Posted by Tricia on 2 February 2013 | 7 Comments

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Like most kiwi's foraging is in my genes. I can proudly claim Polish and English descent on my dad's side and Taranaki Maori and Welsh on my mum's side. My dad's greatgrandparents came over to New Zealand as refugees to escape the annexation of their country by Germany. Polish schools were closed and to use the Polish language was forbidden. This was in 1876. They were stoic folk, my people. They sailed to New Zealand on a scheme that was abandoned by the NZ Company mid-ocean and on arrival were sent by the colonial Government to Inglewood, Taranaki, as labourers. Somehow they managed to survive. At the time it was said they were treated worse than the Maori. My Polish ancestors gathered the native tree fungus hokeke and sold it to Chew Chong, an enterprising and honourable Chinese business man. He traveled up and down country on the train and purchased sacks of the fungus from the Polish immigrants. These he exported to China. For the recipe read the full post.

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Deliciously Citrusy Almond and Polenta Cake.

Posted by Tricia on 18 November 2012 | 3 Comments

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I've been wanting to use polenta for years now. I finally have and it's certainly earned a spot in my cake-baking repertoire. These days I reserve baking for special occasions however, sometimes I would like to have a cake in the tin that I can indulge in now and then with a cuppa, and preferably it be wheat-free. This cake fits the bill exactly. The "flour" content is half polenta/half almond meal which brings down the cost of ingredients.  I have another orange cake recipe where I use all macadamia meal. It's very, very delicious. I have my own macadamias, but it does takes forever to get enough nuts for a cake out of the shells. If I have someone around who is hungry enough for that cake they will often shell the nuts. Remember the story about the little red hen? For the recipe read the full post.

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Posted by tricia on 8 September 2012 | 5 Comments

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The lemon trees are loaded and the chooks are laying fit to bust. It never rains but it pours around here. (literally as well at metaphorically) So what to do with the abundance? It is tricky when you live on your own and far from your kids, to know what to do with all the produce. I've already preserved lemons, made marmalade and mixed peel. Eggs are more difficult to preserve but lemon curd is one way. I thought I could use some lemon curd or lemon honey, as it is also called, in an adaptation of my apple and almond cake  I'll substitute curd for the apples, add a layer of sour cream and maybe use poppy seeds instead of the almonds. I've got a recipe tucked away somewhere that sloshes a bit of gin on top of a lemon cake! That sounds yummy too. I'll let you know how it turns out! Again, I'm always a sucker for a citron tart with a dollop of thick, tart yoghurt. So many possibilities. I think I'll be needing to make a few batches!  It is usual to store lemon curd in jars but still it must be kept in the fridge and will last for only a few months. I am going to experiment and freeze my lemon curd in snaplock bags. For the recipe read the full post.

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Posted by Tricia on 5 August 2012 | 4 Comments

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I love my home-made marmalade. There is nothing quite like it.  Lashings of butter and chunky marmalade on freshly made bread and a hot cuppa, or for breakfast; a new laid egg, soft-boiled with toast and marmalade and a cup of best coffee. Last night after I'd cooked up this batch I couldn't resist having it for my dinner, on toast with chunks of good organic cheddar. Move over brown rice, well for last night anyway! I love my marmalade chunky with grapefruit. I'm not into minced up marmalade and I can't abide orange or lime marmalade. It's missing the strong and bitter taste that I crave in a marmalade. Here's how to make best grapefruit marmalade.

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Make your own apple cider vinegar Part two

Posted by Tricia on 22 July 2012 | 2 Comments

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I figured it was time I got around to straining off my apple cider vinegar. See  Make your own cider vinegar Part one. Well over a year has passed since I had put it down and it was a grey and rainy Sunday, just perfect for mucking around in the kitchen. Read the full post.

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Posted by Tricia on 14 July 2012 | 4 Comments

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This winter as always, I was determined not to succumb to the bot. Sadly it sneaked in the back door when I wasn't looking. I dosed myself up with all my usual remedies, Vit C, echinacea, cayenne pepper, lemon and honey drinks, kumarahou and kawakawa tonics, and consequently I wasn't actually ever sick enough to warrant any time in bed or any days off work. What got me in the end was "The Cough" It came on every evening at 8pm and continued until 2am. It didn't matter whether I was in bed or out of bed, inside or outside, in the bath or by the fire. It was a horribly persistent and at times quite violent cough, which after 10 days was still going strong. By now I was really exhausted. A friend suggested using an onion in my room at night. I did and was quite blown away by the result. She has been doing this for her family for years and it has always worked for night coughs apart from when her boy had whooping cough. For more details read the full post.

