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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Corner View – Hunger

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Mitchelli's Potato Rosti & Hot Smoked Salmon

Mitchelli’s Potato Rosti & Hot Smoked Salmon

I’ve been away from Corner View for a while but this Corner View is a perfect one to return to!  I love my food and I always have lots of food photographs in my photo library.  Here are a few meals I’ve particularly enjoyed recently.

First up is one of my favourite hot breakfasts – the Potato Rosti & Hot Smoked Salmon with Dill-flavoured sour cream from one of my favourite cafes –  Mitchelli’s at The Tannery in Christchurch.

Next up is the gorgeous Quinoa and Cannellini Bean Salad from a cute little cafe which has recently opened here called ‘Hello Sunday’.

And then there is the thoroughly decadent and divine Churros and Spanish Hot Chocolate from The Mediterranean Food Company (where you can also get fabulous pizzas and buy lots of gorgeous grocery items from the Mediterranean and beyond).

Finally there is The World’s Best Platter – courtesy of our fabulous friend Lyn from Leithfield. There’s nothing better than arriving at Lyn & Roy’s place early on a Saturday evening and tucking into one of these with a glass of something bubbly close by.

I’ve had my dinner but I’m feeling hungry again after looking at all this food!!

Hello Sunday's Qunoa & Cannellini Bean Salad

Hello Sunday’s Qunoa & Cannellini Bean Salad

 

 

Mediterranean Food Company's Churros and Hot Chocolate

Mediterranean Food Company’s Churros and Hot Chocolate

Lyn & Roy's Fabulous Pre-dinner platter

Lyn & Roy’s Fabulous Pre-dinner platter

Snow??

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Weather forecast for Christchurch - due tomorrow night

Weather forecast for Christchurch – due tomorrow night

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s our weather forecast for the next couple of days – ” . . . there is a severe weather watch for heavy snow in Southland and Eastern parts of Otago, central and northern Canterbury and southern Marlborough”.

I have said we don’t usually get snow here in Christchurch but after two heavy falls last year, and one light fall already this year – I don’t think there is a ‘normally’ for our weather any more. And we’ve just had more rain over the last two days than we usually get in the whole of June. Lots of houses flooded and people being evacuated in fire trucks. What is going on???

 

Eliza’s Dream Goes to Market

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Eliza's Dream's Stall at Market on the Front Lawn

Eliza’s Dream’s Stall at Market on the Front Lawn

Two weeks ago I took Eliza’s Dream to market for the first time!  It was so much fun. I sold a few things, I got a lot of lovely comments and it felt so nice to be out in the world rather than just selling on-line. I shared a stall with a lovely friend Heather who sells vintage clothes as ‘Love me Again Vintage’ and I had my wee girl Brianna along to help me. She loved it too – especially when Heather offered to look after the stall while Brianna and I went for a little browse around the other stalls.  We bought a few things – of course!

Market on the Front Lawn, Westmelton, Canterbury, New Zealand

Market on the Front Lawn, Westmelton, Canterbury, New Zealand

My little helper

My little helper

Peonies

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Peonies - Dutch Light - Dynamic Light App

We bought these beautiful peonies at a farmers’ market on Saturday morning. When we bought them they were tightly curled buds of pink and white. Now their silky petals have unfurled into luxurious layers – sumptuous and full-skirted, belles of the ball. I photographed them just now because Brianna and I are off to school camp today and by the time we return on Wednesday they will be past their best – blowsy and middle-aged, their dance cards no longer full of eager beaux.

I used my iPhone of course – and put them through one of my current favourite apps – Dynamic Light.  Gorgeous :-)

Peonies - Old Photo - Dynamic Light App

Where I live – doors

Friday, May 4th, 2012

The front door of our cottage – framed by our two funny-looking topiary bushes. We ordered a couple of little trees when we landscaped our front garden 18 months ago and these are what we ended up with. They remind me of something out of Dr Suess. We weren’t all that happy with them to start with but they’ve sort of – excuse the pun – grown on us! Not that we’re looking after them all that brilliantly. And we’re certainly not keeping them trimmed as regularly as they should be.  Ah well . . .

