Christmas For A Makoti In Bushbuckridge  

The silly season is upon us and so is the season for giving and sharing.

It is during this time that women also get together to share stokvel savings as well as celebrate another successful year.

Men get together to catch up around the braai or over a soccer match.

I am a makoti and just like many other makotis, holiday time means chores, chores and some more chores. Oh and maybe a nap here and there.

See, my husband is from a large family. That means lots and lots of cooking for yours truly (myself) and my two sessies (hubby’s brothers’ wives).

A small rant…
So like, Bushbuckridge is unbelievably hot, I mean 42 degrees kind of hot — now imagine cooking a breakfast, lunch and dinner for over 16 people while juggling two small kids. You guessed it, it becomes a helluva lot and trust me, 6 years in I still have not figured a better way to do this Christmas thing. I could (rightfully and selfishly) make this time of the year more about my immediate family but that would be taking this moment away from my husband who gets to reunite and catch up with his brothers.
As you were.

I remember my first Christmas at my in-laws after getting married…

Myself and my sessie woke up at 5am to start cooking.


Come 2pm, we were still on our feet.

We vowed from that day that we’d never do that to ourselves.

We were so tired we even felt sad for ourselves.

So the following year we made a change. We planned ahead and it worked.

I have since become huge fan of meal planning simply because it saves me from over working and cooking too little or too much food.

I’ve listed a few survival tips that can come in handy for any makoti out there who’s looking to impress her in-laws and their neighbours (lol, I know the neighbours are just much of family).


Regardless of the size of your family, the following should be able to assist you (It worked for me):

  1. Prepare yourself mentally. Know what’s in store for you and plan ahead as to what is you’re going to do and cook on each of those days.
  2. Save money. Yes it’s the silly season, but January is around the corner. Spoil the family, but shop wisely.
  3. Give your best. You don’t need to be a world-renowned chef to be able to deliver healthy, yummy meals. That said, please don’t just throw that 7-colours meal on a plate for them, make it memorable. If it’s from the heart, they will appreciate it.
  4. Surprise them. Whether it’s a homemade ice cream on Christmas eve or a trip to the Kruger Park on New Year’s Day, make your stay exciting and memorable.
  5. Enjoy yourself. Be genuine. Life is short. We only have one shot at this. Give your family the best YOU. After all, Khisimusi Rita kanwe lembeni. (Loosley translated; Christmas comes once in a year).



What’s for dinner?

American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said music is a universal language.

While I don’t dispute that in anyway, I believe that food is just as much of a universal language as music is. Maybe even more.


Everybody has to eat. Our varying cultures and backgrounds may influence what we eat from time to time, but food is a language we all “speak”.

I always like to try out new dishes and put a twist to old favourites.

Meal planning is key.

For many women or anyone who cooks, whether for a family of friends, the question, “What’s for dinner?” might not be the easiest to answer.
Some days you know exactly what is you are going to make and others you are clueless.
In some cases you just don’t even feel like cooking at all.

I can relate. I know the feeling all too well.


But perhaps meal planning can be just the thing you need…

You do not need a refrigerator  packed with fancy goodies to be able to serve up what I call love on a plate.
I find that I get more creative with my dishes closer to month end. When the groceries cupboard is almost empty I find that’s when I come up with more surprising dishes.

If you have, for example, only cabbage left in your veggie rack, get creative with it.
Explore other ways to prepare it.
Make coleslaw today. Tomorrow fry (sauté) it. The day after that add a little minestrone soup. And if you have to make coleslaw again, use yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
Get creative.

Am no expert as far as kiddies nutrition is concerned, but I do know that moms struggle with this task.


It usually seems easier to give them a R20 pocket money and trust that they will grab something to eat at the tuck shop.
Well, no.

You need to plan ahead for those lunch tins. Planning makes a world of difference

From the day you buy groceries, you must factor your child’s lunch.
These little ones spend most of their time at school and you need to make sure they are well taken care of as far as nutrition is concerned.

The next post will have more on Lunchbox ideas and recipes for kiddies sandwiches.

In the meantime, follow me on social media.
Instagram – @Duenna_mm
Facebook – Duenna’s Kitchen

xoxo, MrsM