Summer fun

We have now been in business two weeks. Summer is in full swing, and I am in charge of the ice cream!
We have had such a great welcome, which I hope will translate into trade.

Early morning on the GBC deck

I walk down the track sometimes on my way to the shop, and past the GBC. It is lovely to see so many kids out enjoying some of the luxuries of our city; clean air and water, and the opportunity to be independent at a young age. Watching 9 year olds tumble about in Optimists, playing chasey with a sponge and swinging on the masts to capsize their little craft, I see them learning skills to last a lifetime. I enjoyed those times so much with my children, and made some terrific friends along the way.

Looking out to Browns Island from the Glendowie Boating Club
We have stocked up on some great product for picnics, not least this lovely water. The beautiful bottles were designed by James Ehau, and the water comes from a spring up the Mamaku hills, just out of Rotorua. Amazingly, they sell at the same price point as all the other bottles of water.

I have always loved picnics, in whatever form. Sand in the sandwiches at the beach, the full Monty with bubbles at the races, a glass of wine with a few treats beside a river, and even sitting in a dinghy sucking fresh kina (sea urchin) with a well earned cold beer. We have found ourselves at Spencer's throwing together ingredients for quite a few impromptu picnics at Tahuna Torea, and discovered some favourites. I have decided a French accent is best for baking baguettes, and the Paneton version is hard to beat - crusty on the outer, soft in the middle, tasting of real bread. Ellerslie Ham is always a winner, free range, gluten free (as ham should be!) and beautifully smoked. We need to address the house mustard as soon as possible - something tasty and with a bit of a twist. From Evansdale in the South Island we are bringing up fresh farmhouse brie, a lovely unwaxed, smoked round, a sage, and a cumin cheese. All delicious. Salad greens mixed with wild rocket and French Blend of herbs are a great complement with a dressing of good Olivado olive or avocado oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. 
Tapenade, hummus, lemony Roman style artichokes with their stems attached, pickled green or yellow tomatoes, pepperdews plain or stuffed with fetta, and olives, either Kalamata, enormous Sicilian, or our house mix with herbs, goats feta, and semi dried tomatoes. 
Hungarian Deli keep me supplied with pancetta, venison biersticks, dried chorizo, and paprika salamis, brawn and pates to complete the menu.
We even have baskets to hold everything, in stripes, paisleys and plain black, at $39.95

We buy in premium salad greens to mix with wild rocket, baby spinach leaves, sprouts, sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts and herbs to your own taste, and sell it by weight. Each time you have salad you take only what you need, so it can be fresh, and designed to work with your meal - Asian, French, Italian, or South American. 

I always think a bacon and egg pie is a good bet for a picnic too. I make mine similarly to Annabel Langbein, with a Paneton flakey pastry base, whole eggs and sliced Henderson's bacon set in a custard of four eggs made up to 500mls with milk, ground black pepper and salt. But I like to put about 20 dried pink peppercorn in as well. Years ago, when I used to send these pies up to the opening of the shoot at Kaukapakapa, they were always remarked on, and I am sure it is the fragrance of the pink peppercorns which makes the difference. Absolutely stunning with a spicy watercress salad.  
Spencer's bacon and egg pie

Carry alls for shopping, gardening tools, picnics...anything $39.00

Follow with some lovely summer fruit, cherries, melon, or my favourite, ripe peaches, and a sticky wine. Finish with  coffee accompanied by an almond biscuit, or biscotti of rosemary and orange, lemon and poppyseed, or apricot half dunked in chocolate. Tea drinkers could try a special black estate tea,, or a herbal with fresh sponge or madeira cake. And then a little lie down under a big sky....


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