Use What You Can and Be Thankful For What You Have

by jabulanisafari

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Jabulani’s Spekboom Sorbet

Jabulani Chef Chanél Barnard grew up on a rural farm in the south of South Africa, where her mother and great grandma instilled in her a strong passion for food, cooking and self-sufficiency.

“I grew up in a very rural area. It wasn’t easy for us to just pop to the shops,” Chanél says, sipping a morning coffee.

“My upbringing was very much about ‘use what you can and be thankful for what you have’. We baked bread, we grew plum trees and pomegranate trees, we had a big veggie garden. We didn’t waste anything.”

She explains that working at Jabulani has allowed her to stay in touch with not only these strong values, but also with traditional family recipes such as Mosbolletjies.

Today, she is showing us how the native South African succulent Spekboom (also referred to as Elephant Bush as it is highly fed on by elephants) is incorporated into the Jabulani menu.

“My great grandma’s house was always filled with plants, especially succulents,” Chanél says. “For breakfast we’d have oats and toast with homemade spekboom jam.”

Spekboom can be used in many recipes including cakes, smoothies, salads and chutneys. Today, Jabulani guests will be offered Chanel’s spekboom sorbet.

We follow Chanél past HERD elephant orphanage to the vegetable and aquaponics garden where they have multiple spekboom plants growing. Chanél explains that the plant is an amazing propagator and also plays an important role in the ecosystem in the way that it efficiently absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

She takes her cuttings from one of the larger plants which are then taken back to the kitchen to be incorporated into a classic lemon sorbet. The result is a delicious combination of sweetness and bitterness. The perfect refreshing treat to finish a big day spent exploring the South African bush.

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