Tryphina Nkosi received a letter from her Vernon partner Janis Lauman. It included a photo of the potatoes Janis had harvested from her garden. Tryphina insisted (through an interpreter) that I come to her home on baking day so I could “shoot her” and give the photos to Janis in return.
A photo story . . .
We entered directly into the kitchen where Tryphina and her adult granddaughter, Victoria, had been baking for five hours. A large vat of samp, a type of hard cracked corn, simmered on the stove.
In a corner a large bowl of dough was rising, swaddled in a green plastic bag, covered with blankets and topped off with newspapers. I suspect the dough would have risen without a single cover, judging by the heat and humidity in the small space. Tryphina bustled about, eager to show all the scones, ‘long doughnuts’, and buns in various stages of completion.
And the reason for all this energetic activity? The next day was pension day, when she and Victoria sell their products to the elderly lined up to collect their pensions.
Tryphina sliced open a long john, piped in some cream filling and handed it to me. Not exactly Food Safe certified, but fatteningly yummy nevertheless. I did pay her the 3 rands (40 cents) she would normally charge for it.
(A personal side note about Tryphina: she is raising two orphaned grandchildren, and last Friday one of them, a teen-ager, went to buy bread at 9 pm. He was robbed of his cell phone (everyone here carries cell phones) and shot in the foot. He is still in hospital and it appears the bullet will not be removed. The police have the culprit.)