beach picnic

No camera today. I have recently sustained three consecutive days of blogging with photos though. The children and I spent much of today on the beach at Trumans Track near Punakaiki with friends. There is a section of beach with a waterfall coming down onto it from the cliff above and this forms a perfect pool for children to play in rather than anywhere near the ferocious sea. They also played on and off rocks and found a sea anemone. It was bliss. My souvenir is some seaweed for the garden.

Onion weed can grow on the slimmest of resources. This morning I moved the established blueberry pot, assuming that the substantial onion weed plant beside it was growing out of a crack in the concrete. In fact, it was growing from a thin layer of soil sitting under the pot and on top of the concrete. I gave it and the worms and slugs living also on this slender and seemingly rich biomass to the chooks.

I am now the delighted owner of Claudia Roden's Food of Italy, via trademe. For the moment, it is Roden and David who interest me most as names which come up again and again in food reading, particularly when I lived in London. Food of Italy was first piblished in 1989. So, far I've been intrigued to note the differences in the use of fat throughout Italy. Traditionally, she explains, butter was used most in the north, then lard in the less far north and centre and olive oil in the south. She notes that now (1980s), olive oil has become popular throughout Italy and cooking in lard is out of favour. I am hoping as I get through the book that she does reference which recipes would once have always been cooked in lard.

Given my interest in cooking with animal fats (and the fact that if I want lard I have to render it myself whereas I can buy beef dripping ready to go), I would like to know more about traditional foods cooked in dripping. Apart from chips. The chips in dripping were so good the other night that this week when I was about to go and buy takeaway fish and chips, Brighid said"no! I want home made fish and chips!" She didn't get her wish as takeaways was not about culinary excellence but about food on the table very promptly with no cooking on my part. But I liked her protest all the same.

An interesting post which squares with my frustration at what passes for nutritional advice in mainstream media (can I just say one more time: fat is not the devil made incarnate, it is just fat) is here.

I am so very glad we do not have a television. But all the same, given the behaviour of Mr Paul Henry, a man who works in the state sector and therefore surely has a particular responsibility to uphold principles of human rights and dignity, I am ashamed of this aspect of my country. I am ashamed of the people who have supported his racism.


Sharonnz said…
I came across this link recently about rendering lard and thought of you:

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