Picnic in Akeldama is about family, friends, faith, folklore, food, and life. Here are brief descriptions of every item found in the picnic basket. Click on the titles to read the blogs. All links open in new tabs/windows.


  1. Blog Beginnings, Again…

In which the writer tries to justify a fourth attempt at blogging, and explains what the reader may expect from forthcoming posts.

  1. Treasuries of Family Food

In which the writer describes the impression made upon him by old recipe books, yellowed with time and stained by the crumbs and drips of innumerable dishes.

  1. Spiced Orangeade – How Did I Survive Summer Without It?

In which the writer waxes lyrical about Spiced Orangeade, a wonderful alternative to shop-bought soft drinks, and supplies a recipe for the same.

  1. A Prague Rendezvous with Absinth, the Green Fairy

In which the writer explains how the search for absinth took him to Prague on his first trip abroad, and how that ended up in his first published story.

  1. Cooking in My Mother’s Kitchen

In which the writer apologises for his extended silence with a story about moving to South Africa’s Eastern Cape and cooking in his mother’s kitchen.

  1. Jammy Devils: A Recipe from the Discworld

In which the writer describes how he provoked his grandfather to a tantrum with a favourite recipe from Terry Pratchett’s Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook.

  1. Easter Feasting: Food and Family

In which the writer tells of a Resurrection Sunday feast shared with loved ones, and shares quick and easy savoury and sweet recipes.

  1. Madeleines: A Decade-Long Quest for Tea Cakes

In which the writer waxes lyrical about finding a Madeleine mould and fulfilling a decade-long dream of baking the famed tea cakes. Recipe from Julia Child.

  1. Gingernut Tart: A Quick and Easy Teatime Treat

In which the writer extols the virtues of a cheap and cheerful tart, made with a favourite South African biscuit, preserved ginger, and custard powder.

  1. Nuts in May: Honey-Coated Pistachio and Rosewater Palmiers

In which the writer revels in the charms of the May Queen, Beltane, Maypoles, nuts, and AWW’s honey-coated pistachio & rosewater palmiers. With recipe.

  1. Carmelite Water: A Herbal Tonic for Mind, Body and Soul

In which the writer extols Carmelite Water, a tonic prepared by steeping herbs in alcohol. The writer also muses briefly upon Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

  1. Tubal’s Mill: A Review of Shani Oates’ Latest Book

In which the writer reviews Shani Oates’ latest release. Tubal’s Mill is an autobiography of Robert Cochrane’s traditional craft Clan of Tubal Cain.

  1. Out and About: People, Music, Food and a Photo Picnic

In which the writer celebrates a social life. Read about a concert hosted by Alliance Francaise, a summer picnic in winter, and St John the Baptist.

  1. Prasad in the City of Saints: Grahamstown National Arts Festival

In which the writer muses upon a day trip to the 2016 Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Read about sacred encounters in food, memory, and beauty.

  1. Bastille Day: A Feast with Alliance Francaise d’ East London

In which the writer recounts the Bastille Day Dinner organised by the Alliance Francaise in East London. Local eatery Sanook served up a French feast.

  1. The Feast of St Mary Magdalene: The Woman Who Knew the All

In which the writer reflects upon St Mary Magdalene. Christian, Gnostic, and folk elements are woven together in a lyric celebration of Her feast day.

  1. The Feast of St Martha: Dragons, Food and Tour de Force, Part 1

In which the writer muses upon St Martha and a visit to the market at Alliance Francaise’s Tour de Force. With recipe for chicken with tarragon sauce.

  1. The Feast of St Martha: Dragons, Food and Tour de Force, Part 2

In which the writer continues his musings on the curious legend of St Martha, patron saint of cooks. With recipe for fillet steak with tarragon sauce.

19. Bread for the Queen of Heaven: Honey Beer Bread on Marymas

In which the writer describes his custom of baking bread for the Assumption of Mary. His Marymas musings also touch on Diana, Hekate, and the harvest.

20. Taking Stock with St Michael: Bannock, Blackberries and More

In which the writer explores themes and customs of Michaelmas, the feast of St Michael. Bannock and apple and blackberry crumble recipes are included.

  21. It’s Elementary: Despacho and Afternoon Tea with Inkari

In which the writer gives an account of Order of Inkari water and fire despachos. Also provided is a recipe for apricot, walnut and thyme palmiers.

22. An Afternoon in Bedford: Pancake Stacks and a Rose Garden

In which the writer tells of an afternoon spent in Bedford. Find out about the delightful village and its rose garden, and see photos of the trip.