How many men had their marriage vows witnessed by fire-breathing dragons and man-eating cats?
- Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop
Oh dear! I'm getting very slack at this blogging thing of late but life has just been so super busy. I flew to Christchurch on Boxing Day then we went kayaking which you can read about here and here.
When we got back I hung around in Christchurch for another 3 weeks. In amongst working (I can do some work remotely) and surviving aftershocks (there was a 5.1 one morning which was a rather interesting way to wake up) we had some more adventures as usual! Then it was back to Auckland...well, for about 5 or 6 days anyway until I flew back down for the weekend! Now I am finally back in Auckland again and attempting to settle back into routine but it is proving a bit difficult!
So in my last post you got to see some of what we ate kayaking. Here are some other holiday meals (you can probably see a theme to our camping meals by now!!). At a holiday park in Hamner Springs we cooked up an indian curry mix from a packet with a tin of coconut cream and as many vegetables and beans as we could cram in. Simple and delicious.
Another weekend we went exploring around Craigieburn and camped somewhere near Mt White Station with some friends. Dinner consisted of veges, beans and pasta sauce on, well, pasta. So good after a long day out adventuring.
Here's the view from our campsite that night. I love the brooding sky.
When we weren't out exploring we still ate pretty well. I got very slack in the picture taking though...
We also had M's parents round for dinner one night and cooked up a storm. I didn't take pictures on the night (feeling a little bit self concious!) but here are some photos of the leftovers...M made a massive vegan lasagna which was pretty incredible. I think he made it with a whole lot of veges (mushrooms, courgette, pumpkin and possibly a whole lot of other things!), beans and tinned tomato.
For dessert I made a crumble with rhubarb from M's Mum's garden, apple and sultanas. It was SO good that it was difficult not to dive in for seconds and thirds but I was way too full.
Another night we went round to their house and M's Mum cooked up a really wicked vegan feast of salad, pizza and black currant crumble. I couldn't believe the effort she went to for us, even finding vegan cheese and I wish I'd taken photos but rest assured everything was super delicious.
And there was nothing you could do about a woman like that. She just turned herself into a hammer and you ran right into her.
- Making Money by Terry Pratchett
So yes, we are now well into 2011 but my posts are still stuck in last year...typical! I've been so busy I only end up getting further and further behind!
Anyway, after Christmas M and I had planned to do a 3 day kayaking trip up the Queen Charlotte Sound which is in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Unfortunately the weather turned ridiculously nasty overnight and as we continued our drive North it felt like our little rental car was going to either be blown off the road or stuck in water. A typical kiwi summer!
So that meant we couldn't start our kayaking that day and we were stuck in Picton for the night. We didn't fancy another night camping if the storm was going to continue so after ringing round a few places we managed to find a motel with space.
After scouting around the local supermarket in search of food to cook up for dinner, I discovered Bean Supreme marinated tofu on a super special (it had an expiry date for the following day). Sweet! Add a packet of frozen stir-fry veggies and we were set.
Fortunately the following morning dawned calm and clear so we were off on our adventure. We had flexible dates so we could still head out for 3 days of magical scenery.
Our kayak on the left all packed and ready to go
It was one of the most amazing adventures I've ever done and I can't wait to do another kayaking trip! You can read more about our trip here.
So what do you eat when you're out kayaking for a few days? You can pretty much take the kitchen sink with you on these double kayaks so we ate pretty well! We had a little gas cooker to make breakfasts and dinners on and lunch was a fine assortment of veggies and peanut butter on crackers (finished off with some licorice for good measure). M did most of the cooking while I did the chopping of vegetables. There's nothing like a bit of teamwork.
Dinner on the first night was pasta with fresh veggies, a bottle of pasta sauce and a tin of kidney beans. Our veggies had a little trip into the sea so there was no need for salt (okay fine, we did rinse them in fresh water afterwards but a little salt never hurt anyone right?).
Our second dinner was boil in a bag rice (classic!) and curry (made with a random sachet of curry paste we found at the supermarket, fresh veggies, a small tin of pineapple and a tin of chickpeas). The others at our campsite kept commenting on the amazing smell coming from our little cooker. I think they were jealous.
Breakfasts were porridge made with wholegrain oats, water, jumbo raisins and banana. Oh, and I had to add peanut butter to mine because I'm like that. Kept me going all morning each day (always important if you're going to be paddling for hours on end.
Everything tastes so much more amazing when you are outside on an adventure!
Happy New Year everyone!!
'One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything.'
