Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tamales & Lobster Pizza (26/47)

Tamales is what I make when there is meat left over. Tamale's have become something you can make in a hurry here .. apart from the soaking the corn husks, everything else is quick to assemble.

We still have a few cans of green chili from Larry's Mom. I only open them on special occassions ... my brother poured a can over vanilla ice cream and gave me an idea about a dessert empanada with green chili, bitter chocolate and sweetened cream. That's how good green chili is.

Lobster Pizza .. it's actually crab.
We already know how pricey lobster is and I wasn't going to ruin lobster by putting it on a pizza.
This is a focaccia base from left over dough, lime infused olive oil (Village Press) drizzled over the base, mozarella, crab, green chili, mayonaise, sriracha hot sauce and italian parsley.

Creamy .. delicate .. tangy ... sweet .. spicy .. GOOD.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Focaccia Farcita (25/47)

Bread is good. Cheese is better and this focaccia had mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese in it. A pretty powerful combo.
Activate the yeast, make a basic pizza crust dough - more or less.

Knead for 20 minutes.

Proof it for 2 hours ...

... or till it's doubled in size.

Punch down after 2 hours and half the dough.

Chaffe each ball for 5 minutes and leave for 5 minutes.

Roll out.

Spread over grated mozzarella, pieces of *gorgonzolla (or any blue cheese) & basil.

Close with the other half of the dough.
Spread olive oil over the top, course sea salt & rubbed rosemary.
Proof for 30 minutes.

Bake at 200C (400F) for 30 - 45 minutes.

* Gorgonzola is Italian blue vein cheese. Found it at Vetro in Ahuriri for the price of ones soul, but supermarket blue cheese would be just as good to use too. Too much of it makes you feel sick .. as I do right now.

Friday, July 27, 2012


It's 5am. I haven't been to sleep yet. CSI Miami repeats and snoring will do this.

Larry's eye appointment yesterday was one of the best appointments we've had. His eyes are stable. The left one still blind, the right one stable. He hasn't had a bleeder for 3 months .. which is the same amount of time he's been taking Resveratrol daily.

Much to my dismay, we didn't get flooded out. For real .. it's so boring out here sometimes that whenever I hear a siren I look out the window and wait for lights. The most exciting thing that happened this week was the flushing of the streets water pipes by the fire department. This is right up there with the council having road works repaint the lines in the middle of the road.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flood Watch

We're on flood watch. It's been raining since Sunday. In the ranges, where all the water is coming from, it's been raining since Friday. If it floods, the water will come across the road, which is our only way out of here. It's all good ... this is why we're told at church to keep our store cupboards stocked up and I have enough spaghetti and baked beans to see me through the Apocalypse. I'm an hour away from pulling the kids from school, but I'm not sure I want to punish myself by having them for the rest of the afternoon.
The willows/logs from the school. You can't see the houses properly (enlarge), but ours is along the far back.

The bridge. The water is at the fence line. You can see how close it is to the road.

The other side of the road.

At the top of my grandparents drive way looking south.

Looking north.

I wish I could tell you why this guy is standing higher than the others.

We live up a hill. I was born and raised here and it's never flooded high enough to come up the hill. The only disadvantage of a flood is that there is no way out unless you have gills.
The rain is here til Thursday.

Monday, July 23, 2012

End of July.

A Summer Salad. (24/47)
Pasta is on my below average list as far as foods are concerned. I very rarely buy or use pasta. It's an insipid ingredient. I've been to Olive Garden several times to woo myself into loving pasta, but it all tastes the same. I would have used Casarecce pasta, but penne is as fancy as it gets in Hawkes Bay. I went over budget and purchased Tarakihi (Jackass Morwong) ... it's a great fish. One of those fish's that suit the analogy once you go black ...

So .. pasta cooked al dente (boiling for 8 minutes left in hot water for 3, then shock), green beans cut diagonally and zest of a lemon in strips. Dice & dust the fish with corn starch and fry in olive oil.

The sauce is unsweetened plain yogurt (600mls), 4 tbsps of whole grain mustard, juice of 2 lemons and mint, which I didn't use.

It was ok. I picked all the fish out and ate it and took the rest to Michelle, who thinks everything I cook is the best thing she's ever tasted. Next time I'd leave the fish as a filet, because dicing Tarakihi is just plain offensive, and place everything on top of it and eat it that way.

Thanks Jessica & Ken for the care package from the US today!

The candy corner in our kitchen. Without kids, it would last a month.
With kids ... 3 days.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Kapa Haka Nationals

The Maranga Mai National Secondary School Kapa Haka begins next week up north. It's a Maori culture dance competition. A few local schools qualified for the nationals including Te Aute College, which is the school my parents are Dorm Parents at.

Tonight they had their dress rehearsal show. They had TV crews there and everything.

The lighting in the gym was crap. My WB was 4000k and I had to compensate with a really high ISO. I screwed on the lomo filter after 10 minutes because the grain from the high ISO was not pretty without it.

Good luck to them! ... and to Hastings Boys High School I suppose.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jalea - 23/47

Jalea is a seafood dish using a corn starch/flour batter, triple dipped on Salsa Criolla.

The batter is similar to a tempura batter. The triple dipping gives it a hard crust. Use a hard fish when making Jalea. I used Cod. Lemon fish will also suffice.

