Welcome to a culinary world where long forgotten recipes are re produced and tweaked with a touch of modern influence creating good quality homemade goodies for any occasion.
The meaning of Die Koolstoof and why the name. In English this means “The Coal Stove” or wood burning stove which many would not even know what it looks like. But it dates back many, many years where they were used in kitchens across the world on which food was cooked and breads. cookies and cakes were baked in their ovens and I
grew up baking my first cookies in such an oven… Kitchens were normally large then and the place in every home where the whole family would gather at meal times. Many of the recipes baked in these stoves are long forgotten. Fortunately, I have inherited a gem of hand written cookery books with tried and tested recipes and as a child I remember many of them being baked in such a stove. So I decided on the name as it takes me back to my grassroots. I do however have one such a stove and on a few occasion have used it to cook a Sunday lunch, but living in the city and using wood as its main heat source, the neighbors would only tolerate so much smoke from its chimney before they start complaining.
As a child (and I can remember this very well) I recall many biscuits produced in the farm kitchen and my favorite spot was on the large kitchen table. There many little cookie dough balls were rolled and pressed down with a fork onto baking trays. To this day, I still love raw cookie dough especially the ginger cookie dough my late mom use to
bake so often. Then there was the South African traditional Koffie koekies which was baked mostly near Christmas. These cookies with coffee as its main ingredient and sandwiched with a coffee frosting were made by using a hand mincer and a task for all. One had to feed the dough into the mincer while the other turned the handle and another catching the string of shaped cookie dough exiting the front of the mincer through a narrow metal plate, placing it on the baking sheet and another cutting them all to the same length before popping them into the coal stove oven. I have in very recent times made these cookies and think I have fine-tuned a way of doing it all on my own. Quite a task but these cookies will just not be the same if made differently. Same goes for the ginger biscuits (gemmer koekies). Rolled into small balls and pressed down with a fork on a baking sheet, just makes them taste different. The love for baking (and cooking) I believe is something in our genes. In the new generation it continues but in a more sophisticated way. Amongst the nephews and nieces, there are 3 that are culinary chefs, all in their own category and I do believe that there are new little chefs going to stem from them again.