Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rosemary for remembrance

Life changed three years ago when Bec's husband Mike tragically died while running a half marathon.  I'm not sure how one makes sense of the sudden loss of a husband and father-to-be; perhaps this is a lifelong process.  But within the grief, there has been a lot of life and love too.

We started the blog when life seemed especially hard and we wanted a way to embrace some of the lovely things in life.  Lovely Wee Days gave us a practical focus; a reason to bake, a reason to write.  Baking on Thursday, a favourite thing on Monday, a few mid week treats to write about too.  With time, life has taken over and the blog has become quieter.  Becs and Daisy have moved to "Mummy's special house",  Posh Porridge is a weekly market sell-out, Libby's busy with her own bun in the oven and I'm focused on wedding planning for December.

But no matter how busy we become, Mike's life and loss is never far from our thoughts.
Rosemary is a symbol of remembrance, so today I'm going to make something with rosemary and remember Mike. xxx

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Libby and I made a trip down to Oamaru last weekend, to visit a few favourite places. Our first stop was the Oamaru Farmers Market held in the carpark opposite the Loan and Merc. Still a small market, we were especially taken with the little caravan selling Southland-style cheese rolls. Peckish after the drive from Christchurch, we enjoyed our unpretentious $5 combo of cheese rolls and strawberry milkshake served up by the "cheese roll lady".

Next stop was Moeraki to have lunch at Fleurs Place. I loved the seafood hotpot below, especially pulling the crab to bits at the end.  Delicious.  The others all had blue cod in various guises which received top marks too. Don't expect anything fancy as this is rustic, tasty food done well.

Back in Oamaru, well worth a look is the Real Good Fudge HQ.   They used to sell at the Farmers Market, and have recently taken the leap and set up their own cafe/shop located in the historical precinct of Harbour St.  Their fudge is excellent, and reasonably priced.  We chose the caramel, passionfruit and mocha slabs. Whilst googling for a link I found out they sell on Trademe - for $15 they will deliver 3 slabs anywhere in NZ.  How nice would it be to find that wee package in the letterbox?!

Dinner, and then lunch the next day was at Riverstone Kitchen, one of my favourite places.  Do Oamaru residents known how lucky they are to have RK on their doorstep?  Restaurant standard food and service with pub/cafe prices and portions, Riverstone offers excellent value for money.  We went with the tasting menu for dinner, which changes daily and is a steal at $55 for five courses. Our highlight was the duck main, with celeriac puree and brussel sprouts like never before; in all honesty we wanted to lick the plate. At lunch the next day we couldn't go past the venison pies.

Another highlight of our trip was our luxurious accommodation at Highfield Mews.  Give those grim-looking motels in Oamaru a wide berth and stay here. Beautifully fitted-out rooms that are spotlessly clean and much posher than the nightly tariff would suggest.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Noosa 2012

Daisy and I are just back from a lovely sunny week in Noosa; here are a few favourite things in addition to the old favourites already talked about here and here.

The Little Cove Coffee roastery and cafe is only five months old, and served up the best flat whites we had in Noosa this time. The location is not fantastic overlooking Weyba Rd, but the coffee far superior to what is served in most of the beachfront spots. Lovely staff, and the toasted banana bread is delicious.
Daisy loved beach-time with her friend Danny, the days were hot so twilight prove the perfect time to hit the beach

Clandestine Roasters is another new spot for good coffee, they are part of Belmondos Fresh Food Market, a Nosh/Farro/Moore Wilson type set-up, but on a smaller scale.  They had great produce, meat and deli products for reasonable prices.

I was most impressed at this display of fresh herbs for sale at the Luke's supermarket at Noosa Junction.  If only our local offered something similar instead of those tasteless little hydroponic pottles...

While it is always hard coming home and leaving 'summer' behind, thankfully spring seems to have arrived in Christchurch, and my garden was able to supply mint, parsley, spring onions and rocket for dinner last night. Roll on summer!

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