Friday, October 31, 2008

Cuban coffee, more on the digger




Cubitta cafe (Taranaki street, opposite Les Mills extreme) is most definately the best little cafe in Wellington. They make a perfect short black, soy latte, soy flatwhite, long black and their hot lemon juice is pretty good as well. (The afore mentioned are the ones I regularly inhale). Cubitta charges at least fifty cents less than everyone else and cubitta fluffies are big, chocolaty, and free. The cubitta people always smile and dont seem to have the attitude a lot of cafe workers do. (confession: I worked in cafes for around 10 years and I realise I had 'the attitude'...). The only coffee to have is a good coffee and this is most definately a place to get yours. And NO! I do not know the owners or have part shares in the cafe or the coffee they use. By the way they use their own cuban blend.

As for life, the digger incident continued on, ( http://catherinedrew.wordpress.com/ )Deane fired it up (finally) and drove it up the terrace which took all of 25 minutes but on his way up, the 'neighbours' surrounded him and heckled him and called him names and took photos. They really stressed him-and we are still trying to figure out what exactly led to this 'mob' action! Shame on them! Maybe it is a pack sort of excersise, one neighbour sparked the others?; they were bored on their long weekend off?; they dont like us? I could go on, but I think it all has to do with individual frames of seeing and being (living)-NOT the actual 'digger incident'. It is just a digger after all. Driving a digger up the terrace was just a bit different. (Bring on white middleclass New zealand!!).
The incident made me question my self. If someone was doing something I was uncomfortable with-would I let them 'be', or would I let them know and turn up with sticks and stones?. Certainly, if the 'something' was going to harm my kids, I know I would be vocal, but the 'digger incident' was not harmful to anybody else.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

healthy food, rescue coffee, broken stuff







What a weekend of broken things and 'mishaps' it has been thus far! (read about the digger at http://catherinedrew.wordpress.com/ ). To begin with, Isobella somehow dropped my brand new unused la Chamba square baking dish onto the floor smashing it into about fifty broken hearted pieces. Julia had given it to us as a wedding gift not even one week previously. I was so angry I could not speak. I swore. I cried, but whatever I did/do, the dish is till in pieces.

I made the kids promise not to tell Julia. I think she would be more upset than me. (But if she reads this,... ummm...)

We had the pleasure of Deborah staying with us for the first two days of the labour weekend so she was witness to all the mayhem around us. Never one to shirk, she and I cooked amazing feasts through it all. I made a beautiful white bread dough,shaped it into four substantial sized pizza's, threw canned spaghetti and grated cheese on two, and tomato paste, sun dried tomatoes, capers, capsicum and grated cheese on one, the remaining one I stretched to the max and smeared it with ample truffle oil and a sprinkling of maldon salt. The kids wolfed the spag pizza down while the adults ate vegetarian curry and raw cabbage coleslaw (hold the mayonnaise, add a mystery 'Deb' Thai dressing.) I bought the vegetarian pizza out from the oven,followed by the truffle oil bread, hot, piquant, enticing!. I could not resist! Neither could Deborah. So there we were, two wheat intolerant scoffing white flour bread...but my god! It was the perfect balance of truffle to salt to thin base.

I paid for it later, sore tum, slightly sad.

After the la Chamba incident, Deb and I and Harry went to the Yatra-photos of India (Karim Sahai) photographic exhibition in the Michael Fowler center. I enjoyed the images, but we had arrived a tad too early and the images were not completely installed. We only had a small window, so missed a lot. On our way home, the Pajero stalled about nine times. Yes..it just stopped. I think it has something to do with the battery. I can't drive my VW because we are waiting for a switch to arrive from France to enable the brake lights to work.

The following morning, I dressed for a rainy cold run and actually persuaded Deane to run with me. It was a short, invigorating run around our 30 minute block. Once home I made Deane and I and Harry and Drew a juice (with my new OSCAR juicer!) of carrot and garlic. Harry and I then, warmly dressed- drove to the Sunday morning market. We were there by about eight a.m and got the perfect park. It was reminiscent of our winter mornings. Quickly we gathered our fruit and vegetables. Harry scoffed his pain au raisin and I waited patiently for my coffee at espresso rescue. They make a good strong coffee, worth waiting for on a Sunday morning. On our heavily laden way back to the van, a particularly strong gust blew coffee out of my cup! Harry was laughing as he supped his hot chocolate using me as a wind break.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Food, and the sweetness of the honeymoon...










Above is the surprising waterfall, my famous (in my head) seaweed vegetable salad. And the mmmmmm...chick pea and roast pumpkin salad, in the salad bowl that Russell gave us for our wedding, beautiful isn't it?
Here, on the left is the wonderful carrot beet salad with ripped greens, chopped spring onion (from the garden). We had this, and other dishes for dinner with the extended family the night before the wedding. Read about the fabulous wedding in my blog http://catherinedrew.wordpress.com/



After checking in to the Wellington Intercontinental hotel at about eleven thirty the evening of the wedding, we made our way up to the fifth floor in the lifts leaving a trail of coloured tinsel. We both took off our dresses and collapsed in a heap on our bed. Then it was morning.

