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|Letter Reference||Olive Schreiner BC16/Box11/Fold2/Undated/43
|Archive||University of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
|Letter Date||October 1913
|Address From||De Aar, Northern Cape
|Who To||Frances (‘Fan’) Schreiner nee Reitz
The manuscript of this letter by Olive Schreiner belongs to the Archive referenced above; its ownership of the original should be acknowledged by referencing the letter as indicated: Copyright transcription: © Olive Schreiner Letters Project. This transcription can be freely used as long as copyright is acknowledged and it is referenced using the following citation: ‘Olive Schreiner to Frances (‘Fan’) Schreiner nee Reitz, October 1913, UCT Manuscripts & Archives, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. The month and year have been written on this letter an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in De Aar from November 1907 until she left South Africa for Britain and Europe in December 1913, but with some fairly lengthy visits elsewhere over this time.
I generally make my bread with zoet-zuur, which I like the best; but
4: sometimes I make it with the "magic yeast", which one gets in little
5: tins at Cartwrights. I like the zoet zuur best, but the magic yeast
6: is quicker to rise, & if one is in a hurry its a great help. One
7: secret of making bread keep fresh long is to use a great deal of nice
8: fresh butter or sheep tail fat to rub the pans with. I always take
9: 12lbs of meal – that makes two pans which is as much as my oven will
10: hold, & I use quite ½ a lb of butter or sheep tail fat to rub the
11: pans with. It keeps the bread fresh by closing the pores of the crust
12: & so it doesn’t dry out. I learn that from an old Boer woman when I
13: was 18, who made the most splendid bread. I never use ordinary sour dough.
14: Neither Cron nor I can bear it: its all ri right the first day but
15: gets sour at once. One great secret of good bread is to have the oven
16: hotter at the bottom than at the top. If its too hot above the bread
17: sinks down when you put it in instead of rising up. I never let the
18: girl come near the stove days when I’m baking if I do she’s sure
19: to spoil it: make it too hot at the top &c. The baking is more
20: important than the kneeding even.
I am so anxious to know how our little Ursie has got on with her exam
23: =. I’m afraid she won’t have been able to do herself justice just
24: coming off a voyage; but I shan’t be much disappointed if she fails.
25: This first exam = is a very stiff one, & so is the last.
The dear Purcells stayed here for 10 days. I was so glad I was able to
28: keep on what Cron calls "my hind legs", all the time they were here.
29: We had fine weather all the time they were here. Will brought the rain
30: as he always does.
Good bye dear old sister
^Give my love to Katty when you write. I hope she is better I often
37: think of her.^