Friday, 29 August 2014

A Couple of Recipies... My Turn To Cook Dinner!

 It was my turn to cook dinner. Sweet & Sour Pork I decided.
The pork is marinating and the vegetables chopped.

 The end result... It was delicious, there was none left!
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
1 egg white
Put all in a bowl add pork pieces and chill 1 hour

Prepare whatever vegetables you like, chopped into
similar size and shaped pieces

Heat a little oil in a pan and cook pork pieces till brown.
Lift out and put aside.

Add a little more oil and stir fry vegetables till tender.
Lift out and put aside.

Sauce - In the same pan put
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon soya sauce or tamari
Bring to boil, stir in pork and vegetables
Add 1 can pineapple pieces and juice
Return to boil. Thicken with 2 tablespoons
cornflour mixed with 1/4 cup water.

Serve over rice, couscous, pasta or quinoa.

Then I made dessert... I was given a bag of limes
some of them Key Limes so I made...


Biscuit base... 1 pkt Digestive biscuits, crushed
130gr melted butter
2 tab sugar
Mix together and press into a tin with a removable base.
Can cook 8 minutes at 160deg or just chill.


 All sorts of limes... Even the little orange ones are limes...
Sour as, when I tasted them!

Separate 3 large eggs. Only use yolks - beat till thick & pale
add 1 can condensed milk, beat thoroughly
Slowly add 1/2 - 3/4 cup lime juice, beat till very thick
Soak 10gr gelatine in 3 tablespoons cold water in a
small pan for 10 minutes then heat gently till dissolved.
When cool stir into pie mix, pour over biscuit base. Chill
Scatter grated zest of 3 limes over the top.
Serve with whipped cream.

 Mmmm... Closely resembles a cheesecake but with a lovely
tart flavour. To make gluten free make the
base from crushed nuts... Hazel nuts are delicious.

Bon Appetit...

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Maitai Bay... A Far North Magical Place

 My last day in The Far North... The beach was a must...
So Carolyn and I went off exploring in the sun...
This is where we went... Maitai Bay at the top of
Karikari Pensinsula where there is a DoC camp.
Looking at the bay from the top of the sandhills.

The gap in the rocks out to sea... It was a perfect day...

 We walked from one end of the beach...

 The rocks and swirling water...

 And inevitable Pohutukawa  trees clinging tenaciiously
with their twisted roots to the rocks.

 And back along the warm sand...

 Paddling in the blue, blue water...

 We found some dead and dehydrated  Porcupine Fish...
Sometimes called Blowfish or Pufferfish...
Lethally sharp spines on their back. I wouldn't
like to stand on one of those!

 Right round to the far end of the beach... to the rocks...

And more Pohutukawa trees.
The Far North is my favourite area of New Zealand...
How many times have I said that before!
I was sad to say goodbye... But I'll be back.

In the evening the weather changed to a wet sultry display...

A dark evening to say farewell... For now.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Marsden Estate Winery...

Carolyn, my friend I was staying with  in Kaitaia, decided
we would go to a winery for a decadent lunch. So
after looking on-line we decided on Marsden Estate... Near Kerikeri.

This is the bar and wine tasting area. We decided to do some
tasting before choosing a bottle of wine to have with lunch...
It was a lovely experience with several award winning
wines to choose from.

All the awards on the wall...

 This is what we chose... Marsden Bay of Islands,

We had looked at their menu on-line... It sounded so good. Carolyn chose 
Saffron & fennel risotto with pan seared scallops & Italian pangrattato.
I decided, after much deliberation! on... Twice baked goats cheese
souflee with flat leaf parsley, caramelised onion & green salad.
It was so delicious we just had to have dessert - Vanilla Creme
Brulee with vanilla bean ice cream and mini shortbread.
We finished our lunch with coffee...
An Affogato for me!

This is inside the cafe. We lingered so long we were the last to leave.

Across the covered in roof is a lattice of beams all
draped with grape vines... It would be lovely, leafy
and green in the summer.

This is the view out the clear plastic walls, which can be
rolled up in the summer,  looking into the garden...

All the grounds are beautiful and in the summer guests are
free to walk and wander amongst the vines and explore
the garden.

Outside are the wine vats...

And barrels of maturing wine...