The whole dish is built around the taste of the salsa. Marinated for hours, you forget you're eating red onions because that astringent taste is very much so over powered by the lime juice.

Because of the tang that is lime juice, you'll be surprised to know that the familiar coupling of lemon and seafood should be omitted. Instead, an orange to cleanse the tang from your palette so you can taste every part of the variety of seafood that makes up Jalea.

Salsa Criolla 22/47

Criolla is a Peruvian salsa I first tried at the Inca Kitchen in Palmdale, CA. They served it over a dish called Jalea. It's pretty magical.

Slice the red onions.
That's an onion soap in case you wondered. It helps eliminate the vapors from reaching your eyes and takes away the smell on your hands. A must in the kitchen. I've heard whistling works, holding a match between your teeth or a slice of bread. All that did was make me look stupid while peeling onions and my eyes still burned.

The marinate is 2Tbsps of Lime Juice to 1 Tbsp of vinegar. Salt & Pepper to taste.

You want a bowl you can marinate in. Something you can tip upside down every hour.

Marinate in the fridge for 2-4 hours.

Application ... to be continued.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Found it!

Yep .. the name is a cause for concern, but now I can cross off Crab Cakes from The 47.
$3.15 each from the local Asian Grocery Store .. which is across the street from the LDS Chapel next to ANZ at Stortford Lodge for those in The Bay ...

After sleeping for 11 straight hours, Sir Shultz is feeling much better.
Dialysis tomorrow at 5pm.
We would have celebrated Larry's one year of residency if he weren't sick over the weekend. Thinking about everything we went through to get to this point still gives me a headache. Glad that the only thing I have to worry about now is a late cable bill ... but that's what my sister and her credit card are for. (Kiss kiss).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Re: Larry

20 minutes into dialysis .. they called an ambulance to take him to the ER.
It's gastro.
He's home asleep.
Day 5 of no dialysis.
Hoping they'll fit him in somewhere tomorrow otherwise, Wednesday is his next treatment day.
Fortunately, all the good stuff that comes with gastro emptied him of fluids that overloaded him and after 5 days, he was only 3 liters overloaded.

Thankful for cellphones.
Thankful for a cellphone that a blindman can use and that can survive two cycles in the washing machine.
Thankful he is ok.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weird weather

For mid winter, it's very warm tonight. The newspaper says earthquake weather.
Total opposite seasons with the same temperatures. Weird.

Re: Larry - Rough weekend.

I'm blaming KFC for making Larry sick during the week that rendered him totally disabled during the weekend. The worst day was yesterday. I left the house for an hour to do some grocery shopping and when I got back he had lost his cellphone. Found it in the washing machine after I figured out he had taken a bath during my absence. He didn't remember where he put it.

He was overloaded. I hit him with some codeine because being overloaded makes him cough like a mofo, which leads to him not being able to sleep and this is on top of the constant cramps and pains he has from haemo dialysis .. which he missed on Friday because he was too sick to go anywhere. Codeine acts as a cough suppressant.

Last night he didn't want to be alone in the bedroom so he slept on a chair here in the lounge while we screamed at the TV during the Crusaders rugby game. Now and again he'd open his eyes to see if we were all still in the lounge. He did the same thing today.

It reminds me of the time when he was at his worst with his illness. It's a chilling feeling. After sitting in the lounge with him all day today and letting him sleep, he rose from his slumber around 6pm ready for dinner (he hadn't eaten since Thursday).

This is what missing one day of dialysis can do to you. He had a valid excuse to miss Friday's treatment. One of his dialysis buddies can't deal with sitting there for the 5 hours he needs and instead moans to be taken off after 2 or 3 hours .. and that's why that guy is 24 liters overloaded.

Good news and bad news.
Good news: School holidays are over!
Bad news: Two weeks ago two extra bodies moved into our house for the school holidays. We were only able to evict one today .. the other refuses to leave. She'll be familiarizing herself with the vacuum cleaner this week.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I follow a few Kiwi photographers blogs, some professional, most self-acclaimed. All have great work. Lately everyone has been talking about what cameras they have. It's a great achievement being able to grasp as your own the latest model camera.

Frankly, you can have a polaroid and still take a better photo than a Nikon D3S. Good photography has near nothing to do with the camera.

This year I stopped offering maternity, newborn, family and wedding photography as a part of my service because there is no creative challenge in it. I don't want to be that kind of photographer. With Larry as my wing-man, we're trying out new things where photography is concerned.

Good photography is in the technical stuff. You'll meet your photographic demise if you ignore it.

I take my camera with me everywhere now. I get home after each day and charge my batteries, clean my lenses and re-read photo books for new tips.

The state highway 2 between Paki Paki and Te Hauke had a fence full of shoes. It doesn't mean the same thing on SH2 as it may mean in Compton.

First time entering the Anglican Church at Te Aute College. My parents lived just down the hill from where it sits on campus. It creeped me out for years because I'm use to LDS Chapels. I entered it today for the first time after looking at it for the last 10. It's a cute little chapel and is easily the size of two class rooms in our big chapel here.

Another sunset shot of the TAC Marae.

I've got use to the campus after frequenting the place in the last 4 weeks. Great opportunity to test out camera equiptment and tips.

Summer part 2

Nessa envisioned this shoot with my nephew Ellis. They pulled it all together very well. Hubs was supposed to be in it, but got stage fright...