The “N” of South Africa

I am going to write my thoughts, the bits and bobs that I remember of how it was for me, during my almost fifty years spent in South Africa.
These are my ‘N’ memories, opinions and views on a time during a much loved childhood and beyond!

Nasturtium, Naarjies, Nelspruit, Nyala, Nagapie, Night Adder,

Making a very late start on N memories this week, I hope in the end that it is a Nice entry.  Nice is Not a good word to use, you naughty girl!   I learned that in school a long time ago in South Africa.  But it fits my N post.

Nasturtiums, the easiest flower to grow.  Mommy bought packets of seeds each summer, planted and watered; and was grateful when only half survived.  In Pretoria’s dry hot weather, we had water restrictions and hose pipe bans; but these bright yellow and orange flowers survived it all. 

Something I am sure she never knew about these flowers; and my father would have been horrified if she did; is that they are completely edible!  I would have loved to see his face if he was served up a dish like the one below.  Charles, the man who couldn’t even stand a lettuce leaf on his plate, even as garnish!  Rabbit food! he said.

 Nasturtiums have round lilypad-like leaves, and everything is edible.  Apparently the leaves and flowers are slightly peppery and refreshing; and the plant is related to watercress.

Well I will take their word for it.  I take after my father in that respect.  What!  Even the seed pods are edible, and you can pickle them like capers.  

And staying with edible, yes, really edible, is the naartjie.  My favourite fruit of all!  Easiest to peal eat and quite moreish.  Being a lazy fruit eater, they suit me.

The name, Naartjie, a mandarin orange, has been used in South Africa since 1790 by all language groups and is derived from a tamil word for citrus.  The ‘tjie’ at the end is Afrikaans, making it a deminutive form of an orange.

But who wants to learn history!  Traders sell bags of naartjies from the side of main roads in SA; they are held out to you as you pass by car and this sweet fruit is so refreshing and juicy on a hot day, it is tempting, especially when you have cars without air conditioning, like in my day! 

So we will stay with the oranges, but move to Nelspruit, the capital of the Eastern Transvaal, also the agricultural hub of the North East.  This place is surrounded by orange farmlands and is sub tropical in climate.

As a tourist attraction Nelspruit sports, Kruger National Park nearby and amazing scenery not far to the north, like Hazyview and Pilgrims Rest.

Another N is the Nyala; a spiral horned antelope.  This is the male of the specis, so different to the female Nyala, pictured below.

Those are all the N’s for today.

If you would like to catch up with A- M, click this link for a list.


About liz2you

Life just happens when you plan something else. 50 years spent in Africa and relevant stories.
This entry was posted in African animals, Alphabet Thursday, Flowers, South Africa and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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