A perfect day

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

1st birthday card of the day

Yesterday was my birthday. And despite the fact I was turning an age that seems quite bizarre – surely I can’t be THAT old already??! – I had a truly lovely day. I started it my attending my 31st yoga class for the month (Yes! I completed the 31 day challenge!!) and it was a fabulous class taken by a new teacher called Dawn whose teaching style I really enjoyed. Next we had an end-of-term concert put on by Brianna’s ballet school which was gorgeous. Brianna was a fairy and I – doting mother that I am – thought she and her friend Mya looked like the most fairy-like fairies of them all. At a cafe before the concert Mya and her family gave me the birthday card in the photo above – gorgeously hand-made by Mya, her sister Edie and their Mum, Andrea.

After the concert we dropped Brianna off at Gug’s (her name for my Mum) place for a sleep-over and Kevin drove me over the to the Peninsula where we had lunch at She – a lovely place with gorgeous food, great coffee and absolutely incredible hot chocolates. Indeed the place specialises in chocolate (they make their own) – so what better place for a chocolate lover like me to go on her birthday!  I had the extra-dark hot chocolate and a complimentary birthday truffle after my lunch. Next – a wee spot of shopping (bought myself a nice skirt and some lovely wine-red trousers) and finally dinner out at Freemans in Lyttelton.

Freemans is a gorgeous restaurant which has true staying power – badly damaged in February’s quake, and then again again in June and they received another shake up just as they were finally ready to re-open for business in late December. They opened anyway and good on them. So glad they’re still up and running – we had a wonderful night. Thank you Freemans!

The end of a perfect evening

The last sunflower of summer . . .

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Late last year all the children in Brianna’s class planted a sunflower seed in a plastic plant pot. Brianna brought hers home and we carefully watered it. And watered it. And watered it. It took it’s time coming up but eventually a small seedling appeared. Great excitment from Brianna. She was amazed. And very proud. And as we watered that little seedling every day it slowly – oh so very slowly – grew a little taller, and a little taller. Meanwhile my sunflowers – planted directly into the garden around the same time – were growing like crazy. Brianna kept looking at them – and looking and hers – and asking ‘Why?’

I explained that plants often didn’t grow as fast in pots – so we transplanted her little sunflower into the earth. It grew a lot faster from then on – until before long it was taller and thicker of stalk than mine. But no flower appeared while mine were putting out flowers like there was no tomorrow. Then on Sunday night just passed we went to bed – saying goodnight to the big green tufty thing at the top which I had been promising would turn into a flower for what seemed like forever – and on Monday morning we got up to be greeted by the most radiant, the most massive, the most sunflowery sunflower we had ever seen. Brianna is ecstatic. I breathed a sigh of relief that our Autumn is – thus far – so mild and our beautiful flower has had a chance to bloom.

Indian Summer

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

We are currently having somewhat of an Indian summer here in Christchurch. I say ‘somewhat’ because it has been a bit sporadic with some really horrible rainy stuff happening every now and again. Mostly though it has been warm – even when it rains – and sometimes it has been really hot – like today. Last weekend we went for picnics to the Botanic Gardens on Saturday and Sunday.  Brianna played in the playground and larked about in the paddling pool while Kevin and I lay under a big tree and relaxed. Nice!

Today it is very hot – my iPhone weather app tells me it’s 26 degrees celsius but I think it’s hotter. I am waiting to be picked up to drive to the seaside suburb of Sumner for a night out with a bunch of girlfriends. We are celebrating one of our 40th birthdays – not mine :-)  The birthday I have coming up very soon is a wee way past 40. Ah well, it’s not your age – so they say – it’s how you feel!

