Ryan outsmarts himself choosing a country…

We resort to Google Maps on the iPhone to identify Ryan’s choice this week.
My guesstimate was close – but not quite right…


Canadian ingredients in New Zealand

Being both British Commonwealth countries I thought we’d be able to find most of the things we need for our Canada Dinner, and luckily our local supermarket did stock authentic Canadian Imported Maple Syrup (instead of that fake stuff we normally have) albeit at a premium price.

We always used to call it Maple Syrple when we were growing up, actually I still do… the kids think I’m weird – but that’s par for the course 🙂

Cheese curds on the other hand aren’t easy to come by, luckily I found out how to make them from scratch, and my small test today, worked well, so I’ll be able to go full-scale curding for an iconic Canadian snack.

Graham Crackers are another thing that is just not available over here, but after a bit of internet trawling, I’ve found the name of their New Zealand equivalent – so we’re away…

The more I discover about Canadian cuisine, the more I’m surprised the whole country hasn’t died of a heart attack, there’s an awful lot of fat and sugar in everything… must be a sure sign it’s all going to taste really good!

And the boys are looking forward to the Beaver Tails…. shopping list is being written up – supermarket expedition is pending with the ever energetic young Ryan!

Fijian Menu planned

After a lot of researching I think I’ve nailed down our Fijian Dinner menu.

I’ve got a fresh fruit entrĂ©e (it’s still summery here, so I should be able to still get the tropical fruits). So fruit should go down okay with the boys, at least with a choice of a few they can pick their favourites.

Mains is a rather interesting dish involving kumara (sweet potato) and pineapple. Ryan loves pineapple on his pizzas, so I’m hoping this one being a slightly sweet (I’m guessing) will go down well with the boys as well. Might even see if I can swing some half coconuts for them to drink out of – they’ll get a kick out of that. There was also Kokoda as a mains option (a Fijian version of my favourite Samoan dish, Oka), but we’re trying to different food each time and they’re basically identical.

The dessert I’ll leave as a surprise, it’s something I’ve never heard of before, and has an interesting cooking and presentation, and I’m pretty sure the kids will be wanting seconds and thirds. There was the option of Gulgula which looks suspiciously like Samoan Panikeke (so they’d be guaranteed to like that, but we’re trying to get them to try different/different foods).

No really difficult ingredients here, they’re all readily available – I might see if I can find cassava though – that’s a vegetable I haven’t seen before.

Final touch (for the adults) Kava, I’ve ordered some powder to make Kava the drink from, but by looking at their website who knows how long it’ll take to get here, I think it may be on island time.

Thanks for stopping by, photos to come over the weekend.

Coincidence and male listening skills…

I’m a male – so genetically listening is not my strong point (let’s go for genetics rather than bad listening skills, okay?) – however if I had listened – then, as my parents and my wife pointed out to me this morning I would have known my sister is currently hosting two exchange students (I’m not that bad a listener! I knew that! And I knew one was from China, and the other from Japan).

What I didn’t know specifically was – Ruhan is actually from Outer Mongolia, so, I may either get some inside information for this weekend’s dinner, or we’ll have my sister, fiancĂ© and the students over for dinner –  better check with them first I guess!

This would be the real acid test for our International Dinner Project’s authenticity I guess…

Greenlandic shopping list (minus the whale skin, seals and caribou)

It’s a lovely sunny day here, you’d hardly know it was summer (our summer has been mostly rain this year, with some sun sprinkled in occasionally to raise our hopes).

It’s a good day to fill this Greenlandic Shopping list I made last night.

Whale skin

Venison (phew… reindeer substitute)
Pearled Barley
Wild Mushrooms
Grand Marnier (now we’re talking!)

and the rest we luckily have in our pantry – just as well you can’t buy Whale meat here, the last thing I need is Lucy Lawless and the rest of Greenpeace blocking my driveway.