Without television, radio or mobile reception, heading off to the Husband’s family bach, or holiday home, at Lake Rotoiti always entails packing lots of books. The use of the Husband’s Mother’s library card is always very much appreciated and gives me a chance to pick up a few cookbooks from the great selection available (did I ever mention that I love NZ libraries?). Between occasional walks and trips down to the small village of St Arnaud for coffee at the Alpine Lodge café – fresh baked muffins (favourite: raspberry, pecan and chocolate) and scones every morning, great looking brunches and lunches, with long blacks worth walking miles for – there is plenty of time for reading.
I like to dig out one of the old fashioned lean-back deck chairs (it comes complete with a woggly sunshade which can either keep the sun out of your eyes or alternatively decide to land down on top of your sunglasses), pile up my bounty at the side and just indulge, sand flies and Little Missy willing. This is what is on the pile at the moment.
Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood by Taras Grescoe – fascinating, but chilling reading. This is full of gloomy stories about pollution, collapsing fish stocks and global warming. Apparently there’s some hopeful pointers on what fish we should be eating to come but I haven’t got there yet. Educational but depressing. www.tarasgrescoe.com
Cooking for Your Child by Nicola Galloway – this book by Nelson-based Nicola was introduced to me by the Husband’s Mother a few years ago. I immediately loved her no-nonsense attitude to feeding kids and bought a copy for the Writer, which – after the arrival of LM – I have had on extended loan. After borrowing it from the library this trip I decided it was definitely time to buy my own copy. LM enjoys her (Nana-made) banana teething rusks, banana scrambled eggs are up for dinner tonight and I’m liking recipes that can be used for grown ups as well as smallies. www.nicolagalloway.com
Frugal Food by Delia Smith – For me, Delia’s star has been forever tarnished by her appalling How to Cheat at Cooking but I did want to take a look at Frugal Food as it is an updated version of her 1970s book. I have to say that it is a little underwhelming, nothing very new or interesting to find here. www.deliaonline.com
Taste Favourites – Taste is a great food magazine that I always pick up when I visit NZ. An intelligent blend of the aspirational and achievable, every copy I look at has me reaching for my notebook to scribble down ideas and ingredient combinations. Having said that, this cookbook, with 70 recipes from the magazine, just isn’t as much fun as the monthly publication. Now that my Cuisine subscription has lapsed, maybe it’s time to change magazines for a while.www.taste.co.nz