While the TASTE team has wined and dined around the country (and globe), they all unanimously agree that a home-cooked meal by inspiring mother figures in their lives beats any intricate fine-dining menu.
Don’t be fooled by the ease of these 7-ingredient frikkadels! They may be simple, but they’re loaded with flavour. Liesl’s mom has a special ingredient that elevates these meatballs:
“My mom says her mother swore by adding a few whole cloves instead of ground spice. Once the frikkadels come out of the oven ‘kraakbruin’ (crispy brown), place them in a covered casserole dish to ‘sweat’ a little before serving.” – Liesl Nicholson, group operations manager
Classic mac ’n cheese was a dish that Khanya was introduced to later in life. Growing up, this meaty and cheesy pasta bake was what her family referred to as mac ’n cheese.
“This is one of the first things my mother taught me to cook and I cherish this recipe and its hidden lessons about generosity and balance to this day.” – Khanya Mzongwana, deputy food editor Get the recipe for mom’s mac n cheese here.
Hannah’s nan’s pie is pure comfort food at its best. Mashed potatoes, three kinds of cheese and caramelised onions are encased in flaky, buttery pastry and baked until golden. If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate meat-free winter warmer, this pie will blow you away.
“I’m really proud of this recipe from my Nana, it was passed down to her from her mom, so it’s really close to my heart. If you’re going to make one cheesy comfort dish this month, this is it!” – Hannah Lewry, contributing food editor
Steak and chops aren’t just for Father’s Day. These Mexican-inspired pork chops were Lynda’s favourite growing up. The blend of spices gave an unexpected and exotic flavour to what would otherwise have been another pork chop dish.
“I am definitely a child of the seventies because I remember thinking this dish was incredibly exotic – it must have been the paprika and cayenne pepper! My mom used to make it in an electric frying pan – do they even exist anymore?” – Lynda Ingham-Brown, chief copy editor
Kate’s mom, Pinkie, loves hosting dinner parties. And while many of her dishes are requested by eager guests and family members, her top recipe is her simple buttermilk pudding. With winter around the corner, you’ll want to add this recipe to your arsenal.
”Despite her elaborate dinner party menus, this is my mother’s most requested recipe – the simplest, most comforting nursery pudding of them all.” – Kate Wilson, editor-in-chief
This tart features ingredients that every South African retro bake must include: canned fruit and evaporated milk. If baking isn’t your thing, this tart is a fail-safe dessert that can be used as a base for your favourite flavours. For Michelle’s mom, coconut and canned fruit cocktail added tropical flavours to a warm winter dessert.
“This fruity ‘malva pudding’ was an integral part of our family Sunday teas with grandparents, aunts and uncles while I was growing up. You could also serve it hot with custard if you prefer.” – Michelle Coburn, deputy editor
If there’s one person to whom food director Abigail attributes her love of cooking, it’s her grandmother. Over her years at TASTE, she has shared countless recipes inspired by her grandmother, but it’s this Victorian sponge cake that started it all.
“My love affair with baking started with beating the sugar and butter together in my nana’s mixing bowl. I still have it. She could whip up a sponge cake in minutes with no electric beater. We would sit on the couch together and beat that sugar and butter until it was pale and creamy.” – Abigail Donnelly, food director
Receiving a cookie press was a great coming-of-age moment for The Lazy Makoti, Mogau. Also referred to as “dikuku tsa bayeng” these butter tea biscuits are always baked in large batches over the festive season to have ready for unexpected guests to dunk in milky tea or enjoy with home-made ginger beer. Gifting them with extras to take home is always encouraged.
“I’m not sure when or how they became a tradition, but that’s what they are. Just seeing them immediately inspires nostalgia and makes me want to call home. I guess that’s part of the genius of our mothers.” – Mogau Seshoene, TASTETube contributor and TASTE columnist