What kind of a week has it been at your place? Mine’s been a bit of a mixed bag. I’m not going to talk politics – though that’s what’s consuming the country this week and it has at least shut up the incessant Trump chatter (we have a new deputy leader, female, youngest Labour leader ever, 7 weeks out from the election!). So there, I talked about politics. Moving on … I’ll talk about the rolling coconut. True! It’s more fun than talking about the weather. Oh, all right, some brilliant weather was to be had on Waiheke this weekend and I kidded myself that spring had arrived, only to be reminded on Tuesday what a silly idea it was. We still need warming food in New Zealand.
Back to the coconut (definitely not talking about religion). Ilaria has made a cracker of a dish, like, scrumpty-doo delicious: her take on Indian saag, a spiced green leafy dish, and I was thinking to do some freshly toasted coconut flakes as a side dish. So I got myself a coconut, not always an easy thing to do on Waiheke, and set about opening it. I don’t have an axe, so decided to smash it on the ground outside (there’s no shortage of rocks where I live in Rocky Bay) and hoped I’d be in time to catch the coconut water inside. I heaved it at a rock, it sort of split but not well enough to prise open, so I heaved it at the rock again, and as I bent to pick it up it started rolling, and, well, it rolled all the way down the driveway with me running after it, then thumped it itself off into a deep ditch never to be retrieved. If anyone saw me … well, yes I was chasing a coconut as you do.
So there are no lightly toasted coconut flakes to accompany the saag.
We’ve got beetroot this week. Multi coloured beetroot. Why stick with crimson beets when you can have gold ones and some with pinky stripes! Love those stripes. Chioggia beets are so pretty, but how well do they cook? Do golden ones shape up okay? Read about them here so you don’t waste your money and time buying the wrong type for your purpose.
I’ve included a cute pinky dip with beets, yoghurt and walnuts and loads of herbs. It’s so good spread on toasts, especially with a decent drop of pinot, or earthy red. Any red really. Candlelight. Fire. Beetroot dip. Mmmmm.
I’m often reminded how a good recipe remains good – perhaps you might tinker with the fat or sugar content a little, but not much else. I have been making this fruit and nut loaf for more than 35 years, and I will probably carry on making it forever, because it tastes so good. It’s easy, too, and keeps well. I keep on meaning to cut back the baking powder a tad so it doesn’t pop its top, but I usually forget, and I’ve just got used to it like that, and that’s how the recipe has stayed. You could whip it up this weekend and go visiting. Drop in on friends or family with your loaf in a basket, smelling all warm and gorgeous. Nice.
And, oh dear, sad news on Waiheke, Ringawera Bakery has baked its last loaf.
It will be sadly missed, especially by me.
Cooking classes – yes, just a few spots on the Italian class 19th August, and still plenty of room for private classes if you want to bring a group of 6-8 over and enjoy the day all to yourselves before the island gets busy again. Flick me an email and let’s chat.