Friday, June 29, 2018

A BUSY DAY (well they all are really)

We both had some books due back at the library so I decided to walk there and get some beef bones for soup on the way back.  It was a lovely walk (took me 45 minutes including going to the butcher and the supermarket). 

When I got home it was time to make the stir fried rice for lunch (the recipe I base this roughly on is labelled Nasi Goreng but I doubt it is much like the real dish.  Anyway, my version with pork was delicious. 

Doug had been working on the new sunroom while I went to the library and after lunch the electricians arrived.  They are so busy these days that it took three weeks for them to be able to come.  They were very obliging and with Doug working alongside them putting the wallboard up they got the job finished.  We had thought they may have to come back to finish as the first part of the job had to be done before the wallboard went up. 

I did a bit of work in the garden this morning and, after doing the lunch dishes got back to the job.  When Doug moved here  10 years ago he planted some climbers and they and a self sown grape have got a bit out of control so I am cutting them back.  It was a great day to be outside working. 

I had a little bit of pork left after lunch so I took it off the bone and cut it up.  I had a good friend, Isabel, who sadly died a couple of years ago.  Her husband spent a period as a lighthouse keeper.  They had two young sons and it would have been hard coping with infrequent drops of food, mail etc.  She gave me a recipe with the not very interesting name of rice fritters and said her boys loved them.  I decided to make these using the leftover rice and adding the leftover pork. 

I beat an egg with a little milk.  Added the rice and pork cut quite small.  I then added self-raising flour, seasoning, grated cheese and some small cubes of feta.  I put spoonfuls into a greased pan and cooked them until done.  They were delicious with some plum sauce. 

We did well from the smaller half of the leg of wild pork.

Thursday, June 28, 2018


What to do with the leftover Pork?  I had thought of a curry but didn't really feel like it today so I steamed some rice and we had a stir fry with it.

I stir fried a chopped leek, some matchstick carrots, quartered and sliced kumara,  added some Pak Choi and cubed pork with some soy and oyster sauces.  I added some stock and thickened it with a slurry of cornflour it was delicious over the steamed rice.

Tomorrow, we will have another type of stir fry.  I will stir fry the leftover rice, add sliced kumara, sweetcorn, the pork and something green.  I will season it with a little curry powder and some soy sauce.  I expect there will be enough pork for another day but we will wait and see.  Sophie likes pork as well!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


First thing yesterday morning Doug cut one of the pork legs in half and we left half out to thaw.  Cold enough to do that at present.

This morning I woke at 6 a.m. so got up and lit the fire then heated the oven to its top temperature (250 degrees) and prepared the pork.  I had a base of red onions, garlic, kumara and thick slices of apple.  The pork was put on this and some rosemary placed on top with salt and pepper.  I then poured a bottle of  Buderim Ginger Beer on it, covered the meat with some butter paper then the lid on my roasting dish and it went in the oven. I turned the temperature down to 150 degrees,

At about 10.30 a.m. we looked at it and added some more ginger beer.  We ate it at midday with some mashed potatoe, kumara and butterkin squash and some kale from the garden.  It was delicious.  It is some time since I have had roast pork and I am looking forward to much more as there are several more legs and forequarters in the freezer plus the shank end of the one we had today.  There are also plenty of leftovers.

Life is good.

Friday, June 22, 2018


We awoke to sunshine this morning - wonderful.  According to the headlines in the local paper we had 214 mm in 30 hours.  I know that a 22 cm high straight sided bucket that was empty has overflowed.  State Highway 1 - the main highway that runs from the top to the bottom of New Zealand was closed because of flooding just north of us.

Anyway, the sun is shining and it will all dry out.  We went in to Kamo to get a couple of items and then to the Park in Tikipunga and had a good walk with Sophie.  It was great to get out and stretch ones legs.

The river was very high - one can usually see the rocks here and Doug kept Sophie on her lead as we didn't want her being swept away and over Whangarei Falls.

When we got home I made a pear and date cake (I think it is the first time I have made it gluten free and it was delicious.  Doug meanwhile got on with the sunroom.

The clouds are coming in now.  This is the view from the new sunroom.

LATER; I was just going to close Kim's cat door when I couldn't find her.  Luckily, I looked behind me and noticed the chairs I had covered while Doug was working with the wallboard.  I lifted up one side and problem sorted.  She is very happy in her "tent".

Thursday, June 21, 2018


Lately when storms have been forecast they have bypassed us and gone further south but this time it seems to be just us (north of Auckland) who have it.  It is now the second day of non stop rain.  The wind has eased but it is cold 10 degrees at 4.30 p.m.  The fire has been going all day and Doug has just ventured out in the rain to get some more firewood. 

I have just been reading on Facebook of all the roads closed by flooding, fallen trees etc.

I made a different sugar free jam - blueberry with a little cut up prune added for sweetness, thickened with chia seeds.  I did add a teaspoon of honey.  Tastes good.

Tomorrow is forecast to be fine for a couple of days.  Hope so as Doug wants to get on putting up the wall boards that are sitting outside on the trailer under a couple of tarpaulins.

I have not ventured out for two days now.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


It is not often that we get rain all day but today is one of those days.  There is also wind and the temperature has dropped.  The fire has been going all day and I have not even poked my nose outside.  I have managed to catch up with answering some emails and cooked up some food for Sophie (legumes, rice, vegetables, oats etc.). 

