Home Cooking, Herman Lensing

To Herman, Home Cooking is like Rachel from Friends. To me, it’s about memories, old and new.

Home Cooking  is Herman Lensing’s sixth cookbook and follows the highly successful Dit Proe Soos Huis (Human & Rousseau), published in 2019 and 2020 winner of the SA Boekprys best nonfiction title. Home Cooking  tells the story – in his own words – of Herman’s 34 years. Unlike his previous books, this one also sees him sharing friends’ recipes, as well as many he discovered during his journeys throughout South Africa.

There are more than 80 recipes, from breakfast to main courses, from side dishes to meat dishes, from cakes, biscuits and rusks to desserts (such as trifle, ice cream and even bazaar pudding). Each chapter reflects Herman’s love of food and people, accompanied by entertaining anecdotes. The recipes are totally unpretentious, featuring ingredients that are available anywhere in the country. Home Cooking invites you into Herman’s kitchen, to prepare food anyone can cook.


Chapters are divided into:
  • Side dishes – time to shone
  • Bread, butter and jam
  • It’s cold food!
  • Mmm … marvellous meat!
  • Come for breakfast, stay for lunch
  • Biscuits and rusks – just like Ouma’s!
  • Sweet, sweeter, sweetest
  • My friends’ food
  • The final course
Recipes that caught my eye:
  • Slaphakskeentjie-style vegetables (p30)
  • Rosemary butter (p45)
  • Northern Cape fig jam (p46)
  • Bacon-and-beer potbrood (p50)
  • Farm bread with quince jam (p53)
  • Tongue with mustard sauce (p58)
  • Hartenbos pea salad (p69)
  • Lamb ribs with salsa verde (p80)
  • Pastorie chicken (p88)
  • Bobotie meatballs in a creamy sauce (p92)
  • Creamy sautéed kidneys on toast (p101)
  • Snoek fishcakes with summer sauce (p105)
  • WAA custard biscuits (p128)
  • Condensed milk cake (p142)
  • Busy-Bee ice cream (p146)
  • Chocolate-and-orange-sauce pudding (p154)
What I made:

I made the pastorie chicken which was not a success, following the recipe cooking times. After 20 minutes in the oven the chicken was basically raw. It took another 40 minutes to get it to 65º Celsius (chicken fully cooked should have an internal temperature of 72º Celsius). The flavours were great so I will work on the cooking times to get it perfect. The condensed milk cake was delicious, and such an easy bake. It took longer in the oven than the recipe called for as well which makes me wonder about Herman’s oven temperature reading. I have tested mine with a digital thermometer and it is accurate.

My impressions:

Each recipe holds a memory for Herman and this really comes across in the feeling of comfort throughout the book. The photos are lovely and I really liked the rustic layout.

Publishing information:
ISBN 9781485900887
Format Trade Paperback
Published November 2021

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this copy of Home Cooking to review.

View the previous posts on August 31:


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