LANCEWOOD, South Africa’s No.1 Soft Cheese Brand, conducted The Quality Time study to gain further insight into the cooking and eating habits of South African families, how much quality time was spent together during mealtimes and what barriers families are facing. The study revealed that 89% of respondents believe that quality time with their family is important. Many indicated that this is not always possible due to our increasingly demanding, fast-paced, modern lifestyles.
2,100 respondents were interviewed online representing families across South Africa. We collaborated with four local experts to provide clarity and insights into the realities of households in their respective fields, adding context to our findings and sharing their simple tips on making the most of family mealtime. The experts are Vanessa Raphaely, Vicki Sleet, Zola Nene and Dr Ilse de Beer.
Further research findings:
– Work commitments and commuting are big barriers to families spending time together.
– 59% stated that lockdown has allowed them to eat together more often and 43% are cooking together more.
– Unsurprisingly, Mom is the primary decision-maker when choosing what to cook, at 48%.
– Almost half (45%) of the respondents spend their mealtimes watching TV or using their phones.
Trouble with tech
“Many of us battle with too much screen-time. We’re all trying to cut down, but none of us have nailed it yet. However, technology isn’t always bad. It is about ensuring a healthy balance,” says Vanessa Raphaely.
Psychologist Dr Ilse de Beer advises, “Parents should encourage quality family time to engage and have fun. It is also important to limit time spent with technology. If we can balance these two things, I think our family structure will develop in a much healthier way.”
Finding the balance
“A meal doesn’t have to be a formal one. Just having a sandwich together, or even a cup of tea can do wonders to help families bond. There’s something about letting go of everything formal and finding simple and creative ways to spend time together,” says Vanessa Raphaely.
Shereen Anderhold from LANCEWOOD says, “With our busy and demanding schedules, it’s okay to opt for the quick and easy 15-minute meal in the week because there will be other days where you feel like making your ultimate Sunday lunch with all the bells and whistles. It is about finding the balance that works for you and your family.”
Create a space to eat together
While sitting down for meals at a traditional spot like a dining table or kitchen table may not always be practical, 34% say this is where they spend their mealtimes together.
“Creating a space in your home to eat and actively clearing your mind to be present also goes a long way in having quality time. Where possible, try and separate your workspace from the area where you eat to help with distinguishing between work time and family time,” says former magazine editor and stylist Vicki Sleet.
Food brings us together
Food is about much more than just nourishment. It is a way of communicating, expressing creativity and creating memories. It is a way to mark a special occasion or offer comfort. Ultimately, food plays
a major role in bringing people together. It is considered ‘bonding time’ by many and a manifestation of love.
“For me, food has always been an expression of love. It’s like presenting your soul on a plate to somebody. It’s the value you put into making sure that somebody enjoys whatever you give them to eat. Food is love – I think everybody thinks this, just to a different degree,” adds chef and food stylist Zola Nene.
Creating quality mealtimes with your family does not have to be daunting.
“It’s all about the simple things that can be done to make little moments more special and less mundane, so a good idea is to dial up your creativity and find new ways to serve up old favourites. Planning your meals ahead of time, bulk buying, cooking and freezing meals helps to free up time, maximise your budget and bring back quality mealtimes,” concludes Shereen.
1 roll puff pastry, defrosted
75ml cake flour
50ml corn flour
50ml castor sugar
A pinch of salt
2 extra large eggs, separated
5ml vanilla essence
1 x tub LANCEWOOD® Mascarpone
Preheat the oven to 230˚C. Line a 25cm in diameter x 5cm deep pie dish with the pastry. Refrigerate until needed.
Mix the cake flour, corn flour, castor sugar, salt and milk together until smooth. Push through a sieve to get rid of any lumps. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks, half of the sugar and the vanilla essence together and set aside. Add the mascarpone and milk to a pot and stir over medium heat until the mascarpone has melted into the milk. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites and the remaining sugar together until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone mixture to the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Return the combined mixture to the heat and stir until thick. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour into the prepared pastry shell and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and lower the heat to 190˚C. Cover loosely with foil and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Sprinkle cinnamon over once cooled and enjoy!
No-Bake Nutella Cheesecakes
6 mini cheesecakes
200g packet chocolate coconut biscuits, finely crushed
60ml – 75ml butter, melted
2 x tubs LANCEWOOD® Full Fat Plain Cream Cheese, room temperature
250ml Nutella chocolate spread
5ml vanilla essence
White chocolate shavings or speckled eggs, smarties, chocolate covered nuts or fresh berries
Spray sides of six 7cm x 6cm high stacking rings with non-stick spray, or use a 20cm springform pan. Place on a baking sheet or tray. Mix crushed biscuits and melted butter. Press into prepared rings using the back of the spoon.
Break cream cheese up with fork and place in mixing bowl. Add chocolate spread and vanilla essence. Beat until smooth. Spoon on top of prepared crusts and tap lightly to even out. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove from rings.
Decorate with chocolate shavings or a topping of your choice.