Category Archives: Cooking


For many years I taught Home Economics and I still love to cook but one thing that may surprise you is that I have a very small collection of cooking books. I borrow lots from the library but I only buy the ones I check out again and again. I do love to collect old fund-raising recipe books though and there is a growing pile on my kitchen bookshelf. I think I like them because they’re filled with everybody’s very best and favourite recipes – just about guaranteed to be a winner every time. (Although I think I will respectfully pass on Mrs F Sheates Liver and Heart of a Sheep circa 1946).

I was excited to receive a new book to add to my collection last week (jumping like a loon actually) when a good friend sent me a copy of her local school’s recently published fund raiser. If you’re thinking black and white pages, photocopied recipes and no illustrations, think again.

It’s a masterpiece. Seriously. A beautiful, beautiful book full of delicious recipes and local stories, and pages and pages of colorful school-life photos. I love that the recipes have a little blurb from the families who submitted them. Almost every recipe had my mouth watering. She had contributed our favourite pikelet recipe and thought I might like to see it in print.


It’s my great-grandmother’s recipe (that’s Nana Henderson in the photo) and is written in a little notebook in my grandmother’s hand. All of my family use this heirloom recipe to make their pikelets. One day I’d like to have it printed on tea towels for us all – there’s a great tutorial at Spoonflower – but for now it’s nice to know that Nana’s Super Pikelets will continue to be devoured up and down the country. And if you’re in the market for some great Christmas gifts, check out Food Central on the front page of the school website. You won’t be disappointed.

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking

Red Stuff

Rote Grutze. One of Lena’s recipes which loosely translates as red stuff all cooked up together.


One kg of rhubarb, plums and strawberries from our garden. All organic I guess because we don’t spray anything.


200g sugar added plus 2 tablespoons of cornflour blended with half cup of water. Slowly brought to the boil and cooked gently for 4 minutes.


Simply perfect served over vanilla ice cream. Lena with us always.


Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking, Summer

See It’s James!

Hi its James here, I entered a cooking competition and we need votes! 

We had to use two Maggi products and we came up with the best stir-fry ever! If you want, the recipe is on the same page, so taste it and vote! 

Click here to see our video clip and vote for us! Thanks a heap.


1 Comment

Filed under Cooking, James

People Who Inspire me #143

Every time Jenny makes something, I want to make it too. The passionfruit curd was no exception. She probably just plucks the passionfruit from a vine outside her back door. I had to drive to the supermarket and scratch amongst the ‘exotic fruits’ to find the four wizened specimens I needed. We have the same problem with fejoas. I’m sure they send the reject fejoas that no-one else will eat to Christchurch. They’ve been doing it for so many years that we assume small and wizened is how fejoas are supposed to look. My friend Deb offered to freight me a load from her tree a few years back but NZPost and the courier companies totally kiboshed that idea. So we put up with the wizened exotic fruit.

Passionfruit curd. A dollar per passionfruit. Totally worth it. Last night I could hardly sleep for the excitement of getting up this morning to spread it on my hot buttered toast. And Jenny’s right… it’s just as good warm off the spoon.


Filed under Cooking, Summer

Hot Home Baking.

I’m not often home on Thursday evenings so I’ve only managed to catch a couple of tail-ends of New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker.  I am, however, totally loving Jessicah’s approach to the whole competition. Each week she completes the challenge herself and then posts the results on her blog. Her take on Ginger Crunch is simply the best I have ever made. It didn’t even last a day at our place.

My photos, on the other hand, are not even in the same league as Jessicah’s. Take a look for yourself. Wouldn’t you just love to be invited to one of her tea parties?

PS We lived next door to some home bakers once. Lovely boys, very polite, always stirring things in their kitchen. They were eventually arrested by the police.


Filed under Cooking


We are inundated with beautiful pink and red stalks. Not that I’m complaining, I love the stuff. There has been lots of rhubarb syrup making… I quadruple this recipe and store it in pretty cut glass bottles. Henry is a dab hand at the Ruby Jan which is his kids version of SouleMama’s Ruby June. He mixes some syrup and some fresh-squeezed lemon juice with Schweppes sparkling lemonade and pours it over ice. Truly fabulous.

I get the rhubarb pulp leftover after he’s dripped the syrup  mixture through a sieve. ( It’s like jelly making, don’t be tempted to press the pulp in the sieve to try and get more juice out, you’ll just get a solid grey layer at the bottom of the bottle.) I mix it with apple, cover with a crumble topping and bake.  Or add it to raspberry jelly and evapourated milk to make great fruit foam. We eat half  and then freeze the rest for the yummiest rhubarb and raspberry ice cream in town. The recipes are up top.


Filed under Cooking