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Having had a fantastic time catching up with friends, eating some great food we come home knowing that today we are travelling to New Zealand. Ironically Ian stopped the spinning globe and has always anchored to live in New Zealand (NZ)….

Although we are in the North Island Ian’s finger pointed to a place called Taupo…this is a very popular resort town, which sits on the banks of NZ largest lake – Lake Taupo. It has been written that in Taupo you can taste some of the finest food from land and sea, and of course wines  – a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay – in NZ.

For discovering traditional Maori food then the North Island is the place to be. Hawke’s Bay is well known as the best and leading place as a food and wine destination.  If you travel along “The Thermal Explorer Highway” it will eventually lead to “geothermally-farmed” prawns and “traditional hangi food.” If you chose to travel “The Pacific Explorer Highway” then you will follow the coast to find more seafood, various fruits and again more fantastic and astonishing wines – Mmmmm feel I need to be booking a trip and packing my bags….

However, The NZ people absolutely love their food which includes everything from roast lamb, to green-lipped mussels and would you believe Pavlova, a particular family favourite, which until I began to look at food for today thought Pavlova originated from Russia, as I thought it was named after the ballerina “Anna Pavlova”.  It was named after her and she visited both Australia and NZ in the 1920’s. The issue is which country invented it? According to an article on the BBC news website, it appears that the Oxford English Dictionary when it was relaunched with an on-line version, reported that the Pavlova first appeared in NZ in 1927. It appears it didn’t appear in Australia until 1935.

Most New Zealanders are very keen farmers and farm amazing and delicious beef, dairy and of course Lamb – another family favourite, so I make no apologies today for preparing a roast.
Mouth watering roast lamb is a kiwi favourite and NZ lamb is held in high regard throughout the world and is one of the country’s top export meats.  New Zealanders enjoy their lamb seasoned with rosemary and plenty of vegetables that are in season. According to research “A piping-hot roast lamb on a Sunday night is a kiwi essential, best enjoyed as described above and served with a glass of Pinot Noir”.
Unfortunately we are unable to cook our lamb like the Kiwi’s do. They cook in a Hangi, which simply means heated rocks buried in a pit oven. This is a very traditional Maori method of cooking for over 2000 years and in the absence of this method I will use the oven.

I have no need to resort to recipes for today’s culinary experience. Our knowledge on how to cook roast lamb has been handed down from our parents.

Cooked with Rosemary from the garden and served pink with traditional seasonal vegetables

Roasted potatoes and parsnip

No Sunday roast would be complete without a dessert, so its best I stick with family favourites and make a Pavlova, a Kiwi Pavlova, with fruit Coulées….
My grandmother (Fiona – that is) was a fantastic at making meringues and  I remember as a child also making meringue nests with her.  I will add to the “own recipe” page how I would make a Pavlova and if you chose to use this recipe feel free..

Kiwi’s are added to this Pavlova  – which are “Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, the bright green flesh of the kiwifruit speckled with tiny black seeds adds a dramatic tropical flair to any fruit salad. California kiwifruit is available November through May, while the New Zealand crop hits the market June through October making fresh kiwis available year round” also added a Mango and Lime Coulées.

Family VerdictLove Roast Lamb and “mum and dad cook it the best”,  Pavlova “as always fantastic mum”…
Great stop off for a Sunday lunch…all washed down with some fab wine from the wine club…..
Next we are off to the Philippines, so we will see you there….