Dunk and Enjoy! Buttermilk Rusks from South AFrica

This recipe is for buttermilk rusks, one of the snacks you were offered if you attended the launch party for the boxed set of devotional books, In All things. The boxed set is no longer available, but you can get the paperback here.

13 weeks of devotions from Christian authors of South Africa, including Anna Jensen, Ann Goodfellow, Crystal Warren, Deryn van der Tang, Dianne J. Wilson, Marion Ueckermann, Shirley Corder, Val Waldeck, Vida li Sik, and Yvonne Tippins. 

Background to the creation of rusks:

The South African karringmelk (buttermilk) rusk can be compared to American biscotti, but they are, in fact, only distant cousins.

The S.African rusk evolved from early Cape settlement and from the pioneers making their laborious and dangerous trip  inland from the coast via ox-wagons. They are extremely hard, almost inedible unless dipped (or dunked) in hot coffee, or as in our case at the In All Things launch party, Rooibos Tea.  (Learn about Rooibos tea over at Anna Jensen’s blog by clicking on the link.)

Enjoy a karringmelk (buttermilk) rusk - almost inedible until dunked! Then it's wonderful! Click To Tweet

Photo copyright Kyle Ueckermann. Recipe copyright Hanlie Morrison.

The best way to wake up in the morning - to a cup of steaming coffee or tea and a S.African rusk (or beskuit). Click To Tweet

So now let’s make rusks!

Sorry the ingredients are metric, but that’s our method of measurement in SA.(See Conversion  Table here.)


3kg self-raising flour
2 x 500g butter
2 x 500ml buttermilk
8 eggs (beaten well)
1 desert-spoon baking powder
2.5 cups sugar
2 teaspoon salt


Mix self-raising flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
Melt butter and sugar together slowly (body temperature ONLY).
Add buttermilk.
Pour the melted mixture into flour mixture.
Add beaten eggs.
Knead well.

Press into oven pans about 1.5cm high.

“Cut” into rusks about width and length of adult middle finger by pushing a long flat object (eg. ruler or egg lifter) into the dough to separate the dough. Do not try to cut with a knife – the dough will just drag.

Bake for around 1 hour in a 165 degree Celsius preheated oven. Stick a toothpick in and if it comes out clean, they’re ready. If not and the rusks are browning, cover with foil and bake longer.

Once baked, remove and break into separate biscuits along pressed lines.

Place back into the oven pan, stacking biscuits loosely and dry overnight in a 70 degree Celsius oven.

Make sure to wedge something in the oven door that will keep the oven open fractionally—about a centimeter—so that there is airflow to dry the rusks slowly.

How to eat a rusk:

Once rusks are ready, grab a cup of coffee (or rooibos tea – follow this link to read more),  dunk and enjoy! There’s a knack to dunking. Dip the rusk too long and it’ll break off in your hot drink. Too short and you could just break a tooth! Dip twice before  popping the end into your mouth. And keep a teaspoon handy to fish out any errant pieces that bob to the surface of your drink.

“The accepted and correct way to eat a rusk is to dip it in a cup of tea or coffee. (Anyone who tells you otherwise, does not deserve to eat them.) Click To Tweet


A Unique Anthem and a Prayer

[stextbox id=’alert’]To stop the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 in South Africa, a National lock-down is currently in place until midnight 16 April. For more see: National Covid-19 website[/stextbox]

If ever South Africa needed prayer it’s now.

Yet every time we sing our anthem, we pray.

If ever South Africa needed prayer it's now, yet every time we sing our anthem, we pray. Click To Tweet

As COVID-19 sweeps the globe, South Africa started behind many of the big countries, partly because we were in summer while other countries were in winter. Evidently, COVID-19 doesn’t like heat. However, we have now joined the pandemic and sadly, we’re catching up.

Only God can save this land –  as indeed is true of the world. 

