Eat, Write and Be Merry

Let’s start with the eat part. A friend received a double voucher for Christmas to attend a cooking class called Fins and Feathers and I was the lucky recipient of the other ticket. We duly arrived at the fish market in downtown Auckland and began with our complimentary drink. We then proceeded through to the demonstration kitchen where Mark Dronjak, our chef showed us how to cook a delicious king fish entree with an Asian salad followed by a tasty duck main. We then had to prepare it ourselves.

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We worked in groups of four and it was surprisingly easy to do. The duck was especially simple as it was cooked to perfection in black Doris plums and wine in a pressure cooker. I had had no previous experience with a pressure cooker but the duck was meltingly delicious after just 30 minutes cooked in one.

It is a great gift idea as you learn a few skills, have some fun and then sit down and eat it all. Excellent!

Next comes the writing part. A friend asked me to stay over in her lovely bungalow at Port Waikato and join in a writing class she was running the next day. Clearly the Art in the Port group is a strong community force as 12 people turned up on the day. We had to write very quickly after a warm up intro on our childhoods or some aspect thereof. We then shared our writing. It was held in Windsong studio, an idyllic spot high on the hill overlooking the sea.

The Be Merry part was easy, eating at the market, writing and sharing stories with a few tears but more laughter and then a treat- my friend and I dined out at Sylvia’s. Call me skeptical, I didn’t imagine the Port would have fine dining  but it was delicious. We began with fresh figs and shared mains plates of snapper and duck and topped it all off with a homemade custard square. They also do breakfast and lunch. I’ll be back.

So here we are nearly at the end of January and book club starts again tomorrow night. Don’t mention the house move in date! They keep us dangling with promises of a firm date but nothing yet. It is supposed to be early February but I can’t see it myself. I’m just trying not to let it get to me and instead, looking forward to our whole family being together for my niece’s wedding even if they can’t stay with me.

Did I mention another mini project? When a friend was going through some family things he found a rusty yellow biscuit time with an image of Paris on it. More specifically a sketch of the rue Mouftard. He knew this was the gorgeous street I stayed in two Christmases ago and so he donated it to me. My slight obsession with duck egg blue took over and I painted the rusty yellow base.  I’m not sure what it will hold yet, it might be shortbread or it might be cottons and the like but whatever it is it will remind me of the Paris winter of 2013.

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Have a good week as I wait impatiently for the house to be finished. FG

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