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Buckwheat breakfast

My favourite winter breakfast is hot buckwheat porridge. With a spoonful of home-made Caspian Sea yoghurt, a dash of Sweetree honey and a sprinkle of Trade Aid cinnamon, it’s warming and sustaining. For the purposes of the Waikato Foodbasket, the locally produced...

The fruits of winter

Last weekend my friend Jane texted: “Let’s go and pick persimmons!” So on a sunny Saturday afternoon we drove out to the persimmon orchard at Matangi and collected some huge bags of gorgeous orange fruit. It was by far the easiest and most rewarding “pick your...

A lot of shallots

Shallots look like small, misshapen onions, or huge, bronze coloured garlic cloves. The Cato’s Potatoes stall at the farmers’ market sells them at this time of the year. These interesting members of the onion family can be easily turned into wonderful cold-weather...

Madhur’s potatoes

Last weekend my husband Matthew made his favourite spicy Indian potato dish to take to a potluck dinner for the World Voices singing group. It was very popular and people requested the recipe. The potatoes are cooked with whole spices and coconut oil, which gives a...

Land of chestnuts

This time of year the Waikato is full of delicious chestnuts, falling off the trees, waiting to be eaten. How great is that! When David Klinac of the New Zealand Chestnut Council contacted me recently, I jumped at the chance to find out more about the local chestnut...

Happy hot cross bun day

There are very few sacred foods in my British-Anglican backstory, and one is hot cross buns. In the Waikato we’re lucky to have two makers of superb hot cross buns: Celtic Kitchen and Volare. Dorothy, my proper English grandmother, would have approved of both. Above:...

A taste for honeygar

My latest favourite home-made beverage is honeygar.  It’s simply my home-made apple cider vinegar, combined with Sweetree Kirikiriroa raw honey and diluted in a glass of water. If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a treat. I think honeygar is the next kombucha....

Fruits of autumn

Late autumn is the time to make my favourite fruit salad, with crisp juicy nashi from Grant and Heather Kane at the farmers’ market. (This is what strawberry growers do when the berries are finished!)  Nashi is a brief seasonal crop – there’s only a couple more weeks...

Golden grapefruit

I started today with freshly squeezed, wonderfully ripe grapefruit juice courtesy of our vintage grapefruit tree. I love the sweet-sour-bitter flavour. This year, in late February the tree still has a few fruit on it. That’s even after several batches of marmalade. It...

Water: the Blue Spring

Recently I sampled the beautiful water at the Blue Spring near Putaruru. It tasted like the mountain spring water of my childhood memories. And I learned that water is one of the major export food products of the Waikato region. The Blue Spring, and the Waihou Walkway...