Monday, May 24, 2010


Look what turned up in the mail - a copy of revered Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda's self-titled cookbook, courtesy of Barb at Winos & Foodies! Recently, Barb ran a competition in conjunction with Electrolux where the major prize was a place at a Tetsuya masterclass at his Sydney restaurant. I was lucky enough to win a copy of "Tetsuya" - not bad, eh! It's a beautiful book, full of recipes and photographs of the most elegant food. I'd show you some pictures but the light's not that flash today because of the dire weather, so pop along to Amazon to see them, or just visit Tetsuya's site.

A monumentally large thank you (complete with fireworks) to Barb :)


Is there anyone out there that could possibly confirm that this is a blackthorn thicket? I'm 75% sure that it is - the leaves have a serrated edge and the branches have sharp spikes all over them; the berries look like sloe, being blue, but they've shrivelled somewhat being well past their prime. The shots were taken about a month ago by a friend's vineyard, just outside Otane here in Hawke's Bay - apologies for their quality. Any help in identifying them would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Rose Hips

Mention rose hips to people today and you're likely to receive baffled looks. Like crab apples, penny farthings and the blood sacrifice, rose hips have fallen from people's memories for the simple reason that no one uses them anymore. Where once they served as a free and plentiful supply of vitamin C to the nation, rose hips were eventually displaced from kitchen pantries by convenient commercial product. Housewives were spared the time consuming process of making the preparation; the downside however was the loss of knowledge about the rose hip's use and considerable worth, knowledge accumulated over many generations and now simply forgotten.

Prickly Pear & Cactus Figs

The surprise I felt at discovering large numbers of wild cacti growing near Napier was akin to finding a pair of knickers in one's car glovebox. Questions sprang immediately to mind: how did they get there? How long have they been there? Will I get a rash if I touch them?

On the face of it, Hawke's Bay wouldn't seem like the kind of place to expect to find cacti. It can however get quite dry, and the plants do seem quite localised, growing in abundance near the beach at Bayview, a small coastal village ten minutes north of Napier. Upon paying a visit, they made for quite an impressive sight. What particularly interested me was the fact that they seemed to be covered in what looked like fruit.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Hello! April was absolutely mad, with most of my time spent doing little else but work, at either the restaurant or the orchard. Consequently, the poor old blog has suffered, but I'm spending the weekend playing catch up so you can expect to see at least a couple of posts by the end of tomorrow. In the mean time, here's a picture of some lads looking decidedly riled (by the way, the cactus is a clue to my next post...).

Picture from