The Snyman Blog

A blog about the Snymans

living in Cape Town

with their own unique slant on life

and three kids

Tucsonm AZ

Yes, you read that right, we are moving to Tucson, Arizona. This might come as a surprise to many of you, in fact, it comes as a surprise to us too. We had never really intended moving to the USA, but in the last few months a number of things have happened that have prompted us to re-evaluate where we live, and this has resulted in us making the decision to move to the USA. Read more about We're Moving to Arizona, USA!...

Cola Gammon with Maple and Mustard Glaze

This blog post is long overdue. In fact, I meant to write this post shortly after Easter this year. It's been sitting in my to-do list since then. Oh well, rather late than never!

For our family Christmas last year I made roast gammon, but Hannah and I wanted to make it a little more like the gammon she grew up with. Then I heard a weird story: instead of boiling your gammon in water, boil it in cola. Apparently the acid in the cola helps to break down the gammon a little and make it that much more tender. We loved the Christmas gammon so much, we decided to make it for Easter again.

Hannah found two recipes online which I used as the base of mine. One was a normal maple and mustard glaze recipe, the other included the cola.

Another reason for writing this recipe (other than the gammon comes out amazingly awesome) is because I'm tired of reading recipes where the writer assumes that you know everything there is to know about this subject. Hello, I wouldn't be using your recipe if I knew how to make gammon.

Often recipes call for exact amounts or weights, and with the gammon we get in the shops, that is unlikely to happen. Hannah found instructions on how long you need to cook the gammon according to its weight, and I've included it below.

Read more about Coke Gammon with Maple and Mustard Glaze...

Making Apple Cider

A while back I decided I wanted to try my hand at making hard apple cider. I've been talking about it for quite a few months now, and I finally got the opportunity to go and get my first piece of equipment, a glass carboy fermenter.

Glass Carboy FermenterThis is the first cement step toward actually doing what I said, so this means I need to commit to see it through to the end.

Fermenting Apples and Making Cider

At this stage, I have a fair idea of what I need to do, but I'm going to be doing a whole lot more reading up on the actual process of crushing, pressing, fermenting and bottling the cider. I know I'm going to need to make a cider press if I really want to get as much juice out of the apples as possible, so I've been researching how to make a cheap but effective cider press. I've come across a couple of blog posts of seemingly easy-to-make presses, and some actual instructions supposedly by Jamie Oliver. I also found a nice video of a fairly simple press.

I also need to figure out how to crush the apples. In one of the above blog posts, they use a sledge hammer (!!), but another site that details the process suggests using a juicer or other more commercial tools. I'm pretty sure Hannah would love a juicer, so I think that's probably going to be my best bet.

Of course, the cider forums on is a mine of information and advice, which I aim to make extensive use of.

For now, however, I have lots of reading to do. And a cider press to build.


[ apples image credit: Apples by Steve P2008 ]

Read more about Making Apple Cider: The Beginning...

Memphis, Tennessee
American Sports Co.
New York
American Superstar
Ohio State
Brooklyn, NY
American Football
Atlanta, Georgia
American Super Pro
Hartford, Connecticut
Rhode Island

There are times each day that I feel like a referee- constantly breaking up little squabbles between the boys. Other times though, they surprise and delight me with their impeccable manners and politeness. Anneke seems to bring out that side of them more than anyone else does. She inspires her older brothers to take turns, share, and be gentle- to think of someone else's needs besides their own. When she sneezes, Josiah immediately says, "bess oo, Onka" (bless you, Anneke). When she cries both boys shush and pat her, croon loving words to her, or sing her a song. Read more about Things our kids teach us (and each other)...

We made homemade granola (or muesli, as it's known here) today! Zak made an excellent chef's assistant- cutting dates, fetching and prong away ingredients,  and pouring them in.  Can't wait to eat some! #homemade #granola #cookingwithkids #norefinedsugaro

Like most parents, we're always looking for affordable ways to feed our family healthier. So today Zak and I made some homemade muesli, and I'm hoping the boys will take to it well enough that we can stop buying sugary breakfast cereals (much as I love them myself, I know they aren't good for you). We found some great local sources for GMO-free oats, honey, and dried fruit. We got the oats and dates we used in this recipe from His Working Hands, which is a local business run by a Christian homeschooling family. They're out on the other side of town but deliver here for a small delivery fee, and their prices make the delivery cost more than worth it. They also have excellent prices on honey, which we've also bought from them, but in this case I used honey from the Exceptional Foods Consortium, which was running a Christmas special- they're another small local company, just starting out with some incredible products! If you're in the Cape Town area, do yourself a favour and check these companies out!

I've had some people express interest in how to make muesli. Most people don't realise how easy it is to make it at home. I grew up with homemade muesli (or granola as we call it in the States), and people in the States were always amazed that you could make it at home too. In light of this, Raoul said I should share my recipe on our blog. Well of course, what an awesome idea!

When I saw today's word I was a bit stumped. I already explained how we don't often leave our children in a previous blog post, and that was the most obvious thing to blog about. I realised there are ways that we do "leave" them though.

We leave them to create their own schedules as babies- I breastfeed on demand, often wear them for naps (especially in the early days), and they go to bed at night when they're tired for the most part.

Zak is our firstborn, and that is such a special thing. I KNEW before I took the pregnancy test, that I was pregnant. We weren't even trying for a baby (weren't even considering trying for a baby for another year or two!), but somehow I knew. I prayed for him every night, from even before that pregnancy test turned positive. Zak changed so much in my life.

One of the most (if not THE most) important aspects of parenting for a couple, is to be united in your decisions. It can really harm a marriage to be divided on issues of parenting, and it's something that comes up before the baby is even born! If any young couple or unmarried person reads this, take note! Read more about 31 Days of Parenting Littles: Unite...