It was a great place for a delicious lunch.
I highly recommend it as a 'Must Visit' place
to eat and walk and dream amongst the vines...

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Two Movies...

 Wow... I came out of this movie shell shocked...
But it's worth seeing.
The gang violence is horriffic but... A true
story about Genesis Potini, a Maori Bio-Polar
chess genius who rescues his nephew Mana -
played by James Rolleston - of 'Boy' fame -
from his father's gang life.
An excellent and extremely well acted story.

This is a  lovely stress-free movie...
The opening of a new Indian restaurant in the
south of France over the road from a famous
Michelin-starred eatery, is nearly the cause for
all out war... But all ends well.
Helen Mirren is her usual brilliant
self as Madam Mallory.

I went to see both of these movies at the
Te Ahu Centre in Kaitaia. It's a fabulous place
to spend time.  As well as a cinema there is the
library, the museum and a cafe with good coffee.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Raclette - A Traditional Swiss Dinner...

 While I was in Kaitaia friends, Al and Teresa, invited us for 'Raclette'.
Translated it means 'Poor man's winter food' but Racette is a cheese
first eaten as early as the 16th century by the people of the mountainous
Canton Valais of Switzerland. The name 'Raclette' is derived from the 
French verb "racler' - to scrape. In the old tradition, cow
 herdsman took the cheese when moving cows in mountain pastures. 
In the evenings they would place the cheese next to the fire 
and when soft scrape it onto bread.

 Today table top Raclette grills are more usual, creating the
opportunity for a tasty social meal with friends... This is what we enjoyed.
Raclette is a staple of wintertime Switzerland.
It is essentially melted cheese, served over boiled potatoes with lots of 
ground black pepper, accompanied by small pickled onions and gherkins.

 This is the 'Coupelle' used to melt the slices of cheese
underneath the electric table top grill. The smaller tool is used
for cooking the  - 'Charcuterie' meats and vegetables that are
then put on top of a boiled potato, cut in half, piled with
whatever you have cooked on top of the grill plus the gerkins
and pickled onions and topped with the melted Raclette.

 Raclette has a lovely rich taste and with its special melting properties.
 Teresa bought this block of Raclette from the Dutch cheese
shop in Kaiwaka... Phone and order one day, it's delivered
to your door the next day.

 Cutting it into slices with the special cheese cutter...

 Ready to grill...

 Our 'Charcuterie' - Ham, pineapple, mushrooms...

 Beef, bacon... What a spread... Plus the traditioal
gerkins, pickled onions, olives...

 Traditionally this meal is eaten in Switzerland on 1st August
The Swiss National Day since 1290 when Switzerland became
a federation. I could eat it any day!

It was delicious... Served with copious wine... The emphasis in 
raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable eating and drinking, 
the meal often running to several hours.

A fabulous winter time treat and option to the summertime BBQ.

I think I'll be getting a Raclette grill to use in my bus.
Thank you Teresa and Al for a great new eating experience.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Paua - Parengarenga Harbour...

 The last stop on our way home from Te Paki was Paua...
On the Parengarenga Harbour. I had heard about
this place but never been there.

 Parengarenga is a large shallow harbour that extends inland for over
10 kilometres, almost severing the northern tip of the island from the
 rest of the peninsula. The harbour mouth is in Great Exhibition Bay.

The brilliantly white sand of Kokota Sandspit, at the southern head of
Parengarenga Harbour, has provided a source of high purity silica  sand for
glassmaking. Dredging continued here until 1997. While smaller or
lower purity deposits are found elsewhere in Northland,
the Parengarenga area holds the region's largest silica sand resource by far.

The water is a habitat for Green Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Killer Whales
and Pilot Whales.

The harbour is home to thousands of Godwits between February and March,
 as they congregate before their lengthy migration to Siberia and Alaska.

 Parengarenga from a distance as we drove down the gravel road.

The white sand dunes seen in the distance are the planet’s purest 
source of silica, exported worldwide from Whangarei.

The white is silica sand... Not waves...

The tide was out which left an expanse of sand... Excellent for fishing!

An old jetty...

Not safe for fishing from...

But a sandy boat ramp gives beach access...

This is a freedom parking area. The key to the locked gate
is available from the Te Keo shop... $10 a night.
Nothing but a grassy paddock... But good fishing.