Winery Tour

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Barrel fermenting at Pegusus Bay Winery

Huge aged French Oak barrel at Pegasus Bay Winery

Tasting wine to check for development. Metal fermenting vat in background

The bottling room - you can see the bottles being sterilised on the right and filled on the left

French Oak Barrels outside Pegasus Bay Winery

Outside the restaurant and tasting room at Pegasus Bay Winery

Tasting!

As I mentioned in my last post I accompanied my daughter Brianna on a school camp earlier this week. As well as being brave on the rope swing and the flying fox I was lucky enough to join a small group of parents and children who went on a tour of Pegasus Bay Winery – which just happened to be a few kilometres down the road from camp! Lucky us! When we arrived we were ushered ‘backstage’ through the door marked ‘Staff only’ and found ourselves in the huge cool room full of wine happily fermenting in French Oak barrels (mainly cabernet-merlots, pinot noirs and chardonnays). Next stop was the big temperature controlled room full of massive steel vats – again, full of wine. Then we were taken into the bottling room – a hive of activity which revolved around a big bottling machine into which sterilised bottles were fed at one end where they were re-sterilised (by flushing them with hot water and drying them), filled with wine, and then capped (we use steel caps on our wine in New Zealand wineries – so no corks!).

Next we were taken outside were we saw the huge vats into which the freshly pressed grape juice is poured and we watched new French Oak barrels being unloaded. Then on into Pegasus Bay’s gigantic warehouse full to the ceiling with boxes of wine – both the Pegasus Bay label (which uses grapes from their own vineyard) and the Main Divide label (which uses grapes from other vineyards).

Then we were taken on a tour around the beautiful gardens where the children were given the thrill of feeding fish offcuts to the huge eels lurking under the lily pads. Finally we were led to the tasting room – all the adults were feeling very enthusiastic at that point, though it has to be said the children weren’t so keen. We were lucky enough to be given a very extensive tasting by our wonderful host Paul and I can now say that without a shadow of a doubt Pegasus Bay wines are absolutely beautiful.  Unusually for a winery in the Canterbury region they not only make gorgeous white wines (their Sauvignon-Semillon blend is particularly delicious, as is their dry Riesling Bel Canto) but they also make lovely red wines. The highlight for me though was their incredible range of what we in New Zealand call ‘stickies’ – essentially dessert wines made from late-harvest or botrytised grapes. These wines taste like how I always used to dream wine would taste when I was a child – like nectar. Like something the Gods would drink. Heaven!

Golden Days in Golden Bay

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Our holiday house

We spent the last couple of weeks of 2011 in one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand – Golden Bay. When we arrived on December 19th the area had just endured days of torrential rain which caused major landslips, and a lot of damage to homes and infrastructure. It was a weird feeling for us arriving from poor old battered Christchurch to find our holiday refuge coping with the after-effects of yet another natural disaster!  It was amazing though how quickly they got things up and running there. The day before we arrived the main Takaka-Collingwood Highway was closed due to a major slip, several popular beaches were closed due to sewerage contamination and the area’s main camping ground was closed due to problems with water provision. The Takaka-Collingwood Highway opened the day we arrived (albeit just one lane – but one lane is enough!) and the beaches and the campground opened several days later. Most miraculous of all though the sun shone the whole 9 days were were there! Brianna was able to practice her swimming skills (freshly learnt at a two-week intensive at school) in the sea (at Pakawau Beach) and in the fabulous swimming hole at the Aorere River. And Kevin and I were able to relax – for the first time in many months. God bless you Golden Bay – you are our paradise on earth.

Brianna and Kevin on Pakawau Beach

Brianna swimming at Pakawau Beach

Playing in the sand on Pakawau Beach

On Pohara Beach

Kevin & Brianna - Takaka River - Fabulous swimming hole

The Aorere River - another fabulous swimming hole

The back door of our holiday house - and lots of shoes!