As spring takes hold, it is time to taste new things or approach old things in a different way. Here are 6 things I’ve been eating, drinking and tasting recently. Actually, it is 7 things, but two of them go together.
1) Lemon, ginger and honey
This standard Kiwi alternative to tea and coffee is usually made from syrups of various qualities, but at Poqutio’s they make it with freshly squeezed lemons, fresh ginger and real honey. It has to be the best in Wellington (am prepared to try others if anyone can recommend somewhere!).
2) Kale salad
Kale has become so fashionable it almost hurts. I’ve always liked it, though hadn’t really eaten it for years (I don’t even think I saw it in Denmark, but I could be wrong). Usually, I steam it or cook it with other strong flavours like garlic or like this good Annabelle Langbein recipe for kale and cranberry toss. The other day I made a kale salad, massaging the finely chopped leaves with lemon juice and salt, then adding some olive oil. I topped this one with toasted pine nuts and sundried tomato. On day two, I added feta cheese to make it more of a lunch than a side dish. Verdict: good and I felt virtuous.
3) Fix and Fogg’s new creation
A few posts back, I mentioned one of the best peanut butters ever made by local firm Fix and Fogg. I was back there last week to get myself another jar of their crunchy peanut butter and also to try their new creation, “Smoke and Fire”. And what a nut butter this is! As well as peanuts, it contains organic chillies, smoked paprika, sea salt and natural manuka smoke. It is sort of spicy and smoky and packs a wonderful punch. I was at the factory shop on the launch day, so I was lucky to be able to get a jar as they quickly sold out. They have subsequently produced a second small batch. It really is like nothing else I have ever tasted. Sublime.
To go with some lamb on Sunday, we opened up a bottle of 2013 rosé from the Schubert vineyard we visited back in July. Made from Pinot Noir grapes, it was a lovely, crisp wine that was lovely to sip in the sun before we ate.
6) Lemon curd
Love it or loathe it, lemon curd is a traditional conserve. Like many British kids, I was brought up on on bright yellow Gale’s lemon curd, but this lemon curd from Artisan Vinegar is a far superior product. The lemon tang persists over the sweetness and it has a lovely, almost crumbly texture, both thick and creamy.
And what better to go with it than a scone. Taking the suggestions from two fellow bloggers, Liz at My Favourite Pastime and Rosy at What I Love when I last posted about scones, I made buttermilk ones. I’ve never really used buttermilk, as it is one of those things that was just not available when I was growing up and first baking, but I will definitely use it again for scones. It really does give a light and fluffy texture. Here is one of them, spread with lemon curd to have with an afternoon mug of tea. Apologies for rather poor pictures but I was eager to try one!