And it started with her still in nappies, roaming freely on the family farm, where they reared cows and sheep. Amid those wonderful memories is the smell of freshly baked and cooked goodies.
This marked the birth of her love affair with food. It later culminated in her attending chef school as an intern at the acclaimed Le Quartier Français. She worked under the watchful eye of Margot Janse and Chris Erasmus.
When she was done, she returned to eMkhondo (Piet Retief), where she opened and ran a bistro for two years.
She immersed herself into the world of blogging and food media, which became the catalyst in her moving to the Mother City to do just that for PnP Fresh Living magazine.
Her skill-set as a food stylist was sought after for Neill Anthony - The Private Chef on SABC3, Siba’s Table 2 on Food Network, Fabulous Food Academy (also on Food Network) and Just Cooking with Justine Drake on BBC Lifestyle.
When pushed to share her fondest memory of life on the family farm, Alberts struggled as there were just too many to mention.
Focus then shifted to the book.
She says, “I am privileged to work with a number of publishers as a stylist and recipe writer and Craig (Fraser), co-owner of Quivertree Publishers, and I have been talking about an Afrikaans heritage cookbook for aeons now. But one fateful Easter weekend I decided on a whim to escape the rush of the city and head to the farm. My grandparents recently passed on and my mum and I were digging through their old books when she came across my gran and great-grandmother’s recipe book... and it just happened.
“I pulled my laptop closer and began typing and didn’t stop until I was back in Cape Town. I approached Craig and Libby with a skeleton manuscript and they said: ‘Yes!’ It’s been a dream come true.”
Butter & Love is packed with recipes for most family occasions. She adds, “Well, these (the recipes) were the stand-out ones and the stand-out events - every family has a culture and this was ours.”
As for her favourite recipes, she shares, “I love the Tamatie Bredie - we farmed with lamb and my grandma would make this weekly and invite us over for dinner. Currently, I love the ‘delicious rusks’ as they are so convenient for breakfast and I adjust them according to what’s in the pantry. The milk tart is up there, too. And the malva. Most of them are my favourites. I can’t tell a lie. The only recipe I don’t really like is the banana salad but it is a classic.”
Thai and Vietnamese food ranks highly as her popular dishes. Alberts admits, “I also bake bread often and make vegan desserts - like cashew cheesecake and date balls. That’s the thing about being in the food industry, you have to jump around so often (with themes) that you just can’t stick to one specific thing for too long.”
Of the ingredients she simply can’t do without, she says, “Garlic, olive oil, lemon and soya sauce.”
Of course, for anyone who loves South African heritage cooking, this is the book for you.