Boererate, those dubious wisdoms of old that somehow still cling to somewhere at the back our minds a generation after our scepticism got the better of us, are not limited to Afrikaans or even the broader South African culture. The home remedy (English for boereraat) is a universal concept you’ll find in every culture across the globe. But whether we find them ridiculous or live by them, they’re a wonderful window into a time before infobesity rendered us too clever for such romantic notions. Here are some highlights from the article, Boereraat, from JAN the Journal Volume 6, categorised by topic, of course.

To prevent your bacon from curling upwards, roll it in cake flour before frying.


Always cut warm bread with a warm knife. To keep bread fresh, store a potato in your bread tin.


When charged with buttering a great number of sandwiches, save on costs by adding 500 ml milk to 500 g butter, stirring until the mixture reaches a creamy consistency. They’ll never know.

Fruit cake
A fruit cake will not burn if you place a bit of salt somewhere in the oven while it is baking. This phenomenon remains one of life’s great mysteries, especially as it doesn’t work for everyone.

To get more juice out of a lemon, roast it briefly in the oven. Alternatively, soak it in boiling water prior to squeezing.

Grating an onion gives a dish an undesirable tinge of bitterness. Rather chop it.

This delicate herb with its potentially tough stalks better responds to chopping when rinsed in warm water first.

Should you burn your roosterbrood (fire-baked bread), simply rub two roosterbrode against one another. The charring will barely be visible.

Salt and Sugar
If your soup or stew is too salty, simply add a couple of peeled potatoes to the pot, as they absorb all excess salt. It is unclear how potatoes know how much salt is, in fact, considered excessive.

To revive old cream, simply add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and whisk well before adding some sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence.

When working with dough, keep a plastic bag handy. Should the telephone suddenly ring, simply stick your telephone hand in the bag to pick up the phone. It should be noted that this method has not met with any success in the smartphone era.

A boiled egg will peel more easily if you drop a teaspoon of salt into the water prior to bringing the water to a boil.

Read the full story in JAN the Journal Volume 6, available now!

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