Easter weekend: sunshine, wine and lunches

Easter Sunday proved another sunny, early autumn day, and after eggs (both hen and chocolate), we set off as planned on a short trip to Martinborough.  As usual, we stopped for lunch at the Village Cafe, enjoying sitting outside in the sun.

IMG_7427The Village Cafe

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Orange fizz and lemonade for a sunny day

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Caeser salad

The licensing laws in New Zealand at Easter are complicated.  Nearly all shops are shut on Good Friday and Easter Monday, excepting a few such as dairies (corner shops) who supply things people might need such as milk and bread, pharmacies, petrol stations and hairdressers, as long as they only cut your hair and don’t try to sell you any products.  Licensing laws are also complicated, and you can only buy alcohol in a bar or restaurant if you are eating, and not from shops.  However, if the premises makes an alcoholic beverage, such as a winery, then it is possible to buy alcohol from them, provided it is only their own produce.  We were therefore able to come home with a lovely, buttery chardonnay and fruity pinot noir from award winning winery, Martinborough Vineyard.

IMG_7432Martinborough Vineyard

We had friends round on Monday for a Swedish table lunch with the usual herring, Janssons fretelse*, smoked salmon and as it is Easter, eggs rather than ham as we would have at Christmas.  Oh and yes – there were meatballs and sausages too.

IMG_7439Janssons fretesle cooking

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Herring in mustard, eggs and snaps glass

And so as the long weekend comes to an end, and we sit here full of food and contemplating the week ahead, we can also take a moment to enjoy the evening sun.

IMG_7440Blue skies

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Still shorts weather

*  Preheat oven to 225C.  Butter an oven proof dish.  Slice two onions very finely and fry in a little oil until soft.  Peel about 1kg potatoes for 4-5 people, and cut them into fine matchsticks.  This takes time, so put on a good radio show/podcast to help you through.  Place a layer of these matchstick potatoes into the prepared dish, then top with the onions and finely chopped ansjovis fillets.  You can buy these in Ikea if you live near one.  Do NOT use anchovies – these Swedish ones are actually pickled sprats (read this article here). Keep layering potatoes, onions and fish, finishing with a layer of potatoes.  Mix together 200ml of cream, 100ml of milk and the juice from the ansjovis tin, and pour half of this over the layers.  Sprinkle the top with fine breadcrumbs and dot with butter.  Bake for 30 minutes, then pour in the rest of the cream/milk mixture around the edge of the dish, and bake for a further 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

 

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