I also made a batch of pikelets (small buckwheat pancakes) for afternoon tea.  We don't usually have the luxury of afternoon tea.

This afternoon we received a chilly bin of wild pork from a friend of  Doug - I think there about three legs and three forequarters (possibly  more - it was frozen and went straight in the freezer).  I have never cooked wild pork (boar) befoe and would appreciate any suggestions.  Long and slow is the obvious thought but what about flavourings.  

I imagine Jean from All Points of the Compass would have ideas and also Cro as you mentioned hunting wild boar in a recent post.  

Any suggestions appreciated.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


Yesterday, we decided to start a little later than usual and got up at 7 a.m. to go to the market.  We enjoyed our market shopping with the produce changing with the season.  It was then down to the Town Basin to walk Sophie and buy some Apple Cider Vinegar at an eco shop. A couple of months ago I purchased some items on line and they didn't quite reach the "free postage" level so I added a bottle of Goulter's A.C.V.  It was delicious and we were pleased to find it available in bulk to fill ones own bottle in an eco shop close to where we walk Sophie so that is what I did yesterday.

We then went to the Supermarket for the items on my list but when I noticed some pasta I decided to buy a couple of packs of mince and some mushrooms as an extra.

We got home about 9.30 a.m. and after breakfast Doug started work on the sunroom and I started preparing and cooking food.  First I diced lots of vegetables and the mushrooms and cooked the mince.  Once that was cooking I cut up the salmon I had bought and froze it in individual portions.

At this stage it was getting close to lunch time and as we are having our main meal I started making a fish pie.  I had bought a large fillet of Monkfish and put it into some seasoned milk to cook.  I had cooked extra mashed potatoe yesterday for the topping as well as a couple of hard boiled eggs.

I had just got to this stage when Doug's eldest Whangarei grandson arrived with his partner.  They were moving from home into a flat and he had come around at 7 a.m. to borrow a trolley to help with the move.  We sat and had a catch up with them before they headed off to do their first supermarket shop.

I then finished the fish pie and we had it a short while later with some broccoli from the garden.  After lunch I made some soup having boiled some bacon bones and, separately, some split peas and lentils the previous day , so I just had to prepare the vegetables and add the stock then the legumes.  Once this was cooking I packed up some mussels that we had bought at the market.  We bought two pottles but, as each one does us for two meals, I like to divide and freeze them so we have four packs in the freezer now.  They are the most delicious raw mussels.

I then trimmed up a piece of topside ready to cook first thing today.  After that I had a shower and put my feet up for a  few minutes while making some phone calls.

Afterwards we had our soup for our evening meal and settled down to watch the U.K. Antiques Road Show followed by a half hour of news and then Phil Spencer's Stately Homes.  I managed to stay awake for Antiques and the Stately Homes but suppose it is not surprising that I had a sleep during the news.

This morning I got up at 6 a.m. and put the topside to cook in a slow cooker and we have just eaten it with some mash and red cabbage.  I will now get the mince packaged up ready to freeze for some instant meals.

Friday, June 15, 2018


One day later and the fibreglass batts are in place.  It is looking better already.  Doug  has done a great job.  It got very hot in there and it is not the nicest job.

There are a couple of small gaps where the power points are to go in next week.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Today we bought the wall boards, insulation batts, nails, glue and the necessary toy, sorry tool, to attach the finishing timber.  The electrician is due next week - let the work on the inside of the new sunroom begin.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Our Parkinson Walk yesterday was a new walk.  The Council is putting in a shared cycle/walkway alongside the railway line from the city centre to the suburb of Kamo (where I used to live). when finished it will be 6.5 kms long.

The first part of it has just opened so we went to the Regent and walked into the city and back.  It was a very pleasant walk followed by delicious coffee at a cafe we hadn't visited before.

The forecast had been for rain but, once again, it held off.  Last night there was a storm that hit the country, that missed us as well but caused damage further south.

Monday, June 4, 2018


Queens Birthday is a long weekend here in New Zealand.  The Weather forecast for the whole weekend has been pretty grim.  It wasn't too bad on Saturday morning for our early trip to the Growers'  Market, walking Sophie and a Supermarket shop but not long after we got home we had heavy rain and wind and thunderstorms.  This continued on and off (but mainly on) for most of the day.

During the night we had more heavy rain and on Sunday we awoke to a small pond in front of the house.  The ditch along the edge of the park behind us had blocked up and the water poured straight over our property and could not get away when it got to the garden edging.  Doug waded through and cut the edging, digging a trench through the garden and letting the water out and also clearing the offending ditch.  At this stage the rain stopped and the sun came out.  During the day we had several thunderstorms.

This morning it was still raining.  It would have been good to turn over in bed and go back to sleep but it was the morning of the Parkinsons' Walk and we knew that the leader of the walks would turn up so we went down to our meeting point.  There was one other lady who also turned up for the same reason but no Parkinsonians.  It was still raining on and off so we decided to just walk a short distance to a nearby cafe at the Town Basin and have our refreshments.  While we did this the sun came out so we decided on a walk to the Pedestrian Bridge and back.  I was a really enjoyable walk and the rain held off until after we got home when Doug did some more work on the ditch that had blocked up.

This is our current 10 day forecast.  This morning it read rain and thunderstorms for today.