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Load shedding: Christmas diners go for Eskom-proof food menus, Capetonians braai and picnic

Capetonians gave tips on how they will combat this unique Christmas challenge this year, saying they will be braaing and going on picnics. File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

Southfield resident Tarcia Eiman and her family were planning their entire Christmas around the load shedding schedule and were patiently waiting for the app to update before they made any other pans.

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“Should there be load shedding on Christmas afternoon, we’ll have, for the very first time ever, a Christmas supper. Should there be load shedding late afternoon, we’ll have Christmas brunch in the morning. All of this very much breaking tradition! To keep foods cool, we’ve filled 2l cooldrink bottles with water and frozen these.

“When load shedding hits, we put the frozen bottles in the fridge alongside the foods to keep cool,” she said.

Eiman said they had to cancel her mother’s famous paella dish this year because seafood plus load shedding would surely result in quite a few upset tummies.

Fairways resident Eric Walington said: “We are definitely braaing this year and not taking any chances with any oven-related cooking.”

Speaking to the Cape Argus, South African celebrity chefs Siba Mtongana and Reuben Riffel said the burden of load shedding was definitely changing the typical menu options this Christmas, and had made many rethink their much-anticipated Christmas lunch menu.

Reuben Riffel said the burden of load shedding was definitely changing the typical menu options. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency

Riffel said people should be sure to be well stocked up with ice and predicted a little ice shortage with people already rushing to the stores to buy large quantities of 5-litre water bottles for their freezers ahead of time and keep all their drinks and meats frozen.

Riffel added that people should try adding some more sherry to their trifle this year as alcohol was a great preservative (and good for some extra festive cheer).

Mtongana said just because electricity would be unreliable on Christmas Day did not necessarily mean people were foregoing their favourite festive dishes. People were getting creative with braais, gas stoves, even dabbling in spit braais and open fires for cooking.

Mtongana added that if people wanted less stress this year, they could visit local restaurants to try their delicious Christmas specialities. She encouraged people to try the special Christmas menu at the SIBA – The Restaurant at the Table Bay Hotel.

Highly acclaimed celebrity chef, Siba Mtongana, opened her first Cape Town restaurant at Table Bay hotel in the V&A Waterfront in 2020. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

kristin.engel.@inl.co.za and soyiso.maliti@inl.co.za

Cape Argus

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