Jeff and I moved to Northland a couple of months ago. We are really enjoying it so far.
In the Kitchen
We have been loving all the beautiful food here. Living in Onerahi, we were just down the road from Waiaariki Food Forest, it is a wonderful community garden. We miss all the delicious greens, herbs and bananas.
My friend Louise got The Green Roasting Tin out from the library and showed it to me. I took photos and have made a of the few recipes, they all turned out delicious. I made the orzo recipe pictured but with pumpkin instead of tomatoes (they are out of season and tasteless right now!). My other big success was the sweet potato (KUMARA) curry made with kaffir lime leaves instead of lemongrass- yum!
We also enjoyed lots of tamarillo dishes this season. I had never tried them before and was hesitant but they have a lovely sharp 'passionfruity' type flavour. Marie recomended this french recipe using prunes which is basically a pancake batter poured over the tamarillos, you need to boil them for five minutes to peel them first. You need to use a large flat dish for the right texture (mine was a bit weird) and you definitely won't be into it if you don't like pancakes! I also made this recipe from The Caker but instead of honey I made a syrup with lime juice, lime rind and sugar to drizzle over.
In the Garden
One of the downsides of housesitting is the lack of garden. I planted a few pots in Onerahi which we were able to take to Teal Bay.
We are working on the health of the soil around all our trees using a heavy mulching method Jeff learned on the Permadynamics Food Forest Course. We are hoping in time we can shade out the Agapathas with other things but in the meantime they make good mulch. This should reduce the trees drying out over the summer.
Jules and I have been working on Men's Suit Messenger Bag Class for the Remakery. We got excess suits from Dress for Success. The class will also be running in Auckland at some point at The Makers Table. Here is Jules explaing how to cut up the jacket
I also have a beeswax wrap class coming up at CEW. The one for this term has sold out but I will be doing it again next term.
Another project is the works is a patchwork blanket for our Cycling Without Age Trishaw. We decided to make our own due to the high cost of the official blanket. I did a call out on a few sewing facebook groups for fabric donations and got a really good response. We also got an offer from the craft group at a local (Mt Albert) school to help with the sewing - woohoo! The next stage is gathering all the fabric and deciding on a design.
Cost of living is definitely cheaper for the things we like doing. I have joined the local pottery club which only charges $60 per year plus a firing charge per piece, this is a lot cheaper than similar places in Auckland.