Only God can save this land - as indeed is true of the world. Request prayer for your country here. Click To Tweet

As a country, South Africa has some unique problems, including a huge population suffering with AIDS and TB. We also have huge residential “townships” jam-packed with people, many of whom are not able or willing to cooperate in the call to a total lockdown of 21 days.

But we have also some amazing factors in our favour.

  • Our president called for a national day of prayer.
  • He and the government have issued strict regulations to control a nation-wide lockdown of at least 21 days.
  • The police, supported by the army, are trying to enforce these regulations. Why anyone wants to rebel is quite beyond me, but there you have it.
  • But perhaps the biggest factor of all is our National Anthem. You see, it is actually a prayer.

South Africa is famous for many “firsts” but I wonder how many people know that our official anthem, Nkosi Sikilel iAfrica is the only neo-modal national anthem in the world. That means, it ends in a different key to where it begins. It is also a multi-language anthem.

The national anthem of a country is normally sung in the language used by most of the people of the nation. But we have twelve official languages! So read on . . .

The South African anthem developed along with the history of the nation as follows:


N S_A_Flag

History of Anthem

  • 1897: a Methodist school teacher by the name of   Enoch Sontonga composed a hymn in Zulu, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. This was first sung in churches, but later became used as an act of political defiance against the apartheid government.
  • 1918: South African poet, C.J.Langenhoven, wrote an Afrikaans poem called, Die Stem (The Call).
  •  1921: Rev. Marthinus Lourens de Villiers set the song to music.
  • 1936: Die Stem van Suid-Afrika became the co-anthem with God Save the King/Queen.
  • 1942: Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika was published in Sesotho by Moses Mphahlele.
  • 1957: Die Stem became the sole national anthem.
  •  1994: The S.African government adopted both Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and Die Stem as the national anthems, and they were both performed at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela.
  • 1997: All of these were merged to form the current anthem. New English lyrics were adapted from the last four lines on the first verse of Die Stem and part of the Sesotho version was included.

The Result

The result is a stirring anthem sung in the five languages of  Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English.

The national anthem of South Africa is the only neo-modal anthem in the world. And it's a prayer in five languages! Click To Tweet

After you’ve read the words below, listen to the song.

Language Lyrics English translation
Xhosa Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo
God bless Africa
Let its (Africa’s) horn be raised
Zulu Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.
Listen also to our prayers,
Lord bless us, we are the family of it (Africa).
Sesotho Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
Setjhaba sa, South Afrika, South Afrika
Lord bless our nation,
Stop wars and sufferings,
Save it, save our nation,
The nation of South Africa, South Africa.
Afrikaans Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,
From the blue of our skies,
From the depth of our sea,
Over our everlasting mountains,
Where the echoing crags resound.
English Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.
Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.

Click here to listen to this magnificent anthem (less than 2 minutes).

[stextbox id=’info’]Will you offer up a prayer for South Africa right now? Afterwards, please add the name of your country into a comment below and I promise to add your country[/stextbox]


Round up of a fantastic Africa Book Safari. Read all about how a virtual safari across Africa became an incredible success. Please RT Click To Tweet

The Initial Idea

It all started several months ago, when Marion Ueckermann and I had a long phone chat discussing ways we could showcase some of the Christian authors of Africa, i.e. authors who either live in Africa, or were born and brought up here before emigrating to lands afar. We also felt they needed to have at least one book published that was based in Africa to qualify for what we had in mind— a book safari. read more

A Real Live African Safari!

The year of Africa in the Corder Home!

As many of you are aware, we have just come to the end of an amazing virtual Africa Book Safari on Facebook.

For many years, my husband, Rob, and I have longed to go on an African Safari with a game drive which takes you off-road to see some of the animals close up in their natural habitat. But they are all SO expensive, and now that we’ve reached retirement we couldn’t see it ever happening.

