Me – Jo
Welcome to my culinary journey. My name is Jo and I live in Gisborne, New Zealand. Gisborne is a beautiful coastal town in a remote part of the East Coast of the North Island. I love to bake and cook and I believe in making things from as whole ingredients as possible.
My loving husband and better half (wink-wink) nicknamed “The Anster” by by my long-distance cooking buddy in England. A great cook in his own right and an awesome veggie seedling raiser. My long-suffering (he doesn’t quite appreciate our animal-ridden household as much as I do) bowl-licker, bread-whizz and gravy-maker.
Bottom-less Pit (BLP) #1: Mopp
The eldest BLP who sports an unruly mop of curls. Not too fussy when it comes to food but has some weird habits (hates warm milk on his breakfast), eats breakfast for breakfast, lunch and dinner (is that weird or just typical teenage male eating habits?)
BLP #2: Miss M
Miss M, our favourite (and only) daughter who is prickly, spirited and has a double-dose of stubborness. Not so much as a BLP as the boys. Also has some weird food habits (she detests chicken on the bone but loves roast chicken (roasted whole (on the bone)). Will eat pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner but has issues with dairy making cheesy pasta a problem.
BLP #3: Mr L
If I was listing BLP’s in order of most bottomless of the pits, then Mr L would be at the top. Still growing at 15 but already well over six-feet, this one also has hollow legs. he is our midnight pantry marauder and will eat almost anything as long as it doesn’t contain mushrooms or olives.
BLP #4: M
This BLP is our “son” from another mother & father. He is the most active of all the BLP’s therefore his pit is extra large. As a latecomer to our life (the other BLP’s have grown up with my sometimes strange food tangents and our wide and varied meals), this BLP has adapted very well to trying new things. Not many weird food habits. Loves bacon.
More in-depth about Jo
I am a very passionate cook. Apart from the secondary school home economics classes more than twenty years ago, I haven’t yet attended any culinary school. It is on my wish list – perhaps once the babies (yes, teenagers are still my babies) are fully grown and embarking on their own careers or journeys through life as an adult. I have learnt all I know so far by reading about food and experimenting in the kitchen. Like many other cooks and foodies, I have a stack of food related books beside the bed, on the coffee table, on the bench…hmm just about everywhere I look. Each public library visit results in yet more cookery books to dissect. My own reference library keeps expanding and at last count encompassed in excess of 3000 books and magazines. And what I know about food barely scratches the surface – there is so much more to learn and explore.
I create recipes and write a monthly food page Savour for our regional newspaper The Gisborne Herald – this has been published since 2008. Some of these recipes have since been published in a cookbook – Comfort: Food for Sharing: The Starship Foundation Cookbook.
With this blog I embark upon a culinary adventure, with the humble apple as my side-kick. I choose the apple because it is so versatile and it grows in most of the countries in the world. I regularly use apples in my cooking as they add flavour and interest. They also can be a fat substitute – and thereby making the recipe healthier.
I love to bake and make desserts; however as the family request meat and vegetables for the main meal, both savoury and sweet dishes will feature.
This blog will have regular book reviews – complete with any apple recipes in that particular book which I have attempted. I shall try to make the recipe as presented though cannot promise not to experiment as I get carried away with new ideas and the end result is often quite different from the original recipe.
As the journey progresses I shall time-travel back to the past and delve into old cookbooks that my great-grandmother would have cherished. I shall attempt to incorporate apples both for flavour and as a substitute for butter.
Along the way I will shop for interesting apple-derived ingredients – such as apple syrup which is similar to maple syrup but made with apples (funnily enough). Apple slices, apple chunks, apple chips…..as well as apple cider and apple liqueur. Suggestions will be gratefully received.
Lastly but not least, I live in one of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand. Gisborne, on the East Coast of the North Island, will feature in some of the photography, as will……pears 😉
And if I run out of ideas for apples, I could always branch out to the pineapple or custard apple.