Heading away for a long weekend to a bach (Kiwi for holiday home) by the sea tends to concentrate the mind when it comes to cooking. You know you’ll have to bring all your supplies with you, the local shop will probably be five miles down the road and that you’ll be having to cook on an unfamiliar cooker with unfamiliar, probably unwieldy, equipment.
One of my fondest autumn memories from childhood is of my siblings, my cousins and myself as small children, bundled up in warm coats and wellies (aka gumboots in NZ), being handed a couple of buckets by the adults and sent down my grandparents’ farm to go mushroom picking.
Since the day itself I’ve cooked Anzac Biscuits a couple of times. They seem to be the kind of biscuit that doesn’t really know how to go off, getting slightly more chewy after the first day they’re baked but none the less tasty for that.
Walnuts in New Zealand are fantastic. Not only can you buy the boutique, high-quality nuts that are widely grown in this country – there’s even a Christchurch-based grower and processor that glories in the name A Cracker of a Nut – but even the imports are of a far better quality than we normally see in Ireland.