Saturday, 21 April 2012

Croon For Your Kai

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of this blog post, I wanted to give a very special and loving congratulations and best wishes to Ron and Carol, Kevin's dad and stepmum, who got married last weekend. Would you believe me if I told you that Kevin and I were in their backyard last Sunday afternoon in Langley attending their wedding? Well, we were! Virtually, of course. We wished to have been there in person, but this was the next best thing. It was wonderful to witness the love that the two of them have for each other. We were also very happy to see family and friends and share a drink over the internet.

I thought it was only fitting to borrow today's blog title from the lovely Mara's acoustic night at the Southern Cross here in downtown Wellington. "Croon for your Kai", which translates to "Sing for your Supper," just seemed like the most fitting introduction to talk a bit about our experiences with food in New Zealand.

One of the first things we noticed coming overseas was the amazing quality of food available in the supermarkets. Because Kiwis inhabit such a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the ocean, it makes sense that the large majority of food available is sourced locally. This makes a huge difference. The egg yolks are practically orange, the apples are always crisp and juicy, the dairy tastes fresh and creamy, and the meat tastes like what it is: meat. My temporary housewife gig enabled me to experiment a lot with food and what a great place to do this! Every night I get showered with thanks and compliments and Sunday mornings frequently look like this:

A weekly trip to the Harbourside Farmers Market on the water brings heaps of fresh (and cheap!) fruits and vegetables, spreads, baked goods, meats, and a great spot for a snack. It is also home to Kevin's recent lunchtime necessity: Sing Salami -- 100% NZ-made beef, venison, and pork salamis.
And what gets more local than doing it yourself? Over the Easter long weekend, we spent the afternoon fishing out in Lyall Bay. Once again, Kevin doing the fishing and me happily observing. The fish were obviously pretty darn hungry because it didn't take long before my little fisherman caught us some dinner!

 These are kahawai, which are apparently also known as Australian Salmon. Although, they are white fish, not pink... Everything down here is backwards!
 The first round turned into a delicious and spicy cajun meal.
Round two was fish tacos! Fresh veggies, homemade guacamole and salsa, and moist and tasty fishies. Mmmm!

That weekend we also indulged in some salsa-making, courtesy of Clinton's mum's infamous (and top-secret!) recipe. So while I won't give away how it's done, I have been given permission to share a bit of photographic evidence. And let's be honest, Kevin loves this stuff! It's been two weeks and I'm surprised we still have a jar or two left...

Another great discovery here in New Zealand has been the feijoa! Never before had I heard of this fruit, but man it's good! Grown solely in South America and New Zealand, feijoas are only in season for 4 to 6 weeks each autumn. Kevin is on the hunt for the perfect feijoa -- one that is not overripe and gooey or underripe and sour. I think we've almost found one! It's eaten like a kiwifruit (remember, kiwis are birds and people, kiwifruit is food -- you don't want to offend anybody) and tastes as though a guava made babies with a pear.

And finally, my dad was generous enough to ship us the perfect addition to our household: a Weber BBQ! This little baby made its way from Calgary all the way to Wellington so that, now that I've started working full-time, Kevin can start making me dinner.
 Setting up ended up being a little complicated -- engineers don't do the best engineering when they're hungover. But in the end, the pieces fit and the briquettes got lit.
And this blog wouldn't be complete without a little heep of some sheep on the grill. The perfect centerpiece to a full Greek dinner! 

Now, wipe that drool off of your lip. E noho rā!

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