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
I'm now back in Auckland and the weather is as unpredicitable as ever. Earlier today it was super sunny as I wandered down the street but it's gone all grey now! I am looking forward to a summer down south.
Anyway, here is just a little snapshot of food from the first few days down south. More to come. My flight down to Christchurch arrived just in time for me to be really starving and in need of dinner so M whipped up a mean green curry...the first of many (perhaps too many?) in a row!
I supplied the dessert...2 pieces of mint slice from Revel up in Auckland after we discovered the magic the previous weekend.
I now have to work out how to make my own version. This might even top the ginger crunch from Soul Food but I think I need to do a few more taste tests before I reach a final conclusion! Plus I need to do some more "sampling" research before making it myself!
The next day it was a long car trip north to Nelson. We decided to go via Kaikoura where we stopped for lunch. M's sister used to work up there and suggested we try Hislops Cafe.
I got the lentil burger which was pretty tasty but I was really hungry so it could have done with two slices of bread instead of just the one on the bottom.
After making it to Nelson just in time for our races we needed dinner so M and I ventured into town in search of Poppy Thai after a recommendation from a local.
We started off with spring rolls. I love spring rolls!
I couldn't decide what I wanted for my main course until M pointed out the pineapple curry and I was sold. I added tofu to the vegetarian option and it was really delicious. Leftovers were eaten cold for lunch the next day.
Nelson is pretty...
...but Lake Rotoiti the following day was even more amazing.
I live in a most beautiful country.
He could not accurately have told anyone how he passed the next several hours. He was lost in his own creative reverie. In a rapid hand that skated across the white paper like a bird landing on water, he mapped out his scenery
- The Final Act of Mr Shakespeare by Robert Winder
About this time last week I fell asleep at my desk but luckily today I am much more awake! 5:40am flights are not fun.
Anyway, it feels like a lifetime ago now but about a week and a half ago now (?) I flew down to Christchurch for a race in central Otago. 10:30pm is quite possibly the latest I've ever had dinner but my plane didn't land until after 9:30pm and then we had to go pick up some gear from B's house. I think I was getting to the point of wanting to eat my hand by the time we finally got to M's house but it was okay because he had cooked me dinner!
Homemade bread fresh out of the breadmaker (it was still warm!!) and pumpkin soup!
I'd made a double-batch of the Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies from Veganomicon...one of the batches went to my brother (because I am an awesome sister!) and the other was technically for M's sister to bribe her into picking him up from the airport the week before but of course we needed to do a taste test first!
They were so ridiculously sweet and rich that I actually only managed half a piece which is saying something since I can normally finish anything sweet! But then again, it was, like, 11:30pm by then and such a late dinner really screws with my appetite. But in saying that, they were certainly delicious and I hear via the grapevine that M's sister has polished them all off.
Naturally we ended up sleeping in for ages the following morning so I was practically ravenous by the time I awoke. We had planned to go to The Orange Tree for breakfast but it was shut due to minor earthquake damage so we trooped off to Cathedral Square and made it to The Lotus Heart just in time to make their cutoff for the breakfast menu.
First up...drinks. I wish I could remember what my juice was because despite being bright green it was seriously delicious. M ordered some berry smoothie...I just love the bright colours.
I really wanted the Flax-oat French Toast which was really delicious and super filling.
M's choice was the Raw Cacoa Crepes (at least I think that's what they were). The crepes were made with cacoa and zucchini apparently and filled with all sorts of fresh fruit.
On first glance I swear the crepes look like they're filled with lollies! But I'll be honest here, we both found the crepes to be far to rich and chocolatey for breakfast (I can't believe I'm saying this!). A single one of these for dessert would be amazing but it was all a bit much for breakfast.
After breakfast (we'd reached midday by then!) we went for a wander around town (or the parts of it we could access) to see some of the earthquake damage. To be honest you couldn't see all that much in town because many of the roads looked like this...
There were army trucks and police cars everywhere (this was nearly a week after the first earthquake but Christchurch is still being hit by aftershocks).
When we parked our car to go to breakfast we passed this building below. Its whole roof had collapsed and tried to escape out the window. There are buckled buildings all over the show.
Each building you pass in town has a piece of paper taped to it describing it's current state. You don't want to find one of these red ones on your building.
We didn't head out to the south where a lot of the damage is as we were running a bit late and needing to head off on our journey into central Otago for the weekend. Thankfully I only felt a couple of aftershocks while I was in Christchurch but the low rumbling sound before the house started shaking is really quite scary.
Anyway, this post is already quite long enough so the rest of the adventure will have to wait...