However, it is 50 years this month since we entered full-time ministry when my husband was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. We wanted to celebrate it in some special way. What better way than to take a game drive into a game reserve? Especially after the recent publication of my book, God in Africa, and the conclusion of the very successful Africa Book Safari. (More about that tomorrow.) read more

Let’s Visit Val Waldeck and her book With My Own Eyes

Visit Africa with author Val Waldeck on the Africa Book Safari. Read her interview and learn about her new book, 'With My Own Eyes'. Please RT. Thank you. Click To Tweet

The Africa Book Safari

During the month of October, a group of authors, who either live in Africa or are rooted in this amazing continent, teamed up for an exciting adventure. read more

Authors & their Books on the Africa Book Safari

So the Africa Book Safari Weekend has come and gone.

Prizes have been won and are mostly on their way to the winners. Specials were appreciated, some are now over, others coming to an end. Most importantly, I hope you had a chance to interact with some of the authors of Africa and perhaps meet some you didn’t know about. I certainly have, and I’m part of the team! I’ve got a couple of new authors that I intend to pursue and read their books.

The thrilling thing is the one bond that ties us all together: A love and common knowledge of our wonderful continent. It’s amazing how you can learn about a country through devotional material, travel insights, memoirs, non-fiction, and novels of different sorts. From romance to suspense to legal stories.

Here are the safari authors interviewed so far via this site:

Shirley Corder writing

Friday 25 – Shirley Corder
 90-day Devotional Book

    Saturday 26 – Marion Ueckermann
Christian Romance

Monday 28 – Lynnette Bonner
Historical Romance

Tuesday 29 – Lisa Harris
Christian thriller

Thursday 31 Greg MacKinnon
Christian Legal Suspense

Friday 1 Nov – Dianne J. Wilson
Christian Suspense Novel

There are still three to go, so don’t stop visiting and commenting! It is so important for all the authors to be encouraged in this way. The fact that these are the last three has nothing to do with their importance. All of us were given a schedule to follow, so each safari author was covered by each of the others. So we were all second somewhere – and last somewhere!

Here are the three remaining safari authors to be featured on my site:

Ashley Winter
Feel-good Christian Novel

Anna Jensen
Travel Devotions

Val Waldeck
Non-fiction Memoir

And then there will be one final round-off post looking back on a unique experience for us all.

So hang in here and please visit again tomorrow.

[stextbox id=’alert’ ccolor=’f7580f’]What have you enjoyed most about this entire Safari adventure?[/stextbox]


What Books and Authors do You Enjoy Reading?

Each weekday (including Saturday) we have someone sitting up front with Mr. Africa and he conducts an interview with them. Some days, we'll talk about the Safari instead, like today. Click To Tweet

What do you enjoy reading?

So what do you enjoy reading?

Do you enjoy fiction?

Do you enjoy suspense? Then Lisa Harris has something for you.

Do you enjoy a legal story? Greg MacKinnon has the book for you.

How about romance? Do you enjoy a good love story? Marion Ueckermann and Ashley Winter have great stories for you. And don’t forget about Lynnette Bonner’s historical suspense and Dianne J. Wilson’s mystery set in my own home town of Port Elizabeth.

Or do you prefer non-fiction?

Perhaps you prefer non-fiction. Val Waldeck has a book of true stories, Anna Jenson has a devotional book based on her travels around Africa, and I have a 90-day devotion based on all sorts of different aspects of Africa.

But you don’t have to stick to your usual genre. Open your mind to new ideas. You may find something you really enjoy. Read all the posts. Leave comments on them all. The more comments, the more chance you may win a free book, or you may spot a special offer. Grab the opportunity to read something out of your usual choice and you may be surprised!

This blog hop is also an opportunity to get to know a bit about the authors and what they write. So don’t miss a post on the blog hop! And certainly attend the Africa Book Safari Weekend as often as you can!

