One day, beginning to end

I was looking at the garden the day before, watering it and making a list of things I could use. 6 am next morning I make the elder flower granita place in the freezer then I am on my way to the garden and I start with vegetables: potatoes, three varieties  come preciously from the ground… purple, red and yellow… then snow peas, broad beans, radishes, spring onions, baby carrots, swiss chard, cavelo nero, courgettes, garlic, asparagus, mushrooms, raspberries, strawberries ; flowers and herbs: nasturtiums, coriander, radish, borage, bock choy, rocket, violets, corn flowers, chives, roses, beans, basil, parsley, sage. What biodiversity! I managed to get from the last market: chicken, fish and eggs.

After the garden, a cup of coffee at Samo and I come back home, my day jumps to the kitchen to prepare the vegetables, Christy is selecting and washing leaves and flowers. Boiling each vegetable separated to control a perfect cooking point, deep frying the leaves and chips at the right temperature. When the vegetables are all done I begin with desserts and sweet preparations… honey cake, lavender ice cream, roses cream and jelly, caramel skin… as well as bread. At the same moment eggs are in the water bath, then the chicken following with brisket. Around 12:30 I am checking all the details and putting the menu together. At the last minute asparagus custard, avocado cream, cassava root cheese bread and slicing in the mandolin baby carrots and radishes, courgettes and mushrooms.

Friends arrive on time, they have a walk around the garden and get a little introduction of what we do and why, then come to the house to enjoy the view, what a great day… sunny, glassy ocean, over 28 C… A glass of water infused with lemon verbena and food start to go out of the kitchen.

Three hours of freshly harvested products from nature, good, healthy and delicious food… happy people with big smiles. We finish on the deck talking and laughing, the day was perfect and productive I think for everyone, they enjoyed the surprise and we created a perfect fresh meal all in one day.

Just perfect to finish this great year.

Merry Berries Season

From left: red currants, black currants, strawberries, gooseberries, cherries, raspberries

The colors of nature at this time of the year in the garden are more like I can taste them when I am looking around, not only me, a little fight with the birds to try to protect the precious gems coming from the plants is part of daily job.

… and is not over, coming soon black berries and all the wild berries on the hillside.

Kina

Evechinus chloroticus, I have never had such a big kina tong in my hand before, from a 800 grs spiky sea animal. Alive and after open it the incomparable smell of the ocean mist… a green sea weed crashing on the rocks… the off shore wind when riding a wave.

That creamy texture, that sea water flavor and just a surprise for someone who never tried it before is amazing, a real pleasure for me to have the opportunity to prepare this animal, RAW.
Blue Warehou poached in lemon verbena

KUMQUATS

What a treat for the months to come, imagine in the middle of winter a cheesecake and preserved kumquats.. mmmm.

In Christchurch, yes! right here, five minutes away from my house there are a few trees with this golden fruit, lucky me. With Ooooby I learned that many backyard growers have more than just vegetables… their curiosity to know what is possible to grow in different places is what makes them try unusual crops in unusual places.

SPRING

This is the menu of the last saturday and photos of some dishes

Cassava root cheese bread and puffed pork skins
Home made whole wheat bread
Asparagus with goat cheese, almonds, blood sorrel leaves and rocket flowers
Cured salmon with pickled onions, radishes, orange segments, lemon balm and cornflowers
Beetroot, red currants, strawberries, peas, cauliflower, coriander and brassica flowers
Egg yolk 65°C, bealeys-beauty potatoes, chicken sauce and courgette ribbons
Blue moki, snow peas and broad beans in brown butter, fennel salad, courgette flower
Lamb and venison fuet with kale, carrots and artichoke chips
Grissinis and toasts, baked Brie, cherries, hazelnuts and brown sugar
Honey cake with vanilla yoghurt, rhubarb in lavender syrup and lavender ice cream

ON A SANDY LAND

Ufff, this was so much fun and delicious by the way, 10 kg of asparagus, all of them are in the jars and waiting for a couple of months to be tried out. All the trimmings are part of my 100% asparagus pure baby food stock.

Christopher is such a good guy, we were sharing many ideas and having a long conversation about different projects. Like he said, I was in the right place at the right time….