Sunday Night Stand in Black
I drive a little Toyota Echo which I love. I see little need for big cars, but that is another
conversation, on the back of my little car is a small dishevelled figure. Looks a little like
me when I am at the end of my squats in my training session. It is a transfer from an All
Black campaign a number of years ago when the by –line was stand in black. Of course
the Blacks have moved on since that time but the motto still has, as you say, legs.
With today being Waitangi Day it is time to revisit what our country stands for and
means for you. I like Stand in Black. We are distinguished worldwide by our uniform;
the pride we feel when see a black singlet in a sporting crowd, a black sail or swimsuit.
Who would have thought that such a ‘non’ colour could make such an impact?
For me I love, just like the township of Bulls has, the play on variations of the name. All
Blacks came first but they have populated a tradition that plays out in a whole range of
scenarios. Black Caps, Black Sticks, Tall Black, Black Cocks, Black Ferns and the other
side of the coin using that symbol that is just as distinctive the Silver Ferns, the White
Caps, All Whites the list is endless.
So stand in black is about being proud, upright and positive about this fantastic country
of ours. These days Kiwiana is the new black. This is evident in plenty of ways, and it is
so cool now to use Kiwi design, have Kiwi themed items for your home, feast on our
wonderful produce and wine, wear fabulous Kiwi fashion and enjoy all our culture has to
offer in film, theatre, dance, words and music.
A wonderful business in Wellington is run by Eleanor Steel she is Es design. Not only do
they make all sorts of neat Kiwi themed stuff for the house, they support local design
students, recycle a rundown piece of furniture into an interesting new focal point for
your home. Es Design also stocks other Kiwi ‘good stuff’. Sarah Maxey local Wellington
designer has a range of prints, stationery, linen cards and more, what you can’t pick up
at Eleanor’s you can find on her website. Esther Diamond typifies Kiwi cool – tea towels
in fabulous designs in clever themes by clever Kiwi designs like Dick Frizzell and Fane
Flaws again available on line and in cool ‘Kiwi’ black and white. These make the best
little gifts and great for mailing. I recall some while ago visiting Mrs Jones in Warkworth
and being enchanted by a trip back in time, their website indicates it is still a destination
worth stopping off for.
NZ Canvas lounge is a different jumping off point for clever and reasonable prints for
your home. Buy one of their stylised tiki prints, their ‘bus blind’ sets of distinctive kiwi
phrases or send in your own for a truly unique canvass. A wander around most towns
will provide kiwi people doing great kiwi stuff. I often shop by Abstract in Cuba Mall for
a gift purchase – a coaster block chock full of pineapple lumps or Eskimos teamed with
even a plain white mug is a very stylish team, or a resene black of same for the kitchen
wall. Still nothing beats the tiki salad servers thrown on the barbie table. Even if Kiwiana
isn’t your bag – New Zealand design and ideas is up there with the world’s best.
This week’s ideas are the inch at the top of the kiwi iceberg, ideas, products and goodies
abound too numerous to ever list. Send in your favourite ‘kiwi’ themed gear to share. A
sure winner in the overseas, and local goodie bag, is NZ Music and NZ Poetry a slice of
local flavour that is hard to beat.
I head off this week to secure my winter order from local designer Deryn Schmidt whose
2011 winter range is out. A bonus for those of us with slightly challenging
measurements is her made to measure service of her designs.
We were joking at work, as you do, plot a cultural environmental scan the trouble with
Culture, and by that we mean – arts, heritage, galleries, museums and sports, is that
there is just too darn much of it. What to do, where to start? Coming up this week will
just make the choice tougher. In Auckland there is Zoo Music (at least you can knock off
tow activates that way). The Pumphouse Amphitheatre has Shakespeare in the Park.
What is it about summer that brings on a rash of Shakespeare – he’s breaking out all
over, rest assured you won’t miss out – he’s heading to a spot near you.
In Welly next weekend sees Chinese New Year being kicked off in style and for those of
you who enjoyed the movie Burlesque keep the passion alive with the The Great NZ
Burlesque Festival and Expo at Red Square also next weekend. Ideas, gigs and
opportunities flooded my in box this week, hot on the heels of the great new line-up at
the City Gallery The New Dowse not to be outdone has a grand new array of offerings as
well. My trusty Echo will be beating a circuit around the galleries over the next few
weeks. Next just when you thought it was safe to sit down, take the Wellington Public
Art challenge .. and like culture (which I guess it is) there is just so much of it.
In ChCh just the ticket to start Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2011 countdown is The
Complete History of World Rugby Abridged kicking for touch daily on the Daffodil lawn
at the Botanic Gardens.
As if by magic another interesting email landed in the in tray. Having just 12 hours
earlier penned the opening sentence to Stand in Black and the New Zealand Fashion
Museum newsletter dropped into the mailbox. Aptly titled Back in Black a pop –up
fashion exhibition planned for this year and the launch of a little black cocktail. The
Fashion museum is a virtual exciting dynamic concept well worthy of support.
After last week’s start to the year several; readers emailed in, one re the muffins with
the tip of never more than 12 stirs and one interesting recipe that follows of ginger
syrup ( follows), just the tonic for these steamy days.
Recipes this week are all over the kiwi theme enjoy.
As a country we have come a long way, from cultural cringe to cultural flaunt.
