Sunelle’s mom, Ansie, and six of her friends who had all gathered to watch her demonstrate her braai skills, were excited to see the result of her first braaibroodjie. They knew Sunelle had never done more than scramble an egg, so everyone was nervously holding thumbs for a successful result.

It didn’t go very well. There was a lot of smoke – and a lot of coughing. So after two minutes, Sunelle removed the fiery, smoky grid from the braai.

“Here, Ma,” she said, “You go first. Have a taste.”

Tentatively, Ansie took a bite of the braaibroodjie, but it was so tough that her dentures got stuck, and came off in the crust.  There was also the problem of black smoke – very black smoke – still rising from the bread. And the bread was very black, too.

“Ai tog, Sunelle,” said her ma, after rescuing her dentures and returning them to her mouth, “You’re supposed to put the charcoals IN the braai, not between the grid and the bread.”

“O genade, mense!” exclaimed Sunelle.  “You guys know mos I’m not very good with the little details. Never mind, we still have a braaibroodjie, don’t we?”

“Um, yeees,” said her friend, Jana, nervously. “But let’s have coffee AND braaibroodjie.” 

So Sunelle’s very tactful friends all forced down charred pieces of bread while sipping sweet coffee. If there were a Nobel Prize for Tact and Diplomacy, Jana would have won it.

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