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Friday, 20 January 2017

Hangi - How To Feed 850 People

Recently we were in the Bay of Islands during the Tall Ships Race. We discovered they had put down a hangi to feed 850 people for the ceremony afterwards.
Anyone could buy a ticket for $15 and wait for the hangi to be unearthed at 7pm.
The hangi being uncovered


A hangi (pronounced harng-ee) is the traditional Maori method of cooking under the ground using heated rocks. There are a few different ways to do this, but for this particular hangi they used a digger to dig an enormous pit. Normally the pit would be dug with spades. 
The meals were individually prepared and wrapped in tin foil, before being placed over hot stones in metal baskets.The stones were preheated in a fire for about 6 hours. The baskets are covered with wet sacks, then tarpaulin before being covered in earth and left to steam for approximately 4 - 5 hours. 


The table that you can see held hangi cooked mussels (cooked in a separate pit), which besides being delicious, the shells were useful as spoons for the main hangi.
There was more than this - that piece in front is stuffing

There is nothing else like the flavour of hangi cooked food - steamed, smoked and slightly earthy. It doesn't look that attractive, but the meat is amazingly tender. They also did some vegetarian meals. All those people know - it's going to be good.

We took our meals and ate them off our knees, with a nice glass of white wine, overlooking this bay.    
Matauwhi Bay,  Russell, New Zealand

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Stone Store, Kerikeri, New Zealand

Old buildings in New Zealand are just babies, compared to the rest of the world, but this one is solidly built, and I think will be around for a very long time.
The Stone Store in Kerikeri was built in 1833. Currently it is still a store, selling wonderful well made, authentic items that would have been for sale during the 1840's.



The building next to the Stone Store is Kemp House - the oldest building in New Zealand - built in 1819.

The Stone Store, Kerikeri, and Kemp House




I bought a couple of brushes for my kitchen.




The store staff are in period costume and they take tours through the building every hour.



I loved that they even had glass jars of old fashioned boiled lollies for sale behind the counter.


Years ago Derek collected some of the hand made nails that were used in the original shingle roof, as they were tossed away by the builders doing the reroof.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Happy New Year, DIY Healthy Diet Tonic

Happy 2017! I hope it is a good one for all of you. 
For many 2016 was not so good, but personally, I had a great year. It was the year that I got in with some like-minded people to make a difference to our environment - further here about our plastic-free market project. Our band had it's best year ever, and generally, life has been sweet.

If you look at what is going on around the world it is easy to feel alarmed. I find that taking as much action as I can, and seeking out positive news helps to keep a balance mentally.

One little, spontaneous thing we did on Christmas Eve gave us such a buzz of enjoyment.
As Derek and I drove home from town, we came across a straggle of Te Araroa walkers, (more about them on a previous blog here), while they were still 15 minutes walk from our place. We decided to make a surprise Christmas morning tea for them, so as they rounded the bend, they were met with a hurriedly set up table and chairs, Christmas cake, chocolates and chocolate biscuits, stollen, cherries and iced orange drink. 



The looks on their faces were priceless, they were so excited. They were all from countries overseas, and they said they had not felt like it was Christmas (no snow for a start).
After stopping with us for nearly an hour, they trailed off to walk the rest of New Zealand, our Christmas decorations (donated) hung from various parts of their packs. 

So 2017? Well no resolutions, as usual, as I just jump in and do things as they occur to me. But this year my Derek retires (early), and we have a couple of overseas trips planned. I plan to use these trips to look at ways that other people are doing great things and clever ideas, plus have fun and catch up with family.
I plan to continue eating healthier, getting moving more, and doing my utmost personally for a better world - writing letters, being an influencer, not buying new, making as much as I can myself...
So on that note - here's my recipe (thank you Wendyl Nissen) for 

 DIY Diet Tonic

juice of 2 lemons
1/4 tsp stevia powder
1 tsp honey
10 drops of angostura bitters

Mix together and add to 1 litre of soda water (that's where my bargain soda stream machine comes in).

It's low calorie and so much nicer than bought diet tonic - let alone cheaper and more environmentally friendly if you make the soda water yourself.
Needless to say, it goes great with gin.



Cheers - here's to 2017!