Breakfast saw us dining like royalty in the chameleon restaurant. I breakfasted on freshly sliced fruit and raw nuts. The coffee sort of sucked but I didn't mind too much...it was my honeymoon after all.

We toddled home to the house full of kids, Elaine busy with the dishes. We packed for our ski trip to Whakapapa, made a few phone calls, paid a few bills, cuddled and kissed lots of short people and we were soon on our way. I drove. I like driving. An uneventful five hour road trip.

The Ruapaehu district is stunning. We went for a short hike ending up at a surprising waterfall...
The snow was low over the mountains, the sun shone, and the Chateau beckoned. We drove the smelly old van up to the gracious entrance doors of the Chateau. After throwing our shabby assortment of bags out, Deane drove through to park while a concierge carefully lifted the shabbys onto a trolley. A deodorant fell out of a plastic bag, a running shoe out of another. Mr concierge did not blink. The two days we had were a blur of skiing, soft hiking and eating great food. On our arrival back to Welly, we dined at Logan Brown. My God! The chefs of LB are the best! I totally did not live up to my food ethic. My downfall began with a round smidgen of some sort of piquant soft cheese topped with the most delicate sliver of salmon and something green. Then I opted for an entree of teeny paua ravioli with shards of toasted potato sprinkled over them like gold. I followed this slice of heaven with a main of salmon and seasonal vegetables. Now! I know that sounds boring, but Logan Brown salmon and seasonal vegetable is anything but. So there I was, eating dairy, and fish, and cooked vegetables. I wholy enjoyed the food. And the icecream afterwards.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

raw organic seaweed salad..the best!!

Yum!! I just made the best seaweed salad..here's the recipe:

  • put a cup of organic Arame seaweed (mitoku macrobiotic japan) in a small bowl and soak in not too hot water for about 20 Min's. (I guess any dried seaweed would do, but their tastes do differ.) Drain the soaked Arame in a sieve then chuck it back in the bowl.
  • Splish a medium amount of organic shoyu (a naturally fermented soy sauce) over it, add raw sesame oil and voila! Talk about yummy!...in fact it was so yummy I ate the whole cup so I made some more for dinner.
  • The second time though I added a taste of sexy black truffle oil and threw in chopped spring onion. The truffle oil - seaweed combo was glorious!

This is a raw food recipe, so easy. I havn't done the nutritional break down but it feels damn good. Go on!! Try it!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

wedding squirrels, marriage tests, watercress salad.

Here I am at one of my 'offices', organising the wedding with my sister. The princess was flying around and about..spilling drinks, chocolate smeared on her face. Yet! I appear so calm. (?!!)


O.M.G! I do not want to organise a wedding ever again. Thank god..that's the whole point of marriage isn't it..you DON'T have to do it again! It isn't like there is a lot to do..i mean; there is and there isn't!..i think the wearying aspect is trying to remember the little things and it is always niggling away at my brain..like a little nibbling squirrel with a nut...nibble..nibble..nibble..

You get the general idea.

I dropped the four kids off at laser force this morning at 9. They were really enthusiastic about spending four hours playing game machines etc. They were offered the whole morning by friends who own the place...(i didn't say no). Then the princess and I went to 'births,deaths and marriages' and picked up our marriage license. I cant believe they give out license's for marriage without some sort of test...or course. For example, a course on anger management may come in handy, or perhaps a communication course. A wee emotional IQ test that a couple could take together to see if they match up could be applicable. What about a house keeping course? I also have an idea that it would be a good thing to sit down and talk about your individual beliefs about money-this is a big one...bigger than most of us credit.

After picking up the license, the princess and I drove around and finally found a park in town and I carried her on my shoulders, (the poor thing 'cant' walk, she says..shes 'toooo tired..') to the jeweller. I picked up my shiny wedding band (thin white gold) and my repaired necklace. We then (as one) moved on to a cafe; espresso republic. The staff their never fail to be friendly, no matter how many kids troop in, and the coffee is damn good! After we slurped down our coffee and fluffy and heart shaped shortbread, we footed it to the car.

After the supermarket run, I was waiting at the lights and a man pulled up beside me and informed me that my brake lights were not working at all and that I had..'better be careful cos a car is gonna go up ur arse..". I thanked him as I sped off with the car trimming flying in my face..(car trimming is surprisingly hard to repair. Its not just about glue apparently!).

We picked up the kids, three of them decided to walk to tepapa and then home by themselves so it was just the ten year old and I (and my side kick).

We dawdled home.

Last night for tea Drew made macaroni cheese which I supplemented with a huge watercress and spinach salad, peeled sliced raw zucchini and a cooked tomato sauce. Surprisingly, the zucchini was a big hit, I had scantily splashed some lemon juice and smoked paprika over it. They scoffed the lot. Nearly all of them tried the watercress salad but found it a bit hot! Watercress is quite peppery which was really lovely with the coolness of zucchini.