The Good Man returned from a week in South Africa last night. He came bearing gifts - clothes, treats and biltong. This last item is not necessarily your traditional duty-free purchase. It's air dried meat seasoned with salt, coriander and peppercorns. In South Africa it is the snack food of choice. Keep the crisps, but never forget the biltong.
It's best application is as a teething aid for babies. Yes, we give our children large chunks of dry, uncooked meat to chew on when their gums are sore. Unconventional, perhaps, but highly effective.
Anyway, my husband knows his girls well - he brought us 1kg of the stuff. We piled in last night, Bambi and I. She has grown very protective of her bag of meat - I heard her growl when her father got too close.
This morning, when the Good Man went to wake her he promised her a special treat if she ate her breakfast like a good girl. He had a bowl of warmed strawberries in mind.
'Yes,' she said. 'Biltong'. Good girl! its' the South African genes talking!
This also reminds me of a work colleague the Good Man once had - an American of Chinese descent. He came to South Africa on a business trip and could not understand why people kept chuckling when he introduced himself. It had started at passport control and continued on from there.
But then his name was Bill Tong.