Monthly Archives: March 2014

My Central Otago Farm Visit

After a recent brief one night stop in Wanaka I met a foodie friend Helen and when she asked me would I like some fresh basil I of course said ‘ YES’
Half way between Tarris and Cromwell we arrived at a garden oasis planned and lovingly worked by Helen and Husband Colin.


Oh my goodness when she said she would get a clean sack, I thought she was joking but we came away with an enormous bag of fresh basil and the biggest red and brown onions, garlic and elephant I have ever seen.

Along with growing these amazing huge onions and garlic plus copious quantities basil and other vegetables they grazed the most gorgeous cows – all totally friendly and very curious .

20140331-221439.jpg So it was home to make jars of basil pesto . So….so …..easy and delicious on any thing from a good sandwich to a simple pasta or a topping for a steak .


Basil Pesto
MakeĀ thisĀ in a food processor in less than 10 minutes.( including washing up )
Fill your food processor with basil leaves or a mixture of basil and parsley,
Add 2-3 tablespoons pine nuts
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Process until finely chopped . Add enough rice bran oil to make a thick paste .
Finally add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Store in a jar in the fridge .

A chance to show off ..

After meeting and talking to the Australian couple beside me on an Emirates flight to Italy 3 years ago – to now helping them with a tour of enthusiastic walkers in New Zealand . It’s amazing how a quick chat and a few E Mails can make ‘ things ‘ happen.
..I am spending 7 days with Dream Treks director Geoff Metcalf and his wife Jenny. They are quite at home walking with their tour groups in the Himalayas or the panoramic ‘Walk of the Gods ‘ on the Amalfi coast.
For the past 3 days we have have travelled from Christchurch – up the gorgeous Kaikoura Coast on what sadly turned out to be a grey day to Blenheim.


Amongst the thousands of hectares of grapes, all bursting and ready to be picked we enjoyed a few of the highlights in the Marlborough region.
* The unique vineyard of Hans Hertzog – the sommelier Daniel ensured we understood the philosophy behind this small operation producing such a wide range of exquisite wines along with equally exquisite food.
*if you had asked me to go to an Aviation museum I probably would have declined. However, it was easy to be enthused about this amazing collection of memorabilia from world war one, owned and created by Peter Jackson.
From attending a cooking class, to filling our own bottle of farm fresh unpasteurized milk from a vending machine to dining at Hotel D’Urville.
It was a thrill to show my visitors this rather lovely region at the top of the South Island before they embarked on walking the Abel Tasman .


Market Differences in Brisbane



Whenever I visit a new country or region or city or village. I find the best way of meeting the locals and getting a feel for the food and culture is to find out when and where the farmers Market is on.

I had the opportunity to spend a few days on the Gold Coast recently ..
It was hot…

We did walk the beautiful beach each morning . We did swim and enjoy a beer by the pool and I did find a great restaurant … In fact I went back 3 times.
Check out the ‘ Social Eating House’ Broadbeach. You won’t be disappointed.