(also, How to warm up dinner and make breakfast on a fire without the use of pots)
Bear Grylls would be proud of this one. My friend T and I arrived in the most majestic Monk’s Cowl in the Drakensberg after a long academic term and a 12 hour drive. We were met by a beautiful campsite, all set up. We went for a walk, we had potjiekos, and drank wine and spoke rubbish with my parents. Then we slept all morning, ate some glorious lunch, and helped my parents pack up, leaving us behind with a tent and all the basics we would need.
So, what do you do if you find yourself in this situation? (All reality show participants can take note here; this is a typical African mountainous scenario.) Like a reality TV game, you have certain tools but not others. The mission: to eat. Points given for resourcefulness. Points given for laughs.
This is what you do:
You make it feel like a game because you’re on holiday and its much more fun that way.
Then, you scout the premises for any useful tools. Girls get resourceful.
Don’t get overly enthusiastic now. It seems a good idea to uproot the fence to get at that piece of wire; but they do have security guards. Look elsewhere.
A flat rock- great. A piece of thick wire. Kindling. Check.
You figure out that you have got tinfoil and you feel grateful.
You pour yourselves a drink (you can make this step 1 depending on how perplexed you are).
Then, you make a serious fire. You disinfect that piece of wire that you found behind the scullery block by burning it and wrap up your mother’s camping plates in tinfoil.
Pop the potjie kos on there and stir a bit. It can get messy if you can’t see what's going on but no matter. It takes a while to heat up, you have put that foil plate right into the ash. Cover it up. Yes, potjie does taste better the next day.
(We just laughed while we waited because the moon was so bright it was bursting. We could see up to the cliff faces, we could see a controlled veld fire with its orange streaks ripping through the landscape. We couldn’t see anyone else, and sometimes its so damn nice to know its just you and the mountains and your dinner.)
The breakfast was our greatest feat. Pure ingenuity, Grylls would certainly agree.