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    Monday, April 28, 2008

    ANZAC Day 25th April 2008 “Lest We Forget”

    Yesterday was Anzac Day.
    The day all New Zealanders and Australians remember those brave young me who fought for our freedom.
    ANZAC was the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey early on the morning of 25 April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918)

    When I was young we really weren’t very interested in celebrating Anzac Day it was just another public holiday. Those Returned Servicemen were a bit boring really short back and sides hairstyles and generally disapproving of us the teenagers who juts wanted to make love not war.
    The war was really all a bit gung ho…all great adventure stories. Movies from the 50’s and early 60’s were of great courage and handsome heroes, Escaping from Colditz, Dam Busting, climbing up frightening cliffs in the Guns of Navarone.
    We didn’t have a clue how horrible it really was.
    Slowly the movies changed and the truth started to come out.
    Memoirs were written which didn’t glorify war but embraced the horrors of war.
    Thankfully the Remembrance Day has grown in stature as the years have progressed.
    As the veterans decline in numbers thousands of young New Zealanders get up early in the morning to watch the dawn parade.
    The Auckland service is held at the Cenotaph in the Auckland Domain and it is very moving. This year we didn’t go to the service but I watched it on television.
    As it was winding down the sun rose. Here it is…the same sunrise from our lounge.

    It was a stunning sight. It must have been magnificent at the Domain. Thousands of people throughout New Zealand and Australia,
    London and of course Gallipoli attended the services.
    My father served in both World Wars.
    For the British in WWI and for New Zealand in WWII.
    He was injured in North Africa and sent home in 1942.
    It’s a time for us to remember him.
    Our son Daniel has been frequenting the Dawn Parade for several years proudly wearing his medals.
    And also substituting for him at the RSA having a few beers with the veterans.
    So of course later on in the day we felt the need to celebrate, and went out for lunch at our favourite local Italian Restaurant Portofino.
    After many wines we walked across the road and joined in with the locals.

    There was a band Our crowd substituting for backing singers.
    Locals dancing
    Unfortunately the RSA is lacking in a bit of style, but what they lacked in style was made up in enthusiasm.
    Everyone was having an excellent time.
    I had a glass of probably the worst wine I have seen in years.
    Bright yellow looking like, and tasting like, an unmentionable substance.
    The bar snacks were interesting
    Jelly Babies.
    So, on this note I felt I had to continue to celebrate the day with a batch of Anzac Biscuits.
    The legend goes that these were sent to serving Anzacs during WWI due their keeping properties.
    They really are superb and you won’t need to check out their keeping properties as they never last.

    1 cup (150g) plain flour
    1 cup (90g) rolled oats
    1 cup (85g) Ward McKenzie desiccated coconut
    ¾ cup (155g) brown sugar
    125g butter
    2 tablespoons golden syrup
    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    2 tablespoons water

    Preheat the oven to 160°C.
    Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
    Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, coconut and brown sugar.
    Put the butter, golden syrup and 2 tbs water in a small saucepan.
    Stir over a medium heat until melted.
    Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
    Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.

    Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls.
    Place on the trays, about 5cm apart.
    Press with a fork to flatten slightly.
    Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
    Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack so it cools completely.

    Monday, April 14, 2008

    Birthday Party, Music and Rapid Pasta

    It was our grand son Joseph’s birthday yesterday?
    7 years old.. Where did that time go.

    He had a party with his friends at a Clip and Climb centre.
    Here he is on his vertical leap
    They had a ball.

    Sunday was the family birthday lunch.
    Joseph has just started learning the piano.
    He is so pleased with himself and is showing real talent and what’s even better enthusiasm.
    So of course there was a theme for his birthday.
    Helen, his Mother made an excellent piano cake.
    Joseph is allergic to eggs so Helen has many recipes for egg-less cakes.

    This Chocolate Eggless Cake was really moist.

