It seems very likely that we will be experiencing loadshedding over the festive season once again this year. This puts everyone’s planning on hosting family and friends in a bind. There are however a few ways to dodge the common loadshedding pitfalls.
We are here to help you develop healthy(ish) coping mechanisms this festive season.
Step 1 Feeding the Masses
There is no shame in getting take-aways!
In fact, supporting your local pizzeria after two long years of intermittent lockdown is practically your civic duty. Call them up during loadshedding and order your favourites in advance. You can even arrange for delivery if you want… (We would.)
All that’s left for you to do is toss together a salad (if you really feel like it), open a couple bottles of red wine and wait for the doorbell to ring.
No stress, no mess, no dishes, no fuss. Just pure hosting bliss.
Another firm favourite for festive season entertaining is of course, the traditional braai. Cut the need for electricity out of your cooking process completely by doing everything on the fire. Bake bread in your kettle braai, wrap veggies in tin foil and pop them in between the coals to slow roast or make a meat and veggie potjie with couscous. (You only need boiling water.) For dessert serve ice cream and fruit salad.
A tried and tested traditional way of hosting. A favourite for good reasons. (Who can resist a tjoppie?)
If you don’t feel like (yet another) braai, why not serve cold platters of cheese, nuts, biltong, and bubbly with a dessert of decadent chocolate and coffee. You can be as extra or as low key as you feel like. Add fresh raw veggies, interesting dips and crackers, pâté, and fresh bread, or keep it simple with creamy camembert and some onion marmalade.
Informal relaxed and good for deep conversations, because no one needs to remember to turn the meat or check on the pizza delivery guy.
Step 2 Setting the Mood
For the most part, South African weather is in our favour, and you can mostly make use of natural light for your event. As long as you start in the afternoon.
For extra light, you have a couple of options. Ditch the noisy generator during loadshedding and try something convenient and pretty.
Solar lights can light up your garden so the children can stay outdoors all evening long and the grownups won’t trip over the children.
Fairy lights can add atmosphere and just enough light to ensure no one bumps into Oupa. String them up in trees, above doorways and around yourself. Bundle strings of fairy lights into glass jars and use them as lanterns on the table.
Candles and oil lamps add unmistakable ambience…but be careful, accidents happen, and no one wants to visit the emergency room over the festive season.
Step 3 The Sweet Sound of Success
Finally, it’s time to sort out the tunes when loadshedding kicks in.
Invest in a rechargeable Bluetooth speaker and make sure it has at least two hours of playing time when fully charged. Just remember to charge it to full capacity to give you as many hours of music as possible.
Create and download playlists on Spotify or YouTube music, and make sure you have more than one phone charged and available to connect to your new speaker.
Alternatively, bring out your guitar, build a big (safe) campfire and sit around it playing festive songs as if the internet doesn’t exist and all is well with the world.
Looking to upgrade your outdoor cooking capacity? There is still time! Click here to get going!