A Feast Made with Love

The Midlands MagazineDecember 17, 2021

Highlighting local producers from the greater Midlands area. This Christmas, Notties Spar hopes to inspire you to shop local and create your own “Midlands Festive Feast” combining some of their incredible suppliers within your menu.


Chef ‘n Thyme Christmas Spiced Salad

Fresh and colourful for the festive season and all made from scratch. Serve this beautiful salad with a Chef n Thyme Beef Wellington. Available from Notties Spar in the frozen section.

Chef ‘n Thyme came about five years ago, and Notties Spar was our first outlet. We started off supplying fresh salads and expanded into our frozen meal range and catering for functions. Our kitchen is based in Bergville, and we pride ourselves on only using the best quality ingredients. Chef ‘n Thyme has grown from strength to strength thanks to our wonderful staff, word of mouth and the amazing support that we have received from the wonderful Midlands community.


 Christmas vinaigrette

 30ml finely chopped coriander

30ml finely chopped mint

15ml white wine vinegar

15ml Dijon mustard

1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped

125ml mild olive oil

15ml honey

5ml ground coriander

7.5ml ground cumin

Pinch nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined. Set aside for later.


Candied walnuts

Oil for greasing

60g Spar brown sugar

80ml water

10ml honey

2.5ml ground cumin

2.5ml ground coriander

Large pinch of salt

200g roasted walnuts


Place foil on a baking tray drizzled with olive oil – set aside.

Combine all the ingredients, besides the nuts, in a pot. Put on low heat until all the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and allow to simmer until the liquid has reduced and is caramelised. Remove from the heat and stir in the walnuts until coated. Spread walnuts over the foil, sprinkle with salt and allow to cool.


Christmas salad

1x 410g Spar chickpeas, drained

250g Cream cheese

100g Dried Cranberries

2x 30g First light farm summer mix microgreens

40g wild rocket

1x cucumber, made into ribbons using a peeler.

1x butternut, peeled and cut into small blocks.

3X beetroot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds.

1x pomegranate seeds

2x avocado, cut into wedges with fresh lemon juice squeezed over.

Black pepper and Salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C, put butternut and beetroot into separate pans and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the butternut is golden and beetroot is cooked through.

Place the rocket, microgreens and chickpeas on your platter and lightly use your fingers to make sure there’s not a layer of each ingredient. Add the cucumber, beetroot and butternut and again, use your fingers to bring some of the bottom ingredients to the top. Add the avo and sprinkle over the Candied Walnuts, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds. Lightly use your fingers to bring some of the bottom ingredients to the top. Using a teaspoon, place spoonfuls of cream cheese on the salad. Finish off with some freshly ground black pepper and salt. Just before serving, drizzle with your Christmas vinaigrette.


Dargle Valley Meats Roasted Honey and Mustard Wood-Smoked Gammon

Sweet and smokey deliciousness served like a masterpiece. This glazed gammon will be the talk of your Christmas dinner till next Christmas.

Set in the foothills of the southern Drakensberg, Dargle Valley is a family-run butchery and farm.

Known for creating high-end products, it is no surprise that this little family business has grown from strength to strength – becoming a household name among customers who want to know where their meat comes from.

All of their products are handmade on the farm using the finest quality meat, blended with custom spices. They avoid using gluten and MSG, and no rusks, starches, or soya is added to any of their products.

Their hams are hand-pressed, and their bacon is dry-cured as they believe that you can taste the difference – guaranteeing a healthier product for you and your family.

Roasting Instructions:

1 Dargle Valley Meats Wood Smoked Gammon

2 teaspoons Hot English Mustard powder

100ml Honey

6 cloves

2 bay leaves

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the gammon in a large piece of tinfoil. Rub the gammon with the mustard powder and honey, then scatter over a few cloves and bay leaves. Wrap the tinfoil loosely around the gammon to form a pocket. Make sure the foil is tightly sealed. Place the wrapped gammon into a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour per kg.


Once the gammon is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool enough just to handle.

Peel off the thick skin making sure to leave the fat on. You may need a sharp knife to help you along. Next, using the same sharp knife, score the fat in a criss-cross pattern at least 2cm by 2cm.

Glaze Ingredients:

1 cup Spar apricot jam

1 cup Spar brown sugar

60ml Hot English Mustard

1 teaspoon dried ginger

Mix all the ingredients together to form a thick paste and smear it over the top and sides of the gammon. Pop the gammon back into the oven at 200°C for 20 minutes. Baste the gammon with the glaze that has melted off after 10 mins.

Decorate your gammon with pineapples, cherries, apricots – whatever you fancy! We suggest putting these on after the glaze and before it goes in the oven, as this will give your gammon a lovely, caramelised look. If you feel the glaze has not caramelised enough after 20 mins just pop the grill on for a few minutes. Watch it carefully as it burns very quickly.


Finchley Farm Christmas Pavlova

Sweet and light with juicy berries and cream are what makes a delicious pavlova. This is a perfect dessert to share for the festive summer season.

Finchley Farms Barn Eggs are produced in our cage-free barns on the Finchley Farms in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Finchley has been a family-owned and run business for over 30 years and involved in poultry for the last 25 years.

We are supporters of Humane egg production, and this method is becoming more and more popular as the customers become aware of this new world standard of egg production. We were the first company in South Africa to be validated by AFSQ to meet all the standards and more of the Gazetted Barn Egg method of Farming. We are very proud of this achievement as we are now the national blueprint for Barn Eggs in South Africa.



Finchley Farm Barn Egg whites

1 ½ cups Spar Castor Sugar

2 teaspoons cornflour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon white vinegar

2 tubs Spring Meadow Cream

2 tubs Westwold Blueberries

1 punnet Freshline Strawberries

1 tub Cherries

3 tablespoons Spar Icing Sugar



Preheat the oven to 120°C fan force. Using a pencil, mark a 20cm circle on a sheet of baking paper. Line the baking tray with baking paper, pencil side down.

Using an electric beater, beat egg whites just until firm peaks form. Gradually add castor sugar, one tablespoon at a time, make sure sugar is dissolved between each spoonful. Add cornflour, vanilla, and vinegar. Beat for 30 seconds. Spoon or pipe the meringue onto a baking tray using a circle as a guide. Shape meringue into the desired shape using a spatula.

Bake for one and a half hours and then turn the oven off—cool Pavlova in the oven with the oven door ajar for one hour. Take out and cool at room temperature.

Beat cream until firm peaks form, pipe or dollop cream onto Pavlova. Decorate Pavlova with blueberries, strawberries, and cherries. Lightly dust Pavlova with icing sugar.