Friday, June 7, 2013


Sofia had a special day at school today to celebrate Matariki.
The children arrived at school at 7.15am. They had a simple version of the traditional Maori welcome, then gathered around the hangi pit to see the food being put in and covered (some blokes had been there since 5am preparing the pit, lighting the fire and heating the rocks).

The children then had breakfast and did some related activities in their classrooms. About 4 1/2 hours later everyone gathered around the hangi again to see it being uncovered and wondering if it will be cooked

 And it certainly was cooked to perfection. 
 The children, parents and other guests had more than one helping.
It really was delicious. There was a tonne of food and after feeding about 150 people there was still some left overs. It has been a wonderful learning experience for the children.
Last week they took a day trip to visit some important places in their local community and make a connection with the things that their classrooms are named after-Waikirikiri (Selwyn River), Te Ahu Patiki (Mt Herbert), Harakeke (Flax), Nga Kahu (Hawks) and Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere).
For the last few weeks they have also had artist in residence, Simon Rutherford, who has been teaching the children flax weaving and sharing his wealth of knowledge around the history of flax use.
He had some of his work on display today. It is stunning, such an amazing artist and craftsperson.
He calls these his test pots-each one is made out of flax collected from different plants in all sorts of locations. They take him several hours to weave.
He has an interest in pottery and has made some of his pieces resembling pottery from mid 1900's.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mid-Week Meal Idea: Croquettes

This was my first attempt at making croquettes. They're probably not so much a meal but more an accompaniment, a party nibble or as the case was for me on the weekend a simple Sunday night-I-don't-feel like-much-but-need-to-eat-something food. I happened to have the deep fryer on the bench from the day before so I thought I'd use that again. I ate mine with homemade aioli and homemade tomato sauce.
This is how I made my croquettes.
 500g potato
1 egg yolk
10g butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup grated cheese
a few sliced of chopped ham
1/4 cup flour extra
1 T milk
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
oil for deep frying
Boil potatoes then mash together with egg yolk, butter, flour, cheese and ham. Season with salt and pepper. Recipe said to cover and refrigerate at this stage, but I didn't. Using floured hands shape handfuls of the mixture into cylinders about 2cm thick and 8cm long (but really any shape or size would be fine). Dip the croquettes in combined egg and milk then roll in the breadcrumbs (I used panko crumbs which go extra crispy and crunchy). Again the recipe said to refrigerate at this stage but I didn't. Heat oil in a wok, saucepan or deepfryer and deep fry the croquettes in batches until browned lightly. Drain on absorbent paper.
I made 20 croquettes with this amount of mixture.
A variation would be to mix some pesto into the dough and mould the croquettes around a small square of mozzarella.