ANZAC biscuits

The ANZAC biscuit became popular during WWI. I thought they were issued as rations… high calorie, doesn’t spoil easily. But no, apparently that’s the ANZAC tile, not nearly as yummy. Another theory is that they were sent to the troops by wives and girlfriends back home. However, some people question that idea also. Those doubting Thomases suggest that the biscuits were always used as they are today, to raise funds for the troops, sort of like Girl Scout cookies for grownups. 

According to Wikipedia, the name “ANZAC biscuit” is a protected marque of the Crown. However, if you’re holding a bake sale for a good cause, they won’t bother you… as long as you never ever call them ‘cookies’. 

So we’ve finally tasted them, after 4 months in the country. Basically a delicious oatmeal cookie with some coconut. Only better because of golden syrup (more on that at a later date). 

Ethnic Eats

We have experience with only two NZ workplaces, so maybe this is representative or maybe not. But, both have surprisingly well-equipped kitchens. Which is cool, so hopefully it is representative. 

At my office, we have a monthly cooking club called Ethnic Eats… each member cooks every 3 or 4 months and we share and it all works out great. Last month, it was “spicy for winter” and my enchilada casserole was a big hit. This month, the theme was “mum food,” as in the food your mum used to make. As it happened, all the cooks this month were Indian (which is the modal software developer here as I think everywhere). So, biryani, dhal, etc., and a lively discussion about the details of Indian cuisine… saying “Indian cuisine” at all is apparently a giant lumping together of things that are actually quite different. 

I’m a Soul Man

It was wonderful to see ex-neighbor Brian this week as he passed through on a work trip.

We had a great dinner at Soul, which is one of the places that perennially gets a spot in the xxx best restaurants lists. We had cocktails beforehand, and more than one bottle of Central Otago pinot noir (that’s my only NZ wine phrase, and probably elicits the same reaction real wine snobs as “merlot” did in Sideways). As a result, I don’t remember as much about the food as I’d like , but it was good, the service was also good, and the company was better. 

Orange you glad

This is serious citrus country… lemons and limes and mandarins and oranges and grapefruit all grow happily in people’s backyards. The break room at work often has a pile of excess fruit. 

So, a few weeks ago, we ended up with quite a basket of mixed fruits. I thought I would make a sort of lemonade, doing it the Joy if Cooking way where you boil some rinds in with the syrup for extra flavor. So I did, and it came out pretty good. 

But who drinks that much lemonade? Not us. So, we froze a bunch into little citrus ice cubes. All good. But still, it turns out to be a hassle to reconstitute the cubes into breakfast juice, and it’s actually pretty tart. 

Hmmm. A tart citrus ice cube on a warm weekend… whatever shall we do?

#sundayfunday !

Save me a saveloy 

That is a grown woman. A professional, sophisticated person. She is here demonstrating a Kiwi tradition, the cheerio. These little sausages, which are technically called saveloys according to Wikipedia, are a great favorite, especially at kids parties, but not ignored by grown ups either. She served them at a party at her house the other night, a fun evening in a beautiful home. I admit to having a couple cheerios myself once I found out it was socially acceptable. Lee did not make it past the first bite. 

Sadly, the genericized term cheerio has recently been the subject of some trademark action. I don’t think either cocktail sausage or saveloy stands a chance, but who knows… we do tend to say facial tissue and cotton swab these days. 

Just Desserts

We walked to Woodpecker Hill restaurant for our first really good fancy meal in Auckland last weekend, celebrating our 27th anniversary. Yay! Super cool place, great food (I was actually tempted to write about the bok choy, but who writes about bok choy), really nice service… attentive yet unobtrusive. 

We chose the top dessert, and it actually might have been my least favorite course…. too many delicious things all rolling around together. Still scraped every milligram off the plate, however.