Volare: our daily bread

This summer my top choice of bread has to be Volare’s beautiful sourdough buns and Italian-style ciabatta. They’re perfect with a barbecue (or any other time actually). We’re so lucky to have Volare in Hamilton.  Volare is a fairly young business, started six or seven...

Hobbit food

Unless you’ve spent the last decade living in a hole in the ground, you’ll probably be aware that this part of the world is “The Shire” for Peter Jackson’s film versions of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.  The spruced-up Hobbiton film set near Matamata is now a...

Loquat season

Our loquat tree has had a wonderful long season this year. There are still plenty of golden fruit on the tree in mid December. The birds get quite a few, but there are enough for me. This morning I had freshly picked loquats with yoghurt for breakfast. I love the...

Amazing asparagus

Tonight I’m cooking some beautiful spray-free Les Asperges asparagus from the Hamilton Farmers’ Market. It must be getting towards the end of the asparagus season. Sometimes mid-week I get tempted to buy asparagus from the supermarket, but we can always...

The Farm Shop at Gordonton

If you live at the north end of Hamilton, The Farm Shop is a great place to buy local food. It’s in Gordonton Village, just along from the Firepot Cafe. The Farm Shop at Gordonton has a great range of Waikato food  They have a remarkable range of fresh produce at...

Silverbeet and oyster mushrooms

It was a blustery kind of Sunday, coming up to the spring equinox. We rolled up to the farmers’ market at 11am, dodging the rain. Lennart Prinz had bags of his fabulous oyster mushrooms and huge paper bags of silverbeet.   Oyster mushrooms and spring silverbeet We...

Pure gold: New Zealand grapefruit

At this time of the year, we have a glorious grapefruit bonanza (or glut). This is exciting, because we ran out of marmalade at Easter, despite making huge quantities last year. My husband Matthew spent his holiday boiling up marmalade (don’t worry, he enjoys it).   A...

CAFE AT MONAVALE: Blueberry tarts forever

On a beautiful day, just ahead of spring, a friend and I went to check out Café Irresistiblue at Monavale Blueberries. We sat in the sun on the verandah, enjoying the stunning views across the blueberry orchards to the mountains Kakepuku and Pirongia. We drank...

Superb savoy cabbages

Last Sunday the rain was pouring down, but we still needed to eat, so we ventured out to the farmers’ market. And it was completely worth the effort. The Catos (who also grow potatoes, which are out of season) had a big tray of the sweetest, crunchiest savoy cabbages...

Local fruit in all seasons

Fruit grows all year round in the Waikato. All kinds of fruit. Well, okay, we don’t have the climate for tropical varieties, like mangoes or pineapples (although some clever people are growing bananas). But just about anything else: berries, peaches, apples, citrus,...