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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box11/Fold2/Undated/43
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateOctober 1913
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToFrances (‘Fan’) Schreiner nee Reitz
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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.
1 Dear Fan,
3 I generally make my bread with zoet-zuur, which I like the best; but
4sometimes I make it with the "magic yeast", which one gets in little
5tins at Cartwrights. I like the zoet zuur best, but the magic yeast
6is quicker to rise, & if one is in a hurry its a great help. One
7secret of making bread keep fresh long is to use a great deal of nice
8fresh butter or sheep tail fat to rub the pans with. I always take
912lbs of meal – that makes two pans which is as much as my oven will
10hold, & I use quite ½ a lb of butter or sheep tail fat to rub the
11pans 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
13was 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
15gets sour at once. One great secret of good bread is to have the oven
16hotter at the bottom than at the top. If its too hot above the bread
17sinks down when you put it in instead of rising up. I never let the
18girl come near the stove days when I’m baking if I do she’s sure
19to spoil it: make it too hot at the top &c. The baking is more
20important than the kneeding even.
22 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
24coming off a voyage; but I shan’t be much disappointed if she fails.
25This first exam = is a very stiff one, & so is the last.
27 The dear Purcells stayed here for 10 days. I was so glad I was able to
28keep on what Cron calls "my hind legs", all the time they were here.
29We had fine weather all the time they were here. Will brought the rain
30as he always does.
32 Good bye dear old sister
33 Thine ever
34 Olive
36 ^Give my love to Katty when you write. I hope she is better I often
37think of her.^