Previously published in this series:

Chatting with Shirley Corder
Introducing Marion Ueckermann and her Book on the Cape Winelands
Authors on the Africa Book Safari
Lynnette Bonner sits up front on the Africa Book Safari
Lisa Harris – and her Christy-Nominated Thriller
Africa Book Safari Visits the Great Wildebeest Migration
Meet Greg MacKinnon and his Christian Suspense Novel, Closure
Speaking to Dianne Wilson at the Africa Book Safari

More still to come! See you tomorrow?

[stextbox id=’alert’ bgcolor=’f25a07′]Have you read all these interviews? Which one did you enjoy most?[/stextbox]


Speaking to Dianne J. Wilson at the Africa Book Safari

Dianne Wilson sits up front at the Africa Book Safari today. Read more here. Click To Tweet

Dianne at the Africa Book Safari

During the month of October, Dianne J. Wilson was one of a group of nine Christian authors who either live in Africa or are rooted in this amazing continent and teamed up for an exciting adventure. Read her interview here. Please RT Click To Tweet

Dianne: We’re going on an Africa Book Safari! Together, we will discover some of the rich, diverse colors and nuances of Africa through stories, devotions, and memoirs, all set in Africa. What’s more, because we are writers, we would like to invite you all to come along with us!

For free!

Our Safari Guide will be interviewing each of us, and we invite you to listen in as we chat about ourselves and our books.  We had an amazing time, and here’s my turn up front with the Safari Guide! And here he comes!

Meeting the Safari Guide

Safari Guide: Hi! I believe you are Dianne J. Wilson, is that correct?

Dianne: Yebo! You can call me Di. And you, I presume, are going to be our Tour Leader for this great time. What should we call you?

Safari Guide: You can call me Mr. Africa!

Are you all comfortable? Please buckle up your seat-belts. Starting today, I plan to show you all different angles to this continent. Everyone, let’s go discover Africa!

As our large safari landrover moves away from the buildings and heads into the wilds of Africa, Mr. Africa swings in his seat to face me.

Interview commences

Safari Guide / Mr. Africa: So, Di, tell me a bit about yourself. Have you always lived in Africa?

Di: Africa born and raised! Born in Kempton Park, I grew up in the sprawling metropolis of Boksburg. Just kidding, it’s actually more of a ‘dorp’. We moved to East London (the South African version) when I was 19 years old and we’ve been here ever since. I’ve never been one to move around much.

Mr. Africa: And what family do you have?

Di: Hubby and I have three daughters. The eldest is currently doing her 3rd year at Stellenbosch University. My middle child is finishing her 1st year of beauty therapy (yes, I do get free treatments…) and our youngest is 12 and still in Primary school.

Mr. Africa: Di, did you always want to be a writer? Or what prompted you to start writing?

Di and Writing

Di: My English teachers at school loved me. I used to get full marks for creative writing all the time. I started a writing course via correspondence when I was working, but I never finished it. It did gain enough skill to write for South African magazines as a freelancer.

I soon realized that I was hankering after doing what God had created me to do. I saw an interview on TBN with Ted Dekker and he spoke of Jesus as the ultimate fiction author as He taught using stories. That blew my mind and within two days, I’d be given the plot and characters for my first novel – Shackles. That one took a long time to write and never landed a publishing contract. It did open doors for me with an acquisitions editor at Pelican Book Group who said she loved my writing, but the structure of the book was wrong for them. She gave me a detailed list of everything that needed fixing, so I wrote my second novel, Finding Mia, with her advice in my head. Pelican accepted that for publication and I went on to publish another 3 books with them.

Mr. Africa: What genre do you write in, and why?

Di: I’ve written romantic suspense, teen / YA urban fantasy and my current work-in-progress is contemporary woman’s fiction with a dollop of humour. I think I may have found my niche with this one.

Mr. Africa: What book are you going to be sharing with us during this safari? Tell us a little about it. What inspired this particular story or topic?

