Monday, November 12, 2007

Welcome to New Zealand


6 egg whites *
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. corn starch

1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups chopped kiwi fruit
2 cups chopped strawberries
1 cup chopped passion fruit

* use surplus egg yolks to make coffee gelato

Preheat oven to 250 F. Whip egg whites until stiff. Mix together the corn starch, cream of tartar and sugar. Add gradually to egg whites until everything is glossy and well-mixed.

Spoon the meringue onto a baking sheet that has been lined with baking parchment. It's easiest to make a narrow mound and then insert a spatula into the centre to encourage the mound to spread slightly whilst creating as deep a well as possible in the mound. Bake for approximately 75 minutes in the oven, until meringue is just beginning to turn yellowish in a few places.

When finished baking, open the oven door and allow to cool gradually.

Whip the whipping cream, adding the remaining sugar and vanilla. Chop the fruit and mix in a separate bowl. When the meringue is cool, spoon the whipping cream into the well, and ladle the fruit over top.

Citrusy Ginger Beer

Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
100 gm (~3 oz.) grated ginger root
1 kg granulated sugar
5 litres of water
1 Tbsp. yeast

Place lemon juice, rind, ginger, sugar and 1 Litre of water in a saucepan and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes. Dissolve yeast in a half cup of the remaining water.

Into the final bit of the remaining water, strain the lemon/ginger syrup, then pitch in the yeast. Stir well. Decant into clean sterile bottles, cap and leave for 1-3 days. Refrigerate after no more than a week. Treat gently and open slowly. These bottles are prone to volcanic effects! Ready to drink after 3 days.

This will yield a gingery beverage with a sharp ginger "bite" and an undetermined, though likely small, alcohol content.

Spaghetti Pies

New Zealanders eat more tinned spaghetti than any other nation. Almost half of Kiwi kids eat it once a week. A fifth of them eat it twice or more per week. My kids were appalled, though they have their own vices. Although we opt for the Annie's organic brand, they do like their convenience-packed pasta & cheese sauce, known colloquially in Canada as KD (Kraft Dinner). After discussing this they were a little more willing to cut the Kiwi kids some slack on the tinned spaghetti thing.

1 can of spaghetti in tomato sauce
12 slices of bread
12 slices of cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut the crusts off the bread. Above, Fiona demonstrates the fun and kid-friendly way to do this. Butter one side of each slice. Place each one butter side down in the well of a muffin tin. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove from oven.

Line the well in the centre of each slice of toasted bread with a cheese slice. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of spaghetti over top. Return pan to the oven and bake a further 10-15 minutes.


  1. Anonymous5:16 pm

    Well being a kiwi girl what am I to say! Spagetti pies. Never heard of them but am sure there are kiwi kids making their own versions all over this land. I agree with your kids response. It is true spagetti is a hot favourite with kids here but mine prefer on the odd occasion the slightly more nutritious baked beans. Yes, a "pav" was always made by my mother when Nana was coming for tea(what you call supper) but I don't know anyone of my generation baking them-yummy though. A Maori (indigenous kiwis!)staple is "boil up"- some pork bones or other cheap meat in a pot with potatoes and veges, favorites being puha (for most people a garden weed) or watercress. Their traditional hangi is also popular cooking food in a pit in the ground which comes out with a distinctive smokey flavour. A traditional and still common form of cooking all through the Pacific, especially for a crowd. And of course, along with meat, seafood is popular. Definately not a vegetarians paradise!(that's from a lapsed vegetarian who is trying to findd her way back!LOL) I thought I'd put in a plug for New Zealand novels, in particular "The Bone People" by Keri Hulme. Erin might like it.

  2. Thanks so much for your comments, Jacinda. I was hoping you'd pop in! Thanks for reminding me of "The Bone People" too -- you're right that Erin would enjoy it. I read it years ago and loved it.


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