly bits liked scrubbed thrush just didn’t do it for me. I ate my vegetables and picked at the cut of meat, trying to avoid things that could have been eyelashes and I could see knobbly strips of lips still attached to a piece of meat.
I don’t know what all the ho-ha is about eating something like that but now I’ve done it. On the other hand I suppose killing a
Looking forward to Lunch
shark just for its fins and wasting the rest of the meat or cutting a rhinos horn off and leaving the meat to rot is way more inhumane to me. I do believe if you are going to kill an animal then utilise as much as you can. Someone else can have my extra bits next time though.