Days 3 & 4

This is going to get boring. It’s more of the same. I have a full freezer and pantry, an abundant garden and fruit trees dropping with fruit. It would be totally unnecessary of me to purchase any new supplies. However I am going to run out of coffee and as it’s the one thing I buy online I have to spend some money. I get 3 months supply at a time so my month’s spend will be $35. If I bought coffee at cafes that would be around 8 coffees, however I will be getting 30 coffees for my $35. I have enough tea to last quite a while!

The coffee is imported. It is hardly local. It is my indulgence.

Day 2

Day 2 of March was much the same as Day 1. I was easily able to prepare meals from the pantry, garden and orchard introducing some of my home-killed lamb for dinner. I realise though that the Israeli couscous I cooked for lunch would not have been locally produced but it comes from my pantry! This has piqued my interest in finding out where these grain products come from, what their nutritional value is and what is involved in their growth, production and transport. Can we grow them locally?

Another grain product Quinoa is marketed as the modern wonder food and has been adopted keenly by the gluten intolerant community. How much of the hype around this product is true and how much is clever marketing by the producers, importers and diet entrepreneurs? How do I find out?

I have yet to form my opinions on eating totally locally produced food. As a country we are heavily dependent on our export earnings and as I research produce to grow commercially on my property I may eventually become an exporter myself. There’s a certain hypocrisy in demanding adherence to eating locally but earning revenue by exporting!

I made a painful mistake while preparing my couscous lunch. I added cherry tomatoes, basil, spring onions and fresh chilli from the garden. Then I rubbed my eyes ….

Day 2 spend $0

I’m Back!

Righto, it’s been far too long. Let’s move on.

It’s March 2015 and I’ve decided to see how well I can live out of my pantry, garden, orchard and freezer for a month. It’s my month of eating locally. Rather than setting an arbitrary figure for how much I will spend on food each month I’ll see how low I can make it – and then consider bettering that total next month.

Considerations are the cats, chooks and ducks. I do buy in commercial feed for them all, though the cats are enjoying lambs’ liver, kidneys and heart at the moment and the poultry enjoy the by products of bottling and preserving the produce that the garden and orchard are providing.

This blog then will become a boring log of my preserving and dining excursions. Turn away now.

March 1

Breakfast – Home grown peaches with oats, sunflower seeds and linseed out of the pantry.
Lunch – Zoodles with a home grown and made tomato pasta sauce
Dinner – Zoodles with home made basil pesto

Microplane Spiral CutterZoodles are zucchini noodles made with a clever Microplane spiral cutter that easily makes spaghetti like ribbons out of those surplus zucchini. There are other fancy machines out there that do a similar thing but I like this one as its simple, easy to clean, super sharp and takes up minimal space in the cupboard.

Zoodles they may be, but I’m coining the term Courgetti.

According to Wikipedia, in NZ the terms zucchini and courgette are interchangeable http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zucchini . As the recipes that use spiral cut zucchini are more Italian than Asian I feel that courgetti is a more appropriate name. You heard it here first!

My yellow zucchini has been more prolific this season than the green, possibly because the green one suffered wind damage early on, and makes lovely courgetti. A variegated dish would look quite spectacular.

The Courgetti with basil pesto http://www.annabel-langbein.com/recipes/pesto/47 was scrummy. I steamed the courgetti lightly and then emptied the water out of the saucepan and lightly tossed the ribbons in the pesto in the still hot saucepan.  Super quick and easy once you have the pesto made.

Finding a new way to cook an old and plenteous ingredient has been fun.

Day 1 spend – $0.

A Green and Pleasant Land

The RectoryAfter 2 long flights, a bus journey and a lovely night’s sleep at Jayne and Richard’s beautiful home in an idyllic English hamlet I woke at the respectable hour of 5am this morning. After a luxurious doze I witnessed a sunrise to a beautiful English autumn day. Jayne took me outside for a walk around the beautiful garden, where I smelt the roses and admired the very Englishness of the place. We crossed the road towards the church and stood on a real pooh sticks bridge and watched the water rush beneath us. A neighbour passed, taking his dog for a walk, and greeted us. It was only then that I realised that Jayne was still in her dressing gown!

I shall take more pictures tomorrow. It truly is a lovely part of the country.

Pieminster, BristolI came into Bristol with Jayne today and spent the day wandering around and behaving myself (only window shopping!). We went to Pieminister in St Nicholas’ Market for lunch. They make the best pies in the world.

There’s nothing quite like a wonderful pie, mashed spud, gravy and mushy peas. A real taste of England! The last time I went to Pieminister’s I had their beef and stilton pie which I have been trying to recreate ever since. I think I’ve got the filling right but haven’t succeeded in recreating their wonderful pie crust. I now have their recipe book!

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (and edited on my HP PC)

Hot in Hong Kong

It’s nearly 7:30am and the temperature is already 26 degrees C. The smog is persistent and obscures the view of the end of the runway let alone the mountains that hang over the airport. This is the third time I have been to Hong Kong and each time I have sat in this same chair and admired the industry and order that goes on outside.

Image

I am in the United Lounge showered and freshened up for the next leg to London in 2 hours. One day I will venture out of the airport and visit this fascinating place.

Interlude in Auckland

In the four hours I have to spend in the Koru Lounge at Auckland International Airport I find I know 2 people. That’s one of the cool things about this country and this place.

Martin is off to Budapest for a conference and wonders what to do, what to see, what to eat and what to drink. His job takes (or is it sends?) him to all sorts of interesting places like Lithuania and now Budapest.

People come and go. They eat and drink, watch TV, check mail, check Facebook. Families chat, children are excited and explore the various rooms and furniture in the lounge. I’d really love to relax on that bean bag but remain squirming in the tub chair.

The relaxation is punctuated by announcements of departing flights. Mine is nearly an hour away now.

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Pardon my absence

So much happened in 2010 – and now it’s nearly three-quarters through 2012!

I was clearing out some paperwork the other day and came across receipts for places I’d forgotten I’d been. Thankfully lots of memories came flooding back and I enjoyed reliving the wonderful experiences of travelling in 2010.

This blog sort of collapsed in July 2010, soon after returning from the UK and Canada. The busyness of work and home overtook me, I had no time to be creative, contemplative or just simply observe.

I’m now trolling through draft posts and completing or ditching them – this could be interesting!  This blog started out titled “2010 – catch up before I forget”.

Now the question is to reactivate or retire the blog!