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Posted by Tricia on 24 June 2012 | 6 Comments

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I'm not sure why I have resisted green smoothies for so long. One reason perhaps is because I don't have a proper blender, let alone one of those high powered jobs that people who make green smoothies always recommend. I've always found my stick blender sufficient for making my favourite yoghurt smoothie. Another thing I resist is buying greens. I want them freshly picked from the garden and still buzzing with vitality. Last week, I gave the green smoothie a go with my old faithful stick blender and it worked well enough. Every winter I am recommended by my wonderful osteopath to consume fresh, young raw greens. My gut goes into stagnation around this time of year and needs chlorophyll-rich living food. Well I came home from an osteopathic session last week and wandered around the garden picking a bit of this and a bit of that, stick blended it up with a little water and added some fresh fruit and a little honey. I am hooked now, and my gut has responded beautifully. Gone is the uncomfortable bloating and thankfully the gas.  Kale is recommended as a major player in green smoothies, but I wanted to use only what was growing in the garden. This was to incorporate some of the edible weeds that I wax lyrical about on my blog. For my first smoothie, I picked a few leaves each of cos lettuce, silverbeet, kale, NZ spinach, parsley, dandelion, nasturtium, clover, puha and sorrel. The list is endless, you could add chickweed, coriander (cilantro), rocket, land cress, mizuna, any of the rocket mixes etc etc, pretty much whatever you have on hand. As always make sure you have a thorough knowledge of any weeds you use to ensure they are safe for consumption.  For the here's how read the full post.

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Best Ever Porridge with a touch of Ayurveda

Posted by Tricia on 12 June 2012 | 5 Comments

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It seems to be true that as you get older your digestion becomes more sensitive and reactive. I used to be able to eat anything and in large quantities and suffer no consequences. Now I need to eat in a conscious way and choose carefully what I put into my body. Don't get me wrong, for the most part of my adult life I've endeavered to eat organic wholefood. However, these days there seems to be an increasing overload of weird stuff that goes into or onto our bodies no matter what we do. One of my daughters rang the other day to tell me she had read the label of the 'organic' rice milk that she had been enjoying of late and there it was. To her disappointment they were using canola oil. As my other daughter told me recently when talking about food "you have to choose your battles". Taking into account the high prices of everything so-called organically produced, for most regular families to make those healthy choices it must feel almost unachievable.

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Cooked Beetroot Salad

Posted by Tricia on 26 May 2012 | 3 Comments

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This is my latest craze. Cooked beetroot salad. I've been having it nearly every day or a variation of for lunch for the last few weeks. Packed full of goodness, all the ingredients are usually close at hand. I cook enough beetroot and chickpeas to last me the week, and then pick the fresh ingredients each day to make a bowl of deliciousness. I've been used to cooking for a tribe and it's strangely difficult to make the change to cook and eat healthy food for one. I'm still making the adjustment and looking for ways to feed myself well. For me fresh and simple tastes best. I've been researching beetroot recently and it really is a wonder food, touted for keeping cholesterol at a healthy level. Eat it 3 times a week for maximum effect. I sure won't be finding that a difficulty!  For the recipe read the full post.

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Posted by Tricia on 19 May 2012 | 4 Comments

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I've finally got around to making another batch of plum sauce. The last precious bottle was consumed nearly a year ago and by gosh I've missed it. I don't care for any of the commercially made sauces. I use my plum sauce on burgers, sausages, fried eggs (divine), and pan fried potatoes. I do have plum trees but they haven't got to the age yet of producing enough plums for sauce or jam making. I had some plums given to me last season and was too busy at the time to make them into sauce. They keep well enough frozen for sauce making so I freeze them in 2.7kg (6lb) lots until I'm ready and psyched for a day in the kitchen. Today was that day. It was cold and rainy, and Molly, my eldest daughter was visiting. We had planned to do some house painting. Instead we stoked up the fire, and spent a day inside cooking and eating. For recipe read the full post.

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