My name is Jane-Anne Hobbs Rayner. I'm a freelance journalist, editor and author, a cook, food writer and recipe developer, and a mother of three. I've lived in Johannesburg for the past 17 years, and have recently moved, with my family, to Hout Bay, which is about half an hour's drive from the centre of Cape Town, South Africa.
If you'd like to get in touch with me, send me an email: hobray ['at' sign] gmail.com.
ABOUT THIS BLOG
Affiliation: Scrumptious South Africa is an independent African food blog. By 'independent' I mean that my blog is not sponsored by anyone, and that I don't endorse products in exchange for freebies, money or publicity. Any branded product recommended on this blog I have bought myself, and mentioned because I think it's good, tasty and exciting. You're welcome to send me press releases, or invite me to launches and lunches - I like to keep up with new developments in the food world - but please don't expect an automatic mention in return. If I like what I see, I'll write about it.
Disclosure: I'm a paid recipe developer and social-media consultant for several clients. If I mention their products on this blog at all, I'll always disclose that I work for them.
My recipes: The recipes on this blog are, with a few exceptions, my own original work: in other words, I have devised, developed, tested and written them myself. Of course, there are very few recipes these days that can be called truly original: every recipe builds on the work and patient testing of many generations of talented cooks, chefs and alchemists. Where I've adapted an existing recipe, or drawn on the work of other cookery writers, or found inspiration in someone else's recipe, I always say so.
Photography: I take all the photographs on this blog myself, using natural light. I do take some trouble over photographing the dishes I make, but I also try to keep them simple. I'm no fan of fussy, over-styled food photographs, and I try to make my pictures reflect the spirit of these recipes: in other words, simple home cooking.
About me: I've been cooking since I was nine or so, but it's only in the last twelve years or so that cookery has turned from a hobby into something of an obsession. And no, I'm not going to say, like those annoying TV cooks, that I am 'passionate' about food, fresh local ingredients and punchy flavours (Duh! Doesn't every cook feel that way?). I'm enthusiastic, yes, but I think the word 'passion' should be reserved for activities that involve reading books or removing your knickers.
I can say that I do love food, especially simple home cooking that warms your heart and makes your tastebuds sing. All I want from a plate of food is that it tastes really good, feels lovely on your tongue and fills your stomach with joy. Sure, a plate of food should look good too, but not so good that it fills you with terror: I don't like cheffy, fiddly, arty-farty food, silly fusions and flavour combinations, food stacked in towers, foams, spooms, smears, dribbles, drizzles, twirly bits, or any recipe that contains the word 'jus' or 'coulis' (unless it's written in French).
I love a precise, well-tested, carefully thought out recipe, and try hard to ensure that any recipe posted on this blog is just that. (I could try harder on the precise front, though.)
My cooking/eating style? I love fresh crunchy salads, home-made soups and all vegetables except butternut and pumpkin. I adore roast meat - beef, lamb, pork and chicken, in that order - and would like to eat fish every day: fresh, smoked, pickled or tinned. I have a particular passion for the warming spices of Indian cuisine. Although I'm more or less obliged to make them now and then for my family, I never eat desserts, cakes, scones, muffins or starchy sweet things, but I do love ice cream, especially zingy fruit sorbets and yoghurty lollies. And I'm not a very good baker.
I collect cook books and brochures from the fifties, sixties and seventies, and have a particular fondness for ring-bound recipe books compiled by school-mommy committees, church groups, and so on. (These are a rich source of wonderful recipes, not least because, in my experience, a women who contributes a recipe to a book that's going to be circulated among her peers will contribute the very best recipe she has in her arsenal, and chances are she got it from her mother, who got it from her mother, and so on. Some of the recipes you'll find in cookbooks of this sort are hundreds of years old.)
Want to contact me? Send an email to hobray at gmail.com (use the @ symbol instead of 'at').
Please note that the recipes and photographs on this blog are copyrighted, and that you may not use them without my express permission. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work (and that includes rewording or reworking one of my recipes, and presenting it as your own). I assert my moral rights over all text, concepts, photographs and innovations on this blog. (Sorry to sound so fierce, but you will not believe how much time I have to waste sending polite emails to people/bloggers/websites/newspapers, reminding them that they're not allowed to nick my stuff at will.)
If you'd like to use a photograph or recipe, drop me a line and ask! I never say no to a reasonable request.
SCRUMPTIOUS IN THE MEDIA
- Five of my recipes, and a short profile, in the November issue of Crush! Online (pages 10 and 11)
- Article about South African women bloggers, by Delia De Villiers, from Femina magazine: Dear Blog
- An interview with 702's Jenny Crwys Williams: (right at the end of the clip)
- Here's a recent column, by Helen Brain, from the Cape Times: Internet Remedies for Those in Labour
- Here's a more detailed description of my blog and cooking philosophy on my sister blog Cooksister: Spotlight on Scrumptious Blog
All text and photographs © Juno (Jane-Anne Hobbs Rayner) 2007-2011. Want to contact me? Send an email to hobray at gmail.com (use the @ symbol instead of 'at')