Plum gummies

I’ve been making superb plum jellies and gummies with my seasonal abundance of backyard plums. There are plums galore at the farmers’ markets at this time of year. On Sunday I saw several different varieties: Black Doris, Fortune, Luisa and more. There are five plum...

Magic milk cultures

My two favourite milk cultures are kefir and Caspian Sea Yoghurt. I’m a big fan of traditionally fermented foods. I love the zing, the flavours and aromas that they add to my everyday meals. And I also love the DIY aspect. I can make kombucha, apple cider vinegar,...

Cabbages: the raw and the cooked

I’ve been appreciating cabbages recently – raw, cooked and sauerkraut. Richard Cato has been selling superb savoy cabbages at Hamilton Farmers’ market. And also at the market, there’s Marea Smith’s delicious GoodBugs sauerkraut. Savoys are among the prettier members...

Parsley and her cousins

I have a favourite plant family. Apiaceae or Umbelliferae – both names are commonly used. It’s also known as the parsley, celery and carrot family. So many plants I love to grow and eat belong to this family. Parsley is my favourite green herb, as readers of this blog...

Free fruit – foraging ethics

I’ve just come home with a bag of superbly ripe mandarins. And they were free. My friends Melissa and David have a huge mandarin tree, which produces far more than their family can eat. It’s having a bumper year. I love foraging. Otherwise known as getting food for...

Black garlic magic

One of my favourite treats is black garlic. The grey, slightly soft black garlic heads don’t look appetizing on the outside. But inside, the bulbs are dark and soft and miraculously sweet. All I can say is, try it for yourself. Cato’s Potatoes sell black garlic at the...

The mighty quince

There’s a garden in my neighbourhood with a quince tree on the front lawn. At this time of year it’s festooned with fat yellow quinces. And the grass around the base of the tree is covered with windfall quinces. Quinces look like big blobby yellow pears, covered with...

Chestnuts – catch them while you can

We’re in the middle of the brief and glorious chestnut season in the Waikato. Chestnuts are a seasonal treat, so I aim to make the most of them. For a few brief weeks they’re dropping off trees everywhere – and then they’re gone until next year. In this post I share a...

Plum bounty

At this time of year, plum trees are laden with fruit in the Waikato. But, these are backyard plum trees. It’s hard to buy locally grown plums. There’s only one kind of plum (which definitely isn’t local) at my local fruit shop, and none at the supermarket. The Divine...

Festive fizz

Seven gorgeous alcohol-free summer drinks. This summer, try making some of these delicious and interesting beverages.  Most ready-made drinks (healthy and otherwise) are very sweet. When you  make them yourself you’ll know exactly how much sugar you’re...