Woo-hoo, a pipiathon! It’s the kind of invitation I just can’t decline: summer, Sunday afternoon, Waiheke, great friends, great cooks, great wine … and pipis galore.
First course prepared by the lovely Greg was pipi fritters. Sensibly, he did a trial fritter fry-up to check he had the batter up to speed. No flour, just mounds of pipis and a little beaten egg. ‘A tad more salt,’ squealed Amanda, ‘No, it’s just right,’ squeaked Dianna, ‘Add your own salt after,’ sparked Jane. Geesh, a bunch of ‘wimin on Waiheke’ all slathering over salt, or was it after hunky Greg? Greg stuck to his guns. Fabulously fabulous pipi fritters were served with a runny-ish aioli and lemon wedges. Nice combo. The wine was tasting better and better with every sip. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, or was it Pinot Gris? Maybe it was Chardonnay. We certainly started on Champagne. But it doesn’t matter, all of them would work.
Next course: spaghetti alle pipi, or Spaghetti alle vongole ‘down under’. No clams, just pipis. This was wildly successful and seconds were quickly scooped up and devoured. ‘Just one long red chilli,’ divulged Amanda, ‘And an emulsion of clam juices and oil,’ chimed in Dianna, ‘And masses of parsley,’ whooped Jane. Amanda took a bow. So did we all, just to keep her company. Third pipi dish, pasta with chorizo sausage, tomatoes and, yes, pipis. Nice chunky chorizo, and spicy enough, but the little critters shone through, as they should. And just a garden salad to accompany the pasta dishes.
All good, all thoroughly scrumptious, but we were all pipied out by now and hoping there were no pipis coming up for dessert.
Phew, none, just some excellent cheeses and Amanda’s crisp-crust sour dough bread.
If you know a bunch of pipi-lovers, get them together, go and dig for your lunch, and enjoy the spoils after. It is just one of many things that is fantastic about this country.