Apples we are drinking: Old Testament Cider

Sparkling Apple Cider
I picked up this cider during a quick trip to the supermarket – one of those ones where you have no list because you only need a few things but you end up with a trolley load of other stuff you don’t need.  It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered it is made right here in our fair city.

We’re lucky to have a Cidery right here in town – they have a shop that not only sells their cider but also some lovely bacon salt from Ma Prenzel as well as highly perfumed candles set into old tea cups.  I’m fairly sure I bought a bottle of olive oil that had something to do with garlic but I seem to have mislaid it …… my new pantry doesn’t seem to be as organised as it “should” be.
Sparkling Apple Cider
But back to the cider – here in NZ cider means hard cider or alcoholic cider as opposed to fresh unfiltered apple juice.  Cider has had a resurgence of sorts over the last five years or more – new cider varieties appear on my apple radar with regular occurence. And we’d much prefer to sit down to a cold cider than to beer or wine.
Sparkling Apple Cider
With so many New Zealand produced cider’s available, the imported name brands are relegated to the ‘meh’ pile.  Thomas & Rose Fine Fruit Cider, also produced by Harvest Cider here in Gisborne is one of my favourite.  I do a real good frownie face when the Mopp comes home with non-NZ made cider but he hasn’t cottoned on as yet.

I’m not real fond of plastic bottles, I much prefer glass.  However, in the interests of trying this sparkling apple cider, I pushed aside my niggles and popped the bottle into my trolley.  I’m glad I did as this cider is fresh, fruity, crisp and very good to drink.  The apple taste really shines through which may be a dumb thing to say but some apple cider doesn’t much taste of apples.
Sparkling Apple Cider
I enjoyed my glass of cider while sitting on the deck covered in fallen apple blossoms.  I also found that one can buy a “proper” cider glass rather than just any old glass  – there is an interesting article over at the Cider Journal.  And to correctly compare one cider to another, then the correct glass is imperative.  Oops – I do have a wine glass somewhere but we drink wine so seldom, the glasses are in a box buried in the back of the china cabinet cupboard and it was much to difficult to dig them out.  My recycled glass did just fine.

Spiced Chai Discoveries

Spiced Chai
Much has happened in our life since my last post but that is another story for another time. This is just a quick post to leap back into the world of sevengreenapples.  While I was away (from blogging and from home) I took the opportunity to check out some wonderful places in New Zealand.  One of those places was a little town named Woodville – a town we often wave to as we pass by on our way to somewhere else.  This time I made time to stop and browse a few shops.  They have some good second-hand shops but it was food that I was really interested in.   Continue reading

It’s been a while

I read in the newspaper that it is only 12 weeks until Christmas and while I realise you shouldn’t believe everything you read in media, unfortunately I think this one might be true. I don’t know where September has gone.  Perhaps it washed away in all the rain – our driveway was underwater for a couple of days and the chickens had fun splashing around in the puddles.

On the subject of chickens – they have a perfectly good chook house down in the orchard. A perfectly warm and dry place for rainy days.  Instead, my girls took refuge under our camping trailer and each time I opened the kitchen door, they’d do a mad dash through the rain and up on to the deck just in case I was tossing out some delectable morsel for them to eat (never-mind the Chookateria full of pellets in the warm & dry chook house).

Motorcycle Cafe

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Hot Juice: warm up with winter beverages

Citrus defences
Poverty Bay is known for great citrus so we’re lucky to have access to plenty of mandarins, oranges, tangelos, lemons & limes.  We have an overgrown tangelo tree out in the back yard – the fruit isn’t fully ripe until early Spring but we begin juicing them as soon as they are a decent size.  They’re quite sour but nothing a little honey won’t fix.  We also have oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes and grapefruit in various stages of production.

Our most recent additions to the back yard orchard are two easy-peel mandarins.  We planted a Silverhill & a Richard’s Special about 8-9 years ago and these produce plenty of very sweet flavoursome fruit.  However they are not easy to peel and they are very very seedy.  I end up buying bucket loads of the easy-peel seedless mandarins for school lunches so this year we decided to add two of these trees to our citrus bonanza (one is a Kawano and the other, well it’s too cold to go outside to check the label – I am sure there’s snow on the hills….brrrr). Continue reading

A trip to the fieldays & Apple Ice-Cream!!

2015 NZ National Agricultural Fieldays
New Zealand hosts the Southern Hemisphere’s largest agribusiness exhibition every year in Mystery Creek, Hamilton.  Both the Anster & I went along with our families when we were youngsters but neither of us had been since before we were married.  Every year we talk about taking the kids there some time so they can experience the fieldays even though we’re not farmers or into agribusiness.
Kapiti Spicy Apple Crumble Ice Cream with Black Doris Plum & Creme Fraiche Ice Cream in the background
Miss M had an invite from a friend and was scheming up ways she could attend.  It was decided by one and all that the whole family should go so a gumboot inventory was duly executed (Fieldays and gumboots go hand in hand (or is that foot in food?)).  Mr L was the only gumboot-less member of our family so a quick trip to the local hardware store saw him equipped with a brand new pair of Red Bands. Continue reading

Planting time in the apple orchard

Golden Delicious
Here in New Zealand, we are smack in the middle of Autumn.  The mornings and evenings are cooling off but the days are fine with blue skies and warm rays of sunshine beaming down from above (well, this week anyhow).  Last week I had to put aside some other tasks in order to rearrange our sitting room to the winter setting – we no longer look out onto the chook-poop covered deck, instead we are cosily gathered around the fireplace. Continue reading

Summer break

Lake Waikaremoana
It never was my intention to take such a long break from blogging but summer holidays took priority over baking and making anything with apples.  However apples didn’t disappear entirely from my world over the last few months. Continue reading

Side-tracked

It’s been a while since I have posted a new recipe as I have been thoroughly distracted by a few things: interior decorating, gardening & fermenting.  None of which have much to do with apples.  They could, but they didn’t this time. Continue reading

Sweet: Shopping packaged as Mum & daughter bonding

Miss M isn’t so keen on the Dad & daughter bonding trips. They usually involve walking for hours with a heavy pack only to spend the night on an uncomfortable bed in a cramped cold hut. Toilet facilities are dark and smelly and inhabited by huge spiders, spikey wetas and other horrible creepy crawlies. Actually the huts & beds are not that bad, but the crawlies are.
Hawkes Bay bonding trip goodies
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Restocking the pantry with a trip to the Farmers Market

Saturday Farmers Market

Saturdays are home days – days I try not to leave the house, days where my hair can frizz up and not bother anyone, least of all me.  But then Miss M, who had a lunch date with the three J’s (a lot of her school mates seem to have names beginning with J (or G which is almost the same)), asked for a lift into town (it was raining).  If I had to go out I may as make the most of it and go to the Gisborne Farmers Market and buy some supplies.
Apples from Gisborne Farmers Market
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