Otorohanga claims for itself Kiwiana capital, a kiwi geek site starts a list of ‘kiwana’ but
we are way more varied and cool than that these days. Waitangi day has come and
gone, and does it mean what it should? Should our national day be a day to shout from
the roof tops this land is your land – this land in our land apologies to Arlo Guthrie.. A
country for all New Zealanders. A national day should be just that a day of celebration,
not conflict, a day for family and friends and fun and all the things that make this home
of ours great. It appears as Waitangi Day has passed without major mishap or mayhem
but as we spilled out of Circa Theatre last evening onto the Te Papa forecourt I couldn’t
help but think that the day would should be like the party going on around us the
overflow from the Sevens. Drummers throbbed out their beat in unison surrounded by
theatre goers – clowns, nuns, rubic cubes every manner of costumed revellers
celebrating not only the party that Wellington makes the Sevens but a New Zealand win.
You could not help but be caught up in the beat.
After all we have graduated from a black singlet into a smart,
urbane, boundary pushing country here at the edge of the world,
leading this planet in all sorts of ways. We are now the chic ‘little
black dress’ we must step into the sunlight here on the Brightside
of the world and Stand in Black.
Bacon and Egg Pie – Karen style
Everybody has their favourite version do you break the eggs or leave them whole? My
fav is this.
I use Edmonds pastry sheets (at present I am using reduced fat ones) I find them
2 – 3 sheets dependant on pie size.
Spray the pie dish for ease of cutting lay the bottom layer of pastry in the dish. Sprinkle
with some grated cheese * beat together 6 – 8 eggs with S & P.
In the dish layer chopped bacon (never ham) with thinly sliced tomatoes and chopped
parsley. Pour over beaten eggs leaving a small amount to brush the top of the pie.
Add a handful more of grated cheese and top with remaining pastry. Lightly brush and
cook at 220c for 25 – 35 mins as necessary. Cool and serve slightly warm.
*Grated cheese on the base makes for a crispy pie bottom.
Ginger Syrup ( from Jocelyn)
This is not so sweet and for that reason seems strange initially, but then it is nigh on addictive.
The recipe is as follows:
4 cups water (I use distilled) 2 cups sliced unpeeled fresh ginger
2Tbs honey 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
Frozen seedless grapes Sparkling water
Mint sprigs to garnish
I have also used mint ice blocks instead of the grapes, but I prefer the latter.
The recipe makes about 2 cups of ginger syrup.
Bring the water and fresh ginger to boiling point, keep lid on, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour.
Take lid off and simmer for another 1/2 hour. Strain liquid through cheesecloth or sieve, add
honey and lemon juice and mix. Cool and then bottle. Store in fridge, will last 7-10 days.
(Actually possibly longer, but I have not tested that.)
To make a cool drink. Put 1/4 of glass of ginger syrup into a glass with frozen grapes and fill with
sparkling water. The grapes last about 3 months in a sealed ziplock bag.
To make a hot drink put 3 Tbs of ginger syrup in a glass, with hot water and add more
lemon and/or honey to taste.
Old fashioned Mayonnaise
There are plenty of modern versions around; but I keep this made up in the fridge
always, it is popular and great to add to heaps of recipes.
1 can condensed milk, good shakes of S & P. 1 tsp dry mustard. Pour all into a glass jar
top with equal part white or malt vinegar. Screw the lid on and shake well.
Best pickled Pork
Often old favourites get overlooked with all the modern food we have. A great old
stalwart worth serving as an alternative to corned beef or ham is Pickled Pork.
Buy a piece of pickled pork from your butcher (preferably free range). Place it in a pot
with cld water to cover it.
Add a bay leaf, peppercorn. Parsley and allspice (6 berries)
Bring to the bowl – lower the heat and cook for just over two hours or until tender when
poked with a fork.
Drain pop into a loaf tin and leave to cool with a weight on it. Serve sliced with your
Spiced Kiwifruit pickle is my favourite.
Spiced Kiwifruit Pickle
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 tabspn whole cloves 1 tabspn whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick
10 – 12 kiwifruit
Place vinegar, sugar, cloves, allspice and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Bring to boil
stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for five minutes.
Peel kiwifruit, cut into thick slices crossways. Strain liquid and discard spices. Add
kiwifruits and gently simmer for 10 mins.
Pack into clean jars and seal.
Best Whitebait fritters
Forget the fancy stuff
1 egg, 1tabspn flour, ¼ tsp salt, whitebait – ½ - 1 cup 25 g butter and oil.
In a small bowl whisk egg until frothy, fold in flour and salt – add whitebait. Heat butter
and oil in the fry pan and drop spoonfuls off whitebait into the hot butter. When lightly
golden turn and cook other side. Serve hot.
As you know beetroot is enjoying a return to favour. An old favourite for a salad is
moulded beetroot, but only cooked a prepared at home.
We have been growing beetroot and when not roasting it this old recipe is popular.
Cook 3 -4 medium beetroot until tender. Peel and slice and layer in a wet loaf tin with
finely sliced onions (I use red these days.
Dissolve a dspn of gelatine in a cup of boiling water. Using 2 – 3 tspns of sugar sprinkle
each layer of slices with sugar. Add 2 tbspns vinegar in with gelatine mix and pour it all
over the sliced mix. Set, turn and serve.
Beetroot and horseradish.
Cook 3 – 6 med beets in ½ cup sugar and a splash of vinegar. Cook 20 – 30 mins until
tender. Cool and then peel. Toss in 1/4cup of sour cream and horse radish cream
mixed together. Add capers and chopped chives and parsley to taste. Serve at room