    3 cups flour
    ½ cup cocoa
    3 tsp baking powder
    1 ½ cups sugar (brown or white)
    3 tablespoons golden syrup
    2 cups milk
    200g butter
    2 tsp baking soda


    100g butter
    1/3 cup cocoa
    250g icing sugar
    1tsp vanilla
    milk to mix

    Heat oven to 180 deg C.
    Grease and flour a 23cm spring form tin.
    Into a large bowl sift flour, baking powder and cocoa,
    add the sugar.
    Melt butter and golden syrup together.
    Add one cup of the milk.
    Warm the other 1 cup of milk slightly and dissolve the baking soda in it.
    Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
    Add the milk and baking soda and mix until smooth (The mixture will be quite runny).

    Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes.
    Icing: Melt the butter, add icing sugar, cocoa and vanilla essence.
    Add milk in small amounts until icing is thick, smooth and spreadable.

    Ice cake when cooled

    I wrote Joseph a story of the Musical History of his Grandparents and Father.

    Dale with his brother and parents circa 1956
    Yours truly circa 1958Dan recording his own composition circa 1975
    Dan (left) performing at the Devomnport Wine and Food Festival February 2008

    Joseph watching his Dad in the band.
    This project was great fun.
    Mind you getting my husband to recollect his early days took a bit of work.
    It was much easier writing my “memoirs.”
    And of course Dan’s was only 20 or so years ago so that is reasonably fresh.

    Anyway it was all good fun and I’m sure Joseph will enjoy it eventually.
    The weather is starting to pack in so Dan, our son, made Gumbo for lunch.
    I hunted through my recipe books to find some corn bread to accompany the Gumbo.
    but in the end I had to resort to the net.

    After quite a time researching available recipes
    finally The Food Network Site came up with the goods.
    Mrs. Garten “The Barefoot Contessa” has an excellent recipe.
    It contained jalapeno and cheese, but I thought it was too flavourful for this lunch.
    It would take away the focus from the Gumbo.

    But I will make it… it looks sensational.
    Winter is on the way. I’m sure I will find an occasion!
    Tyler Florence also contributed at least 2 excellent recipes

    Then I found Paula Deen’s recipe and that was perfect .
    Unfortunately photos of the cornbread didn’t turn out very well (again not my fault this time)Here’s the Gumbo.

    There is a recipe on this post

    So to Paula Deen’s Cornbread
    I made a few changes
    This really worked.

    1 ¼ cups cornmeal
    1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder

    ¾ cup self-rising flour

    1 teaspoon sugar

    ½ teaspoon dried marjoram

    ½ teaspoon dried thyme

    ¼ teaspoon celery salt
    ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    Shake of chili flakes
    Sea salt
    2 eggs, beaten 1 ½ cups milk 6 tablespoons butter, melted

    Preheat oven to 210C
    Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
    Combine eggs, milk and butter in a separate bowl, and add to the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened.
    Pour batter into a lightly greased 9-inch pan.
    Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown.

    It’s a rotten day and we can’t see the harbour for the rain
    and all the trees are swaying quite drastically.

    I thought a little pasta lunch would suffice.
    Who would want to go out in that weather.
    Anything that could be made from the stores.
    Just like being on the boat
    I had some hot smoked salmon in the freezer
    This couldn’t be simpler. From start to plate about 12 minutes max
    Almost as quick as making a sandwich.

    Hot Smoked Salmon Penne

    200 gms penne pasta cooked to manufacturer’s instructions.

    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 chili finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic finely chopped

    100 gms hot smoked salmon flaked
    2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    1 spring onion finely chopped
    Juice ½ lemon

    While the pasta is cooking
    Gently heat chili and garlic
    As soon as pasta is cooked
    Drain, reserve a little water
    Add to pan
    Add salmon, chopped herbs and a couple of tablespoons of pasta water.
    Add lemon juice

    Light and Tasty

    Perfect for lunch.

    Tuesday, April 01, 2008

    It’s official we are living on the boat

    It’s official we are living on the boat
    Mooring 77 Onewhero Bay,

    Just a quick apology for the quality of the photos.
    I got a lovely little digi camera for Christmas but somehow it is just not right.
    I am going to have to take it back when we return home.
    But hopoefully what is there does show off this lovely place.

    As opposed to weekends away or being on holiday
    We have a problem with our anchor winch and thank God for Bob Evans we have secured the use of his mooring again, and not only that he is also Bob the Fixer and is arranging for the winch to be repaired.

