Chop chop, deliver the drugs

UNDER the direction of food blogger Nagi (, the IOS did indeed serve up the best potato salad in the world.

UNDER the direction of food blogger Nagi (, the IOS did indeed serve up the best potato salad in the world.

Published Dec 31, 2023


Durban — Celebrating a new year is a strange human ritual.

It’s always been puzzling. We go from one day to the next as usual, but there’s an immense burden of expectation about better times suddenly on the way. Why anyone expects happier, more prosperous days to come because of a calendar change is a mystery. If it’s in your power to improve things, why not start right away instead of waiting for January 1?

On the couch, the changeover starts in abject misery. From about 11.30pm on the 31st, there’s a great deal of drug delivery and home inspection.

Are all the windows and doors closed? Have all the curtains been drawn? Is the TV loud enough? Has the human made a pit-stop, filled the water bottle and have vapes and the TV remote at hand? No moving from the couch for the next two to three hours.

Four out of five canine family members don’t like the bangs, but one is reduced to a trembling, salivating, terrified 60kg lap dog.

The human must ensure drugs have been dealt so they have taken effect before the first explosion, but not too soon that they don’t last until the session of insanity is over. Once the first blast happens, the big boy is too frightened to even eat a Vienna, the favoured delivery vessel. He and his human must be in place with the comfort blanket on hand to wrap over him and the lap. The human must stay calm and soothing, fending off the fear that he will have a heart attack. The air grows bluer as the cussing of fellow humans becomes increasingly sailoresque.

Mercifully, most in the ‘hood abide roughly to the legal time limits, if not the decibel readings.

On a happier note, the human can report that earlier this month the IOS did indeed deliver the secrets of the best potato salad in the world, but it comes with a caveat ‒beware the words “finely chopped”.

Food blogger Nagi ( promised her secret ingredient made her recipe stand out.

Our family is not great with salads, but we have a long and proud history with this one. First my mom delivered the goods that had everyone standing in line to dish up from her bowl. Then my sister Jan married Sean, and he took over the title master potato salad provider for family gatherings. I missed him more than usual this year because I would have loved to hear what he thought of my new version. I added a couple of things to Nagi’s and it was my best creation ever.

It will be a limited edition, though: there is just so much fine-chopping one can do.

Any slicing, dicing or chopping in this house is done on the coffee table in front of the couch because of mobility issues. Being a less-than-skilled cook, the swift, smooth master chef method of chopping results in bits flying all over the place, so it’s a much more pedestrian action here. It took nearly a full day to complete all the chopping: six ingredients, but admittedly enough for two large bowls.

So new year, new potato salad. We have set higher goals, but if that’s as good as it gets, it’ll be a good new year indeed. We wish you a happy, healthy, peaceful and successful 2024, chop chop.

Independent on Saturday