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...

Scallopini summer

Round about this time of year Clif from Clif’s Gardens sells bags of bright yellow scallopini squashes at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market. I just love the colour. And the cute, crazy, flying saucer shapes. (The Waikato Foodbasket loves weird vegetables!) Apart from their...

Media splash for Soggy Bottom

Fans of Jono Walker’s superb bacon and sausages will enjoy Nadene Hall’s excellent profile of Soggy Bottom Holding in the summer 2016-2017 issue of New Zealand Lifestyle Block, “Bringing home the heritage, cured, tasty bacon”. It’s a very interesting read. Jono spills...

Too ugly to eat?

A huge celeriac turned up in the last Ooooby box. (Sadly, Ooooby have centralized their operations to Auckland.) Readers of this blog will know that the Waikato Foodbasket is fond of weird vegetables – but celeriac is just about the ugliest I’ve ever come...

Almost too pretty to eat

I bought a container of edible flowers from a stall at the farmers’ market.  They were almost too pretty to eat, but we managed. I add flowers to salads fairly often, but usually they’re not as elegant as these. The salad blossoms out of my garden tend to be borage,...