    But up here in the winterless north nothing happens with any sense of urgency.
    As luck would have it time is something we have plenty of.
    And we have been at this salubrious address for the past week.

    Just like out friends Lois and Terry domiciled in Malta 35◦ North we are at 35◦ South.
    How about that?
    They are of course in a populated ancient society just minutes away from wonderful little cafes and bustling markets.
    We meanwhile are in a little nice neighbour hood with a swimming pool on the back doorstep
    a general store and a cafe at the Pub.
    Good if you like deep fried foods.
    Meanwhile afloat...
    You don’t even have to move your body for a new vista to appear.
    One minute the shore next thing before you know it… the harbour

    I’m not a natural on the boat. I’m a fair weather sailor and annoy Dale with my bad balance and inability to hop onto dinghies and onto wharves.
    Of course he prances around like a man half his age

    I am hopeless at throwing ropes and can’t lasso a post to save myself

    On the other hand I can whip up good food and serve good wine and cocktails.

    One can’t do everything you know.

    I am easy to please, just give me the computer the internet and dozens of books and I’m happy.

    Whangaroa is a pretty harbour almost prehistoric around the West arm

    On a misty rainy day like this you can imagine early Maori living here in this spiritual place. Before the early Europeans arrived it was a thriving settlement they say with 4000 or so inhabitants. .But now it is a quiet little tourist spot.
    Renowned for Game Fishing. World records have been cracked here

    The harbour at night in the summer is full of hopefully record breakers.
    You may remember in a previous post I wrote about Geoff and his 230K Marlin.
    And very tasty it was too.

    It’s a fisherman’s paradise which is a shame for us as we have not had any success with the fishing. But as luck could have it we have friends who do.

    This is Jones Bay a favourite haunt

    In January, we spent a lot of time with Sandra and Garry on Margaritaville
    Founding members with us in The Royal Whangaroa Yacht Club
    They fly the flag along with their personal Margaritaville Flag
    As you can tell there is a little bit of influence from Jimmy Buffet and his Parrot Head Society.

    They are excellent Hunter and Foragers.

    We have had several days dredging for scallops.
    It’s quite a mission
    Find the bed, put the dredge out

    Keep on course and then drag the dredge back into the boat

    Not only do you get scallops you also get huge horse mussels and all sort of debris
    You have to sort out the crap.

    It’s 20 per person and we make sure we get every one we deserve.
    Any undersize go straight back.
    And then you do it all again till you reach your quota.

    Everyone had a job Dale was in charge of the line.
    Our prize

    It gave me the chance to make the up market Mac and Cheese with Scallops
    I used penne instead of macaroni and made a lovely rich winey, cheesy sauce
    added the raw scallops
    Nice crunchy breadcrumbs on top.
    A delicious dinner

    Ruth from Once Upon A Feast who lives in Halifax runs a weekly event where bloggers from all over the world enter their favourte pasta dish.
    It great to read the round up So many pasta dishes. Need and idea you'll find it here.

    Just click here

    A bonus was the use of the scallop roes
    Dale and I find them a bit rich and I thought there has to be
    A way to use them.
    I have a nice recipe for savory prawns fritters.

    So I replaced the prawns with chopped up scallop roe
    And 3 anchovies

    This makes about 14

    1 cup SR flour
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon paprika

    2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    2 tablespoons spring onions
    1 cup chopped scallops roe
    3 anchovies chopped
    1 egg

    Water to mix

    Little oil for frying
    Lemon wedges

    Just throw the first lot of ingredients into the bowl
    Add enough water to make a batter

    Let sit about an hour before cooking

    In medium hot pan add a little oil
    Drop spoonfuls into pan
    When bubbles form (about 2-3 minutes
    Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes

    Serve on a platter with lemon wedges
    With extra freshly ground black pepper
    Let people squeeze their own lemon to taste.

    The flavour is amazing, reminiscent of whitebait.
    Good substitute.
    Will definitely make these again.

    We had a few dramas over the January stay.
    The engine oil pressure disappeared and we were without engine
    Guess what the outboard had died on us as well.
    Bugger!!! as they say.

    When our engine finally died we were on our way to join the crews of Silverado and Zulu at Kingfish lodge.
    It was yet another cloudy and misty day and as we sailed into the mooring.

