Archive for December, 2011

Christmas is over. Santa didn’t visit here – because we decided long ago, that we would rather be naughty… and buy our own gifts… who needs the fat-chap in the red suit?? πŸ™‚

We had friends visit for dinner last night. We cooked a beautiful rolled-roast of Pork on the barbecue, I made a simple salad of mixed leaves and herbs from the garden, cooked a huge pot of new potatoes and drenched them in butter… and I also made this grilled zucchini salad…

Would I make it again? Oh yes!… though I probably wouldn’t phaff around with the stripping and grilling part. There is only so much hanging around over a hot grill that you can do, before you get really grumpy… or is that just me? πŸ™‚

The salty olive/anchovy/feta combination is perfect with the herby zucchini and the pine-nuts add the perfect amount of crunch…

4 – 6 large zucchini – peeled into strips, lengthways
roll the strips in a couple of slugs of evoo, then grill them until they are brown on both sides and have softened. Pile them onto a platter
In a jar, combine 1/3 cup evoo
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped to bits
a pinch of chilli flakes
1/4 cup of fresh oregano – chopped to bits
You also need:
2 tbsp toasted pine-nuts
1/4 cup black olives – chopped to bits
150g feta cheese – crumbled (I used cows milk feta, because I don’t like goats cheese)

Pile the zucchini onto a platter and sprinkle everything else over top.

I promise you, it tastes a whole lot better than this photo looks! πŸ™‚

Our friends, some of whom are notoriously picky eaters, all loved it… most of us had seconds!

Note to Self: Β The next time I made this, I cut the zucchini into batons instead of ribbons. I rubbed some of the oil/anchovy dressing onto the batons before baking until tender. I also used mint in the dressing, instead of oregano; and chopped, toasted walnuts instead of pine nuts. I also sprinkled fresh mint onto the salad before we ate it. I liked it even better the second time around.


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Happy Christmas!

A special thanks to Lauren for finding this… πŸ™‚

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Wrapping a gift

My dear friend Susan of Susan Says posted this:

It is so sweet I just had to pass it on – though, if I tried it here, I would need stitches… πŸ™‚

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas. XXXOOO

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Changing the bed



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My Darling

My nephew, Ben, is 18. He has just finished high-school and is taking a gap-year. He has really no idea what he wants to do next. The main trouble is, he’s good at everything.

Some things he is really good at…

Yoshi by Ben Pearson

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I’ve never eaten truffles – of the dug-by-pigs variety… chocolate truffles? sure! … but pig-dug? – nope.

I’ve always wondered if they taste as wonderful as everyone says…


I bought this:

I was only a little bit hungry at dinner-time, Rick was out at a Christmas party – so there was only me to cook for… I cooked a piece of steak and sprinkled it with the Truffle Oil…

Was it good?


Yoshi is sitting on the arm of my chair, waiting for his chance to lick the plate...


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NZ Christmas

I was recently asked – how does a summertime Christmas differ from a more traditional winter one?

Until quite recently – apart from the fact it is usually 24c (75f) here on Christmas day, everything else was done as close to ‘traditional’ as possible. A huge hot meal – in the middle of the day – anything you would find on a Christmas table in England – we had too. I have memories of my nana and mum – bright red, perspiration running down their faces – pulling roasted meat and vegetables from the oven – fussing over a pan of water in which the pudding was boiling.

In the last few years though – most of us have grown a brain, and realised we don’t have to do it that way. Our meals are lighter… glazed ham – served room temperature, a big pot of new baby potatoes, a green salad… prawns as a starter – pavlova and berries to finish. Still too much food of course! πŸ™‚ We’ll drink some bubbles, watch Her Majesty on tv and make the teenagers do the dishes… πŸ™‚

Our best Christmas trees are these ones…

Santa still wears the big red suit

Other than that… we watch the same Christmas movies as you do in the Northern half, and we sing the same carols. We dream of a ‘proper’ White Christmas.

On Boxing day we eat leftovers, lie on the couch and watch the cricket on tv, catch up with friends…

It is also the school summer holidays here now. Lots of families pack up and leave the city – which is lovely for those of us who stay πŸ™‚ – no queues, the city is lovely and peaceful…

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