Herman Lensing’s latest cookbook, Huiskos follows the success of Dit Proe Soos Huis after he realised that there is a need for food that we all understand and food that everyone and anyone can cook. “It’s easy food that comforts,” he says about his latest cookbook, which took the country by storm.
What is huiskos?
It’s a book that brings you home. “Home for me is where I feel safe,” says Herman. He paints the picture of a large kitchen table where everyone is always welcome, with a hint of nostalgia. He explains that the book speaks of this as you page through it and says that he used “vintage plates as props, but in a modern setting.” The recipes set the tone of the book, though and are all easy and comforting recipes for even beginner cooks.
Herman says that it is a recipe’s ingredients that makes it unpretentious. “It’s simple. I am not shy to use ingredients like Cremora or cake mixes. It’s simple, everyday ingredients.” He also uses only a few ingredients per recipe, which makes it easy to find and easy to process.
For him, the stories behind the recipes are what makes the cookbook special. “It’s important, otherwise it’s just recipes.”
Photographer, Michael le Grange helped Herman, who did the styling to create the look and feel of the beautiful book, which has a bit of a Danish feel to it. “After watching The Danish Girl, I was deeply touched by the use of blue to tell the story,” he says. “It calmed me down. I did a bit of research and discovered that the shade of blue used in the movie makes your heart beat a little slower, that’s why when watching the movie, you feel empathy toward the character. I wanted to use that same tone to show readers the power of home food in a subtle way. That it calms you down and makes you feel at ease.”
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The book is filled with recipes that Herman collected over 34 years. “It’s travels, friends and readers who shared good food with me that I always kept in my food bank and when the time was right, I used them,” he says.
Travel and food
Herman says if he doesn’t travel, he can’t feel it in his work. “I need to travel. We all need to,” he says. “The cultural differences of people are always interesting, but the common denominator will always be food. I always try to bring recipes I get from my travels back to South Africa by using locally sourced ingredients and terms we understand. I love this continent and always try to honour her by using what she gives us every day.”
Herman’s favourite recipe from Huiskos:
According to him, the beef short ribs with green sauce is always a winner, served with a Diemersdal Pinotage, of course.
WIN a copy of Huiskos
Stand a chance to WIN the cookbook, Huiskos in English or Afrikaans by following these simple steps:
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- Tag someone with whom you like to enjoy home food with on the post about the competition.
The competition is valid for South Africans only. Entries close at midnight on Monday, 31 January 2022. Good luck!