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We spent a lot of time fishing when we were kids. When the wind swung around to blow offshore my uncle would call and we would all head off to the beach to help put his kontiki raft out. I remember he used a barley sugar to hold the line of hooks on the raft. Once the sweet had melted in the salt water, by which stage the whole contraption would be way out in the deep briny, the line would drop down with all its baited hooks...
Seeds and plants germinate and grow at different temperatures, so it's important to know what their tolerance is before you start to plant them. Only the hardiest plants can be sown when the soil is cold in early spring. This is the time to plant bok choy, broad beans, broccoli, kale, leeks, peas, radishes, spinach, spring onions, strawberries and turnips. Artichokes and asparagus tolerate cold too but you won’t get a crop in your first season...
It’s always such a buzz being in Australia, where the whole world comes together around the table with the best food of every ethnicity, style and and flavour.
A fresh zingy salad is one of the best partners to a rich winter stew or oven bake, often better than a cooked vegetable accompaniment…
I kicked off my feminist-hippy period as a teenager, leaving school at 16 (University Entrance successfully passed – whew!) to move up to the Whanganui River with my longtime boyfriend and fellow idealist, Murray, and his friend, Thom.
As much as I love Christmas Day, it’s Boxing Day that I really look forward to. It always seems that you have to get through Christmas before the holiday actually starts.
If you want to enjoy fresh vegetables over the winter, now is the time to get busy in the garden. It's hard to believe, when the full flush of autumn harvests is coming to bear as it has been in my Wanaka garden, that soon things will stop growing. But if I don’t get on with it now, I’ll find it’s all too late and my plants won’t come to ripeness before the shortest day.
When my sister and I were at school our lunchboxes never contained any food that wasn’t homemade, aside from the occasional little packet of raisins. Did I know how lucky I was? No, I didn’t. When you are a kid, the need to feel you fit in is paramount – let nothing differentiate you from the tribe. Putting together some lunchbox ideas for Taste magazine recently got me thinking about ways to liven up this important meal of the day...
In the summer when I am down in Wanaka, I love getting up with the sun and wandering around my garden. There’s something incredibly still and soft about the land at this time of day – a hint of dew on the ground, everything looking so fresh and new.
In a world increasingly geared to instant gratification, vegetable gardening doesn’t really play the game. The results are never instant – vegetables take weeks, sometimes months, from seed to harvest. But when it finally comes time to pick your home-grown crops (provided the slugs haven’t got to them first!), it becomes well worth the wait.
I get so mad at myself if I miss the farmers’ market. It usually means I haven’t got out of bed early enough - probably because Saturday night rolled over into the early hours of Sunday morning. Worst of all, I’ve missed the market and all those fresh goodies on offer...
I’m never sure whether it’s the idea of something for nothing, or some deep, primal hunter-gathering instinct that attracts me to the idea of foraging. Either way (and it’s probably both), heading out into the wild to find free things to eat is so appealing. Foraging has become popular even in urban environments these days...
One of the most thrilling things about making the third series of my TV show has been meeting so many clever people who are crafting good, richly layered lives around their passions. Winemaker Duncan Forsyth is one such person, and it was a treat to visit him to shoot this episode. Not only does he create beautiful wines but in his spare time he produces the most delicious prosciutto...
Annabel travels to historic Arrowtown to source beer from a local boutique brewery for her Vegetable Pakoras and to accompany a South East Asian inspired dinner menu.
Every summer when we were growing up, my mother would spend several weeks bottling the season’s harvests for the pantry. Our tiny kitchen was transformed into a full-blown canning and pickling production line, and just getting in the door involved clambering over cases of produce and navigating your way carefully around masses of glass jars, lids and bags of sugar...
Having collected fresh eggs from a local poultry breeder, Annabel heads home to whip up homemade mayonaise and sweet Coconut Pavlovas to follow a Thai-style Beef Salad.
The golden-fleshed pumpkin provides a welcome injection of colour in winter cooking and is the nutritional powerhouse of the cucurbit family, with very high levels of beta carotene.
Sitting here in the gloomy grey rain of an Auckland winter, it’s hard to imagine that just a couple of weeks ago I was frolicking in the clearest blue waters of the Aegean, having one of the best holidays of my life.
Some years back I was fortunate to be invited to Malaysia to celebrate the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, where my book Assemble: sensational food made simple won the Best Easy Recipes in the World category.
The first four days of this trip were spent in Sabah, northern Borneo. Lying just below the equator, Sabah is out of the tropical cyclone zone and is known as 'the land below the wind'.
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