Friday, February 26, 2010

last days of summer

With days still spiking into the sticky mid-30s, I haven't wanted to turn the oven on much. Late summer is all about fruit. The cherries ended as abruptly as they arrived, apricots have had their day, peaches are still doing their thing and plums are stealing the scene.

When it comes to berries I'm a stickler for organics, in season. The local blue berries and strawberries have been spectacular this month - eaten within a day of purchase, at room temperature. Why would you want to trick up such stunning flavours?

There's a hint of autumn in the air, a whisper of cooler days to come. But for now there's a few weeks left of grazing the fruit bowl, lazy salads for dinner and sushi for lunch.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

the week that was

A quickie – as this tennis-elbow-over-use-painful-arm kind of thing means I really should keep away from the computer for a while.

But while I’m here – a few things from the past week.

The muffins just keep getting better. I’ve found that 3 bananas are even better than two, ground macadamia nuts go well with chocolate and they can always take a bit more spice. Today I supplemented the last of the unbleached white flour with 50% buckwheat and they were perfect.

Eating lots of salads – a tin of legumes, another of tuna, lots of fresh greens, fennel, Tommy toes from the garden and olives, bought together with a mustardy vinaigrette.

Quiet weekend – perfect for an espresso and some journal writing.

Tomatoes continue doing their thing. Have slow roasted a big tray with some garlic, slipped off the skins and whizzed up the puree and frozen in batches for winter. On one of those hot, steamy summer nights no less.

Grapes have been smaller in number of bunches this year but taste wonderful. We stand under the vine and them straight into our mouths.

The Vietnamese mint is the happiest I’ve ever seen it. Very lush. Hopefully it won’t go the way of the peppermint that flourished last summer then died all of a sudden.

Mushroom identification anyone?

Found these little fungi lurking in the pot of rosemary today. Any ideas on what they are?

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

delicious and nutritious: please discuss

I couldn't have got a more perfect long weekend in Wellington - the weather was warm, the sunsets golden and the people as wonderful as ever.

While the social highlight was a huge party on the South Coast with the best view of the glorious sun setting over the Marlborough Sounds (not something you see often from Wellington) - I was one free glass of sparkling wine away from asking strangers at random "Do I know you? Did we bonk in the '80's?" Fortunately I was distracted by the many luminaries, a freshly announced Oscar nominee, some of the countries leading visual artists and rock stars...and catching up with people I didn't recognise after over 20 years.

Foodwise the standout was The Matterhorn, that I have mentioned before still dishing up great modern kiwi cuisine with unusually good service.

This t-shirt is in the running for the most curious thing I saw while on holiday.

Cuba Street, Wellington (with vegetarian sister looking on with horror)

Oh that kiwi sense of humour!

But perhaps the oddest site was my visit coinciding with a rather unusual rugby event, The Sevens, where whole tribes of people don matching costumes and wander the city for two and a half days. Some even go watch the games but many just appear to hang out in the streets or along the waterfront drinking vast quantities of liquor. There were scores of Tiger Wood's, smurfs, marmite jars, beer cans, Fred Daggs and more film and tv characters than you could poke a stubby at.

Now...if only I could catch up on some sleep and get this busy week under my belt then I can get back to cooking the truckload of tommy toe tomatoes that have fruited in abundance in my garden!

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010


I’ll be away for a few days partying across “the ditch”. Just keep talking amongst yourself while I’m gone.

I loved the discussion on the last post, glad to know I’m not alone. I’m wondering though if anyone under 30 responded? Maybe we of the 30-up age group see this kind of marketing as some kind of affront but there’s another generation that actually welcomes it?

Please enlighten me. I won’t bite. I genuinely want to learn the other point of view.

Have a great (long for some) weekend everyone.

* be back in a bit


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