75th birthday celebration by Angela Caldin

If you’d reached your three score years and ten, plus another five, how do you think you might celebrate reaching this milestone in life? The average age of death in the UK is 82 years, so at 75 you really haven’t got that many birthdays to go. Would you splash out on a big do, or would you be content with a smaller affair with family and close friends? Party ideas I asked around the whanau and this is what they came up with: A meal in a Yorkshire pub with family… Read More

Recipes for disaster by Trevor Plumbly

Making a meal of it I’ve reached the conclusion (somewhat late in life) that celebrity chefs are a social disease. Like many people, I yearn to have a go and rollick around the kitchen, nonchalantly tossing exotic odds and sods into pots and pans, then presenting the creation to astonished guests. But if you’re three parts blind like me and ham-fisted, life is not like it is on telly. It’s all very well for Nigella and Jamie; they’ve probably got half a dozen lackeys out back pre-cooking the stuff, while they ponce… Read More

Food Waste and Food Poverty: a Metaphor for our Times by Angela Caldin

Have you noticed how sometimes in life one good thing leads on to another equally good? Here’s an example: when we were moving house a few weeks ago, I had an interesting time orchestrating a massive decluttering operation using the local Freecycle group. All kinds of people, young, old, needy and not so needy came to our door to take away items ranging from chests of drawers to mirrors to kitchen appliances and nearly all of them had a tale to tell (first good thing). The enthusiastic young woman who came in… Read More

Happy Holiday by Trevor Plumbly

As I’ve said before, it’s an odd time for me, between the gathering, the going and the silence that follows. Since I don’t travel well, the going away only affects me at one remove. This I regard as something of a blessing as I find the chorus cataloguing the essentials along with the main verse of ‘have I packed???’ is best left to one person if sanity and matrimonial harmony are to be preserved. After the departure, with a few ‘don’t forget to’s’ still rattling around the old brain, I knuckle down to organising… Read More

Bread and Sausages by Angela Caldin

New Zealand has presented me with various wonderful new experiences that I’ve marvelled at since living here for part of each year: Anzac biscuits, chocolate fish, flat white coffee, the haka, the powhiri and many others besides. But there is one Kiwi speciality which is a source of much interest and amazement to immigrants like me and that is the institution of the Sausage Sizzle. Sizzle and squirt With a name containing both alliteration and onomatopoeia, Sausage Sizzle implies excitement and gastronomic delight in equal measure. The reality, however, is somewhat different…. Read More