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February 11th, 2017
This morning's walk
Went for a walk this morning along the waterfront (caught lots of Pokemon). The weather was cool & fine. Later it would get hot (for Auckland summer values of hot, which is nothing like the heatwave in AUstralia at the moment: 47 C in Sydney!).
At the end of Queen's Wharf is Michael Parekowhai's new work, The Lighthouse"
which has its official unveiling tonight.
From the water's edge.https://flic.kr/p/RXwPtb
From the shore side.https://flic.kr/p/RrvofG
It's clearly peak season: the queue for the Waiheke ferry was ridiculous. This was the queue taken just after the 9am sailing just departed. Ten minutes later, the line curved round onto the promenade. If it had been straight, there'd have been people blocking Quay Street.https://flic.kr/p/QJFAcY
If you're planning on a trip to Waiheke, go really early, or be prepared to wait.Tags: art
January 31st, 2017
A full week's worth of meals last week, with the hot weather having an influence on the food cooked.
Monday: Noodles & cabbage with chicken curryhttps://flic.kr/p/Qc5GpUhttps://flic.kr/p/QeS9xc
Tuesday: Grilled chicken wings marinated in honey, soy, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, with salad.https://flic.kr/p/Rvp41xhttps://flic.kr/p/QdQ2P3
Wednesday: Corn ftitters (with, of course, chilli sauce), 'summer slaw' https://flic.kr/p/QXw91Lhttps://flic.kr/p/Rm7G9p
Thursday: Fresh rolls with chicken & prawn. Nuoc cham on the side.https://flic.kr/p/RnFQgehttps://flic.kr/p/RuRsGATags: "cooking diary"
January 23rd, 2017
Sidart: first Tuesday Test Kitchen of 2017
We went to Sidart for their first Tuesday Test Kitchen of the year. The menu changes every week and we haven't been since they refurbished. The bar area has been moved to the expanded space, the Alhambra Room
, and a plating station sits where the bar used to be. I like that it brings the kitchen closer to the diners.
We had an early reservation which worked really well; we got to watch Auckland shift from day to night from our table. Some of the friends we went with hadn't been to Sidart before, and I am glad they had a good time. (It's not guaranteed that a restaurant you like is liked as much by other people; tastes being so idiosyncratic & personal.)
Flickr photoset here.https://flic.kr/s/aHskMiVURa( Or go beyond the cut for pictures & descriptions.Collapse )Tags: dinner
January 19th, 2017
Recipe: Vegan fried rice vermicelli.
Because I was asked.
Vegan fried rice vermicelli. Serves two-three (I think).
- Light vegetable oil, one tablespoon
- Dried shiitake mushrooms, generous handful
Place in bowl, pour boiling water until just covered & let sit until rehydrated. Cut into fairly thin slices. Retain the rehydration liquid.
- Choy sum, one bunch cut into ~4cm segments
- Grated fresh root ginger, about two teaspoons
- Vegetarian mock abalone (a.k.a. chai pow yu), one can
- Bird’s eye chillies, sliced, in a small container of light soy sauce
- Light soy sauce to taste.
- Rice vermicelli (I like the Wai Wai brand. They come in ~200g packets and I would use about half of that). Put the required amount into a large bowl, cover with warm water to rehydrate (takes some minutes). Make sure to drain while it’s still a bit stiff & set aside.
Heat up frypan to medium high.
Throw in sliced shiitake & stirfry until cooked through.
Add grated ginger & rice vermicelli and toss gently so that the vermicelli strands don’t break up.
Add liquid from shiitake and can of mock abalone including liquid, and stir through.
Stir in choy sum, and add light soy to taste.
Put lid on so the choy sum finishes wilting.
By now, the vermicelli should be cooked through.
Transfer to serving dish & serve with the chilli in soy sauce on the side.
NB: I’ve never written this down, so amounts & cooking times are guesses; you’ll have to taste as you go and make your own judgements.
It should end up looking something like this, but with choysum instead of bokchoy.https://flic.kr/p/GWbZadTags: recipe
January 16th, 2017
Tomorrow is 6 months since I started playing Pokemon Go. Today I finally got a Lapras to complete the non-regional starting set. It was from a 10km egg hatch; still haven't encountered one in the wild.
Bonus: the last time I weighed this little, I was a teenager.https://flic.kr/p/R5Arri
Current Mood: accomplished
January 15th, 2017
First full working week of the year = four cooknights (Fridays are normally for takeaways).
Monday: Spaghetti aglio e olio (with rocket, lemon & lots of cheese)https://flic.kr/p/QuiMTshttps://flic.kr/p/QugkYL
Tuesday: Bacon, egg, salad. (Salad is healthy right?)https://flic.kr/p/R6kw1rhttps://flic.kr/p/QUPs4e
Wednesday: Chicken, soy, shiitake, lily buds, woodear. Wilted lettuce with sesame oil & oyster sauce. Rice.
(I remember when as a young 'un an Auntie described how to cook this dish to Mum. It's been a family recipe ever since.)https://flic.kr/p/R4GbS7https://flic.kr/p/PQJRbG
Thursday: Shakshuka with merguez sausage. (Still not as good as Ima's, but so satisfying.)https://flic.kr/p/QY8MJxhttps://flic.kr/p/QY8BhaTags: "cooking diary"
January 1st, 2017
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
May 2017 be a better year for us all!
(It's just ticked past midnight here in Auckland, New Zealand.)
December 27th, 2016
Increased migration to New Zealand
So it's happening.
