Annatjie Melck Koljander, koljander so deur die Bosch
I first met Annatjie Melck in 1966. I was 19 years old at the time and she was already a well-known Stellenbosch personality and above all, a true food person. Her husband Ronnie was a giant in the wine business and as some would have it ‘a legend in his own lunchtime.’ I knew her mother Ouma Frikkie too, who worked at The Lanzerac Hotel as an old lady cooking in the kitchen. She and Maggie Pepler were part of the legend that was Lanzerac’s food at the time, famous for its buffet lunches which cost R2.50 a head and the legendary Cheese Lunch so beloved by the University Students as a Friday lunch treat when for 95 cents you could have a spread which could keep you full for the weekend.
Annatjie Melck, Chateleine of Muratie
Annatjie, together with a group of incredible women started the Fynproewersgilde. A guild of women who were keen to preserve the food culture of Stellenbosch and the Winelands, wives of some of the best-known Stellenbosch Wine farmers, Jean van Velden of Overgaauw, Liza Malan from Simonsig amongst them. They started the famous Stellenbosch Wine and Food Festival in the Stellenbosch Town Hall where delicious specialities like Waterblommetjiebredie, Pancakes were interspersed by wine stalls. Quite an occasion in the town and one to which many locals and out-of-towners looked forward each year. She and a couple of friends founded the iconic Oom Samie se Winkel, still a place where tourist buses stop off to buy memoires of their visits to the town of oaks.
Muratie Manor House
Annatjie, now the Chatelaine of Muratie where the legend lives on. I think if there is one person who could answer all your questions about nostalgia food it is Annatjie.
Now her book, Koljander, koljander so deur die Bosch. DJ Opperman, a giant of Afrikaans literature wrote a poem for the Fynproewersgilde and added ‘eintlik vir Annatjie Melck” – actually for Annatjie Melck. He wrote of ‘kerriekos eet, varkrib en bruin wildbraad, souskluitjies met kaneel en gesproete pannekoek.” Eating curry, pork belly and brown roasted venison, dumplings with cinnamon and freckled pancakes. My translations do Opperman’s words no justice.
Kim & Rijk Melck – the legend continues into the next generation
The recipes reflect Annatjie’s life journey from the plains of the Great Karoo to Muratie, a beautiful wine farm on the slopes of the majestic Simonsberg. Over 100 dishes interwoven with Annatjie’s life’s journey.
If you’re into nostalgia and the comfort food of your youth, this one’s for you.
I salute you Annatjie, what a truly great privilege knowing you.
Koljander, koljander so deur die Bosch is published by Lapa Uitgewers, www.lapa.co.za. It is available in Afrikaans only.