Asparagus: love it while it lasts

It’s the middle of the brief local asparagus season. We’re incredibly lucky to have superb local asparagus at the Waikato farmers’ markets. Bill and Irene Cummings of Greenfern-Les Asperges have been growing their certified organic asparagus since 2003. And they also...

Jersey Girls update

I’m a big fan of Jersey Girls milk. It’s locally produced, by a small herd of A2 jersey cows, on a family farm near Matamata. It’s fully certified organic. And, it’s superb milk. Here’s a post I wrote a while back about the Jersey Girls story. Jersey Girls –...

In love with tarragon

After I wrote the post about herbs and spices in the Waikato, my husband Matthew immediately said, “but what about tarragon?” Tarragon is his favourite herb. He means French tarragon of course. See further down this post for more about the different kinds of tarragon....

Better butter

Writing about butter is close to the top of my list of interesting things to do. After eating butter. It has always surprised me that the Waikato doesn’t have a premium iconic butter product. Our beautiful grass-fed dairy cows produce so much milk and cream, but up...

Living herbs and spices

My life would be boring without fresh herbs and spices. Here’s my guide to what herbs and spices you can (and can’t) grow in the Waikato. And also, where/ how to get them. This is a follow-up to Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Here’s a link to that post: Home-grown...

Whole hearted and local

Hamilton only has a few independent grocery shops, so each and every one is to be treasured. Whole Heart has been open since last year. It’s in Queenwood Village, a little block of shops on a sunny suburban corner not far from River Road and a few blocks from...

Cheese cultures

This is the first of a series of posts about Waikato cheeses. One of the many great things about living in the Waikato is that we have excellent cheese here. I’m not talking about 1kg blocks of bland cheddar or colby. There are wonderful specialist cheese makers in...

Bananas in winter

I’m sitting in my kitchen on a frosty morning, thinking about winter crops in the Waikato. On the table is a basket of freshly picked locally grown bananas. That’s the amazing seasonal abundance of this region. My bananas come from the Raglan garden of Tom...

British pudding

Black pudding isn’t a dessert – it’s a kind of sausage. I love a good quality black pudding. It’s an arcane, weird, polarising delicacy that’s a cornerstone of British regional cuisine. My British father, Ralph Bulmer, enjoyed a traditional English breakfast, and...

Artichoke abundance

This week I’ve been enjoying a big bag of Jerusalem artichokes. Readers of this blog may be aware that I’m partial to weird vegetables. I’ve discovered that many people haven’t tried the interesting and delicious Jerusalem artichoke. The artichokes came from my friend...