Musical Monday: Zorbing

Last weekend my sister introduced me to this song, while we lay on her sofa and talked about books and gardens and the latest comings and goings on Coronation Street. Then she had to show me the video so we could discuss the merits of these sweet boys who sing it. See what you think…

Sweet sweet Friday: Caramel Oranges

Last week, on leg one of the great Moving-House-And-Having-A-Holiday road trip, we stayed with my sister in sunny Hawkes Bay. This part of New Zealand, on the eastern coast of the North Island, is renowned for its gorgeous Art Deco architecture and amazing climate. My sister has an incredible garden, filled with flowers and fruit trees and all sorts of things that would never grow anywhere else in the country.

Her two navel orange trees were laden with glowing orange globes and the Small Girl was in heaven. “Balls, balls!,” she shrieked, running towards them.

I ate loads of them, standing over the kitchen sink as sweet, tangy juice ran down my forearms. Later, my sister made Nigella’s Chilled Caramelised Oranges with Greek Yoghurt from Forever Summer. The recipe uses a frightening amount of sugar (it works out to 125g per person!), but the caramel sets hard on the plate and we consoled ourselves that we didn’t actually eat all of it. And surely, all that vitamin C counteracts the evils of sugar…

Now we’re on the West Coast of the South Island and the whitebait are running. Will the Boy Wonder and his brothers catch any? Here’s hoping for a sweet, sweet Friday for you all while we find out…

Settling in

A KitchenMaid’s home is her castle (at least, the top half of one is!)

We are – at last – unpacked and our new house is beginning to feel more like home. We’ve lived in this city before, but never in this particular area, and it feels like an exotic new country. The nice thing though, is that there are old friends here. One even turned up last night, brandishing a bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine. Then she spotted a friend of hers walking up the street and it turns out that she’s our downstairs neighbour. So dearest Sally and Jen-from-downstairs sat at the island in the kitchen (I have a kitchen with an island!) and we gossiped and laughed and drank rose while I rustled up a little something to eat.

I did mean to take some shots of the finished product but wine and cameras and old friends don’t mix.

Nigella’s linguine with lemon, garlic and thyme mushrooms has been a staple in our house ever since I bought Nigella Express a few months ago. Actually, it was the main reason I bought the book. It’s dead easy – marinate mushrooms in lemon, garlic, olive oil and thyme, then toss through cooked pasta – and delicious. You can find the full recipe text here – though I usually add some chopped black olives for an extra hit of saltiness. I also boost the mushroom-to-pasta content, otherwise you end up with a lot of pasta and not many mushrooms. Our new house has a tiny clump of thyme growing in the back graden, but you can leave it out or substitute lots of parsley.

Tomorrow we are off on the second leg of our road trip – the one to recover from moving in. More posts from the road to follow!

We’re here!

We made it! Two nights with Grandma, three nights with my sister, one night in a dubious hotel and now, our new house. The sun is streaming in the windows, there is a tempting Salvation Army store at the end of the street (though I have banned myself from buying anything for the kitchen – at least until I recover from unpacking) and an amazing kebab-erie within walking distance for tired movers. More photos when the jobs are all done…

On the move…

Things are going to be a bit quiet around here for a few days – the movers are coming this morning and we’re going to take the slow road to our new home. Am suddenly plagued with all sorts of scary thoughts about the move. It’s not like we’re taking off on a proper island adventure in the inspiring style of Claire but it is exciting all the same.
Anyway, we’re combining moving with a bit of a road trip. I think it’ll be fish and chips for us tonight, but if you visit Alicia or Emma they’ll come up with some midweek menu inspiration. Ain’t the interweb magic?
See you all soon!