Posts by Gareth

  • Capture: Besties,

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    Pickles, the perfect cat

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 263 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Besties,

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    Spring flahs

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 263 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Besties,

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    Where we live, where we holidayed, and the animals

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 263 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: Melting pot: A cuisine of immigrants, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Re Spain: I had the best seafood meal of my life at Rafa's in Roses (on the Med coast north of Gerona) last year. I have never had the equal in NZ. Our seafood is generally of high quality, I'll agree, but nowhere can you find the sheer range of fish and shellfish served so fresh and so simply as at that place. Simple grilled fish is all he does. A bit of lemon and a salad (the latter only if you ask nicely) to go with it. Lots of good wine. Rafa's idea of dessert its to bring out a tray of oysters. He serves only what has been landed in the harbour that day.

    Our fish has to go through an approved processing chain before we can buy it. The only way you can match that freshness here is to go out on a boat and catch your own - or eat at a restaurant which has good suppliers.

    What sets the Spanish/Med apart from our food culture is that local markets (rather than supermarkets) are very important. Educated consumers who expect the best, and by and large get it. We need more of that here.

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 263 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: Melting pot: A cuisine of immigrants,

    One observation on curries in New Zealand: when we arrived here 21 years ago, there were very few Indian restaurants in ChCh. The best we found was run by a Fijian Indian family, and to someone accustomed to the standard British curry menu (which is rooted in Bangladesh, cf Rick Stein's India), their food was... odd. Delicious, but odd. They told me that most Indian chefs of the time were from Fiji.

    Over the next 10 years, there was an explosion in the number of Indian restaurants, but this time the chefs actually came from India. Again, the food was often delicious - and arguably more authentic than Brit curry - but it didn't take them long to work out that a good proportion of their customers were either UK expats or NZrs who cut their curry teeth in Britain, and so their menus evolved more towards the British/Bangladeshi norm.

    One dish that never made the trip was the one I ate the most in my earlier life: chicken dhansak. This - in its Brit curry form - is basically tarka dhall with chicken, sweetened and soured a bit. Proper sub-continental dhansak is a lot more complex, but you know, you likes what you know, and I'm pleased to report that the chef at the Curry'n'Kebabs in Amberley is now producing a rather good off-menu version. You'll have to try it, Nik... ;-)

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 263 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News Memories 2: The Twitter thread,

    Joe Meek was certainly instrumental (sorry) in introducing all sorts of sound effects and recording techniques to the charts. He was what you might call a character...

    His biggest hit eerily prefigured the White Stripes...

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 263 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News Memories 2: The Twitter thread,

    Being a beardless grey beard, mine are the Cuban missile crisis and the very real fear that we were all going to die in a flash. I would have been 8. We lived near a rocket testing range, so this didn't seem unlikely. I asked my dad about nuclear bombs and politics, and he said that the Tories wanted more bombs, while Labour wanted to ban them. Sage advice that proved formative in terms of my political views...

    I also dimly remember something about satellites, and standing with mum and dad in a Hebridean back garden looking up at the stars expecting to be able to see them whizz above us. I thought this might be Sputnik 1, but I would have been far too young at the time, so it was probably...

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 263 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Very Vintage, in reply to Nora Leggs,

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    We have white wisteria waterfalls at the moment...

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 263 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Very Vintage,

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    Can't do vintage. Can do spring...

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 263 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Staying Okay,

    Thanks for the Cortez. Mr Young has more chins than I recall, but still has that golden touch.

    More Barn!

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 263 posts Report Reply

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