Wednesday 28 March 2012

7 years today

{via weheartit}

THEN a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.  And he answered:

Saturday 24 March 2012

A blooming great meal: Fleur's Place, Moeraki

While in New Zealand I hope to do two things - visit Fleur's Place in Moeraki and eat Bluff Oysters. ~ Rick Stein

Once in a while you have a meal that's so good it makes your toes crinkle under the table.  That makes you salivate just thinking about it even weeks later.

On our fruitful trip to Moeraki a couple of weekends ago, we were lucky enough to have lunch at famous Fleur's Place.  I say lucky because you usually have to book in advance and we just rocked up and managed to nab ourselves a table with only an hour waiting time - just enough time to check out the Moeraki Boulders up the road.

{moeraki boulders: rocked my world}

Saturday 17 March 2012

My blackberry is not working: Rhubarb & Wild Blackberry Crumble Bars

Ronnie: I bought something from you last week and I'm very disappointed.
Shopkeeper: Oh yeah? What's the problem?
Ronnie: Yeah, well, my blackberry is not working.
Shopkeeper: What's the matter, it run out of juice?
Ronnie: No, no it's completely frozen!
~ BBC One, The One Ronnie 

It's a sign of the times when you tell people 'we got free blackberries last weekend' and they think you scored a new mobile phone.

I remember going fruit picking all the time as a kid: getting scruffy knees from kneeling down in strawberry fields in the height of summer, getting prickled by boysenberry brambles when bush walking and coming home with ice cream containers filled with ruby gems and purple fingers.  A whole day of entertainment for us kids.  Free child labour for our parents.  Wins all round. 

Nowadays, all the strawberry fields in Albany have turned into subdivided suburbia and most of us get our berries in clear plastic punnets and our veges all hygienically dirt free from the vege aisle in a fluorescent lit supermarket.  So what an absolute treat it was to find wild blackberries growing on the side of the road on our way home from a trip out to Moeraki Boulders last weekend.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Remembering Sendai: Sakura Cherry Blossom & Lemon Palmiers

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I've always wanted to make palmiers.

These crispy buttery heart shaped cookies are oh so chic and call to my inner francophile.  So when it came time for our Baking for Hospice Summertime Round I knew I had to make Sakura Cherry Blossom & Lemon Palmiers.  Although technically the arrival of the blooming gorgeous cherry blossoms herald the start of spring rather than summer, it was the perfect excuse to use the bottle of Sakura or Cherry Blossom sugar that my brother's lovely girlfriend brought back for me from Japan.  Merci beaucoup!

I sat down this evening to post about these pretty palmiers and was just about to put fingers to keyboard when I heard over the news what day today was.  March 11, the one year anniversary of the devastating Sendai earthquake and tsunami.

{sakura sugar}
I remember the evening vividly.  It was the eve before my grandma's funeral and we were at the funeral home when we received news about the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami just the coast of Sendai.  An earthquake so powerful it shifted the earth off its axis and created a tsunami over 30m high.  It floored us, my brother especially.  My brother's girlfriend was living and teaching English in Sendai, the city that got the brunt of the tsunami.  Try as he might he couldn't get in touch with her.  My brother texted and called late into the night, his eyes never leaving the devastating footage on TV.  He stayed up all night watching the carnage unfold and eventually, in the early hours of the morning, he got finally through to Winsy.  She was safe.  Thank God.

But not everyone was so lucky.  So my heart, thoughts and prayers tonight go out to all those who one year on are still, recovering, grieving, and remembering.

{massive thank you to my cousin-in-law susy for these pretty as a picture cupcake wrappers xox}

Wednesday 7 March 2012

You say Sweet Potato, I say Kumara Salad with Coriander Lime Dressing

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. ~Voltaire

If there's one lesson I keep having to reminding myself time and time again is that you simply can't please everyone.  Like the famous scene in Anchorman sometimes you just have to agree to disagree.

Even on subjects far less contentious than the meaning of San Diego.

Like for instance, in the weekend I had a discussion with my husband about the definition of "ice block".
For me an ice block is any frozen dessert in the shape of a block on a stick.  C reckons if it's made of dairy then it's an ice cream regardless of whether it's on a stick or not.  But "ice block" is descriptive, I implored.  It's about substance, C counters.  For the sake of an harmonious marriage we agreed to disagree.

Tomato, tomato.

Which brings me to this pot-luck-fav of a recipe: Kumara Salad with Coriander Lime Dressing.   While the rest of the world calls these delectably sugary root veges "Sweet Potatoes",  in New Zealand they're known by their Maori name Kumara.  Which, in my humble opinion, is an altogether sexier name.


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