    Geoff and Pat the skipper from Zulu came across on Zulu’s tender and helped us moor.
    So safe for now.

    The sun came out
    A couple of views from the bar at Kingfish.
    Nice little sculpture and the landing.

    We forgot our woes and went ashore and a pleasant afternoon was spent in the bar at Kingfish.
    Peter and Steph the owners of Zulu with their Crew Pat and Lani, 2 Canadians crewing their way across the world...Plus Geoff and Laurian
    What a way to apend an afternoon.

    Great people excellent drinks

    Laurian and Geoff are quite the pool sharks
    The crowd went wild!
    Dale was pretty good too.
    Where did these people spend their youth?

    A few games of pool and back to the boat..

    The next problem was what to do next.
    Through our friend Garry we were able to secure the us of Bob Evan’s Mooring No 77 so we had enough engine grunt to get us there..
    The problem was we needed to get back home, we were about to have a holiday with our family in Omaha .
    The decision was made that I would catch the bus home and come and up get Dale later.
    A few phone calls and as luck would have it we were able to secure the services of Tom from Seapower in Opua.
    And I was able to get on the bus
    He came up and I left them to it.

    As you have probably gathered
    Dale managed to get the boat back home.

    We had the holiday in Omaha It was fantastic
    And then here we are back up north again.

    Whangaroa “village” is a pretty little place

    There is a general store
    The Pub

    The Game Fish Club

    A Marina and here is our bay, where we are currently domiciled
    There were major rainstorms here in Whangaroa last year and this section has been the victim of major landslides.
    Luckily the house wasn’t damaged but someone is very busy using a chainsaw everyday and there is a digger there provably preparing for a retaining wall. I think.

    Nice spot though
    We did have a lovely view across the harbour BUT
    Unfortunately this is the view that we now have.
    Seafort “The rust bucket”
    Got it looking good this year!!!

    In the lst couple of weeks we have had guests and spent time with other boaties.

    Pete and LP Burt spent a couple of days with us
    As you can see they are having a terrible time.
    Geoff and Laurian meanwhile

    have been constant companions
    We have had a lot of fun and they have been a great source of power and fish
    Silverado is 46’ Launch and he has to run his Genset anytime he's needs power.
    We have taken advantage of that and plugged in to charge our batteries.
    Our only power is battery driven and they need constant charging.
    We normally have to run the engine at least an hour a day.

    Here’s Geoff filleting some mahi mahi for our dinner

    Laurian just pan fried the mahi mahi I made some pasta flavoured with carrots.

    There was a Riviera launch fishing tournament and we made new friends .

    Aaron and Ian from Aquapro who were responsible for taxiing contestants to functions at Kingfish Lodge.

    Aquapro was a sponsor of the contest.

    Pity we didn’t have them when we had our outing at the Gamefish Club last Saturday
    But that’s another story for another time!
    The boys had time on their hands and caught fresh crayfish, kawhai and snapper.

    Laurian cooked up the crays
    What a feast!

    Not much left. Not a leg went to waste. It was fabulous.

    By the way we got the snapper and the kawhai.

    Geoff and Laurian were off to catch more large fish with their son Jesse off the Bay of Islands

    With their departure came the arrival of our intrepid traveling companion Lana

    Normally she is part of our January holiday but this year her traveling was curtailed,
    She broke her ankle.
    Broken legs and boats really don’t mix.
    So she drove up just before Easter for a quick break

    She was the lucky recipient of the fresh snapper.

    When Lana was in the South of France at a French language course a few years ago.
    She is great at managing to find the more interesting people in the group
    Amongst the fellow pupils were these delightful people, Americans, Mal and Martha .

    They were touring New Zealand with their son Chris and we were lucky enough to be able to entertain them on Cajun Moon for lunch one day.

    It was a gorgeous day.
    I turned the Kawhai into my favourite fish cake recipe.
    I have already posted this earlier

    Just go back a couple of posts.
    They are excellent.

    So here we are now everyone has gone.
    Not too tough though.
    It has been hot and sunny.
    Swimming everyday.
    Bur unfortunately it has been raining today.

    Swimming is not so inviting.

    But it has given me time to write this blog.

    Always something good everyday