Since Brexit & the US elections, there have been increased numbers of British & Americans wanting to move to New Zealand
Save the Point England Reserve
Sign the petition (or make a submission) to save the Point England Reserve
There is a bill proposed to revoke the reserve status
of a quarter of that land to turn it into housing.
The extra people & their pets (especially cats) pose a major threat to the diverse birdlife (that include common & rare species) that are found in that reserve.
I lived in that neighbourhood growing up & spent many hours there: it's truly a wildlife sanctuary next to suburbia.Tags: conservation
Holiday homework: Deck
Lunch break: The deck has been waterblasted. New stain about to go on.
Been putting it off too long.https://flic.kr/p/Qxfkmdhttps://flic.kr/p/Pn2FcrTags: homework
Christmas games can be deadly serious
Evil brother in law is trying to Kill Doctor Lucky (or is that Doctor Ducky?)https://flic.kr/p/Qtjqr9
ETA: Evil brother in law succeeds in Killing Doctor Ducky, er, Lucky?
(It took a few goes.)
December 19th, 2016
Monday: Panfried salmon steak, grilled asparagus, potatoes mint & avocado oil.https://flic.kr/p/PUzoY3https://flic.kr/p/NTUWPp
Tuesday: Spaghetti aglio e olio with prawn meat.https://flic.kr/p/NVWgfthttps://flic.kr/p/PAxyPA
Wednesday: Hand-cut noodles with beef & cabbage brothhttps://flic.kr/p/PCw3g1https://flic.kr/p/NXLBsvTags: "cooking diary"
The return of Exeggutor
My Exeggutor finally returns. It's been in a Napier gym (I don't even remember exactly where anymore) since October 19.
All good things come to an end, but I really am surprised it has lasted as long as this. I fully expected for it to get kicked out when Niantic "rebalanced" the gym combat system to favour attackers two months(!) ago.
(It was one of my Top Three Pokemon, but now it's not even in the Top 30. Since I placed it in the Napier gym, Niantic "rebalanced" Combat Power and Exeggutors were one of the ones that got nerfed. And I've also levelled up too & acquired better Pokemon since then.)Tags: pokemon
Is it just me or is no-one paying attention to the reduced speed threshold, 4km/h from 1 December 2016 to 31 January 2017
Seems like it's a choice between keeping to the new limits & annoying fellow drivers, or ignoring it & risking a speeding ticket...
In recent years, the New Zealand police have been operating a reduced tolerance for speeding during holiday periods. At other times of the year, it is understood* that you can go as much as 10 km/h above the posted speed limit and not worry about getting a speeding ticket.
*So effectively, a 50 km/h speed zone is actually a 60 km/h speed zone and New Zealand drivers drive accordingly, so much so that if you actually drive at 50 km/h in a 50 km/h zone, the drivers behind you get angry at your slowness. Personally, I would prefer it if they just raised the speed limit to 60 km/h and actually enforce that.Tags: speedlimit
December 5th, 2016
"Say it ain't so, bro"
2016 continues to surprise.
New Zealand Prime Minister announced that he's stepping down
. To say that it was a surprise would be an understatement.
Best response was from Australian PM:
Current Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull said he sent Mr Key a text saying, "Say it ain't so, bro," when he heard the news.Tags: meme
December 4th, 2016
Monday: Bangers (pork & fennel sausages, merguez sausages) & mash, broccoli with cheesy sauce.https://flic.kr/p/Ps9x6mhttps://flic.kr/p/PuGt58
Tuesday: Grilled kingfish steaks, light salad, squeeze of lime.https://flic.kr/p/NtmeRFhttps://flic.kr/p/NtjdvD
Wednesday: Poached chicken on egg noodles, with shiitake & choy sum.https://flic.kr/p/NtNdbqhttps://flic.kr/p/PaQyJS
Thursday: Chicken avocado bacon, pasta salad.https://flic.kr/p/PzWV3Hhttps://flic.kr/p/NvoHXLTags: "cooking diary"
We laugh at your Laws of Thermodynamics!
"That app is called Instacharge, which, according to a news release sent by the country's department of information, "uses evolutionary technology" to let users "instantly recharge their smart phone's battery without the need for a charger or external battery pack"
December 1st, 2016
Pasture (Auckland restaurant)
Why would anyone pay $135 for dinner? And if you include drinks matches, it's an additional $65, or $60 for the non-alcoholic option. That's basically the same price as B Reserve tickets, $199.90, to Adele's upcoming Auckland concert (which is sold out).
Well $135 is the price of the tasting menu at Pasture
, the new (been open about four months) place up Parnell Rise. We went to celebrate our wedding anniversary: it's definitely not cheap, and a special occasion justified it. Pasture is small restaurant (seats 25) run by Ed & Laura Verner and a small staff. They've gone to much effort to forage, pickle, ferment, preserve ingredients in the months before opening. The food is seasonal, innovative, and sustainable; the tasting menu is the only option offered. If they were an a la carte restaurant, they'd have to stock many more perishables & hope someone orders them before the ingredients spoil, so having one set menu minimises wastage.
We sat at the pass and watched each course put together right in front of us. It's wonderful if you're the sort of person who likes to see how the sausage gets made, metaphorically speaking. It's an honest way to approach food, though some might find it confronting. One of the courses was crayfish, and we knew if was fresh; we watched the crayfish being killed, butchered & cooked. I really like this transparent approach to food.https://flic.kr/p/Pr968K( The rest of the experience...Collapse )Tags: dinner