About Shackles

Di: I’m sharing Shackles. It takes place across a few locations in South Africa – most of them places that are familiar to me. Firstly, East London in the Eastern Cape – this is currently our home. It is a coastal city half-way between Gauteng and Cape Town. Portions of the story happen in Stutterheim – a gorgeous jewel of forests and waterfalls with the Gubu dam at the heart of it, a perfect place to go hiking. Parts of the story happen up in Gauteng where I grew up, as well as the vast farmlands one travels through between the three other places.

My inspiration for this story came from scripture – ‘Then you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.’ John 8:32

This is the blurb … Jason is not the kind of guy you would want to take home to mom. He’s foul-tempered, a bit of a womanizer and has a conscience that has been collecting dust for years. All that is shaken up though, when he unearths a package of carefully preserved love letters and a portrait while diving off the coast of Africa.

So many unanswered questions, the letters snag something inside of him. Intrigued despite himself, he begins to unravel the mystery caught up in pages. He finds himself tangled up in the life of a girl he’s never met… a girl who is in desperate trouble.

Shackles on Amazon

Mr. Africa: Di, it sounds exciting, and I’m looking forward to reading it myself. You obviously have a deep love for this land. What in particular makes Africa so special for you?

Di: Life in Africa isn’t easy, but our people rise to challenges with bravery, grit, and joy that inspire me. There’s something about living free in the face of hardships that strips away anything fake and leaves the genuine behind. Even with all its brokenness and challenges, our country is beautiful! With everything from stunning beaches, forests, mountains, deserts … you name it, we have it. I love our country. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Mr. Africa turns off the landrover’s engine and points.

Dung Beetle on the road!

Mr. Africa: Everyone, if you look carefully you’ll see there’s a dung beetle crossing the road. In Africa, these goggas are always given right of way. They are considered keystone species because they help decomposition, seed dispersal, and they help control the number of vertebrate parasites in grazed habitats.

The dung beetle slowly crosses the road backwards, balanced on its front legs and using its back legs to expertly maneuver the perfectly round ball of dung.

Mr. Africa checks if anyone wants to eat after watching fresh dung being rolled across the road. Nobody seems too bothered, so he takes out refreshments.

Mr. Africa: This seems like a good time to swap out who rides shotgun. Perhaps one of the other authors can join me up front.

Di, which do you prefer? Coffee or tea? Sweet or savory?

Di: Tea please, regular tea – not Rooibos. No sugar, just some milk. Enkosi. A piece of droëwors will do as a snack for me. I love the spicy flavor of dried beef sausage.

Changing places

I’m loving being with you all. Please, everyone, stay in the vehicle and visitors, feel free to pop in at all the watering holes, um I mean, blogs! I’ll be posting one a day over the next few days.

CLICK HERE  to read the original interview with Dianne on her own website.

Previously published in this series:

Chatting with Shirley Corder
Introducing Marion Ueckermann and her Book on the Cape Winelands
Authors on the Africa Book Safari
Lynnette Bonner sits up front on the Africa Book Safari
Lisa Harris – and her Christy-Nominated Thriller
Africa Book Safari Visits the Great Wildebeest Migration
Meet Greg MacKinnon and his Christian Suspense Novel, Closure

Don’t forget! Random prizes being offered for comments through the interview posts.

[stextbox id=’alert’ bgcolor=’f26422′]So for today: Dianne’s book is set in locations familiar to me. Can you think of any books written in locations known to you? Does it make a difference? What do you think?[/stextbox]

Meet Greg MacKinnon and His Christian Suspense Novel, Closure

Greg MacKinnon sits up front with the driver and safari guide today. Read about it and don't forget to comment. Click To Tweet

Africa Book Safari

During the month of October, a group of Christian authors who either live in Africa or are rooted in this amazing continent teamed up for an exciting adventure.

Today our Safari Guide is interviewing Greg MacKinnon. Read on . . .

read more