Keeping kombucha

Kombucha is turning up all over the place these days. There are bottles of kombucha in the drinks chiller of the Hamilton East Binn Inn. (All the way from the United States!) But it’s easy to make it at home. And if you’re brewing it yourself, it counts as local...

Remembering the leeks

Leeks are a low-profile cousin of onions and garlic. It’s easy to dismiss them, but they are easy to grow at home, and they go really well in all kinds of slow food. Leeks have a sweet, oniony flavour – an “x-factor” that gives depth to many classic recipes.  My...

Local and/ or organic food

This is a post about two (related) questions. One, is there a shortage of locally grown food in the Waikato? Two, where is the locally grown organic food? This post was sparked by two timely emails. The first was from Waikato Environment Centre co-ordinator Ruth...

The Great Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a great asset in the winter kitchen. I love transforming pumpkins into soups, salads and much more. They keep well in a cool dry place, and if you don’t grow your own, they’re not expensive. And they’re beautiful, both inside and out.   Pumpkin seems to...

Raglan Fish: The local catch

Raglan Fish is great news for local fans of seafood. And you don’t even have to drive to Raglan. We can find Raglan Fish in three places: at Raglan Wharf, and at Cambridge and Hamilton Farmers’ Markets. In my household we’re very fond of their excellent smoked fish...

Orange is for winter

Midwinter is a wonderful time for oranges and other citrus in the Waikato. There are trees laden with beautiful oranges, mandarins, tangelos and clementines in home gardens all over the place. We’ve been collecting clementines from a couple of neighbours who mostly...

Gardening with garlic

This time of year, many of my friends are planting garlic. I’d love to be planting garlic myself, but right now I’m stuck with a fractured foot and can’t garden. So, I’m writing about it instead. Growing garlic is incredibly satisfying. You (usually) get a great...

Persimmons: for people or birds?

There are bare-branched persimmon trees with clusters of beautiful orange tomato-shaped fruit, dotted around my neighbourhood.  Persimmons aren’t just beautiful, they’re delicious too (I like them, anyway). There are two main kinds of edible persimmons,...

Fresh winter greens at Hamilton Farmers’ Market

We came home from yesterday’s Hamilton Farmers’ Market with the most wonderful haul of fresh winter greens. There’s a new stall selling some terrific green vegetables. This weekend they were selling a couple of Asian style greens, my favourite daikon radish and some...

Feijoa fortnight: Green eggs

This week there are feijoas everywhere in our neighbourhood. Green eggs start dropping off trees around Easter time. For a fortnight – maybe a bit longer – there is an amazing abundance of feijoas. We currently have four buckets full at the back door.  I love feijoas...