Monday, December 13

Afternoon Tea, and a bit of a pickle......

What a lovely weekend! Fab weather, and a great time catching up with friends, and meeting new ones. Mairi from over at toast and I ventured to West Auckland to meet up with pease pudding and enjoy a delish Afternoon Tea at her kitchen on the amazing west coast. Do I have kitchen envy? Yes I do.
Did I scoff cakes, sandwiches (including cucumber, yum) tarts (both sweet and savoury) and scones with homemade jam? Oh yes I did.

If you want to enjoy a beautiful spread, with some unusual teas (the Valentine, scented with chocolate and rosebud was my fav), keep checking her blog for dates, don't miss out.....
Aside from the spread, it was also a treat to meet fellow bloggers, also attending was Sasa from sasasunakku, this is a beautiful blog, so it was cool to meet the clever bean behind it. Allison also had a couple of charming local friends along, so we had a great time talking (I know, a bunch of clever girls in a room and we talked a bit, who knew?) eating and supping, a very civilised way to spend the afternoon.

Lets bring back afternoon tea! It is such a brilliant relaxed way to entertain. One of my sisters is particularly crafty, and I love the idea of having "craft soirees" (or stitch 'n bitch if you prefer...) , sitting knitting, sewing or whatever, while enjoying cakes, sandwiches and tea (and a crafty bubbly?).......obviously I would be on food and beverage duty, me crafting usually ends in tears, sometimes of frustration, sometimes because I have sewn over my finger, either way I am better in the kitchen.......

So I wont be crocheting my own bikini this summer, and now it is warm the hottie cover I have been knitting (for five years) isn't likely to make a Xmas stocking. I can however, create my own edible gifts. A fav of the men in my family , and me, is gherkins. Also known as dill pickles, these are a fairly polarising item, but we love them.
The gherkins themselves are ridiculously easy to grow , and the actual pickling process takes about 15 minutes of very low stress labour. I have four plants I picked up at the garden centre growing in recycling bins. They require little more than good soil and plenty of water. The great thing about gherkins is you can make jars as the fruit ripens, rather than having to do it all in one hit. I did a jar the other day, and will do another in about a week when the little fruits ripen up.....

Pickled Gherkins - recipe from Homegrown 2 by NZ Gardener magazine

6-10 Gherkins
a clove of garlic per jar
fresh dill (if you don't have fresh use 1 tsp dill seeds)
1 tbsp pickling spice
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp salt
1 1/4 cups white vinegar
1 1/4 cups water

Put the garlic clove and dill into a clean jar, then squash in as many gherkins as you can. The liquid will
 be enough for one jar, so multiply accordingly. Put the spices into a muslin bag (or use a piece of cloth or an old undyed hankie and tie the top with string). In a small sauce pan put the spice bag, with the sugar, salt, vinegar and water. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes, then bring to the boil and pour over the pickles. Seal the jars, your pickles will be ready in 4 weeks.

Heaven with cold meat, on a burger, chopped into potato salad.........or eaten standing in front of the fridge, right from the jar.


  1. oh wow that's for introducing me to more auckland-based food bloggers.

  2. oh wow thanks for introducing me to more auckland-based food bloggers.

  3. Enjoy, your Banoffee Pie looks fab by the way:)

  4. i so would of loved to be at that afternoon tea !! will be stalking for an invite once we move home :)

  5. Love pickles and those sound divine! Must try & grow some!

  6. Super blog! I popped on over to have a peek via Linda @ The Squashed Tomato (I love her blog - been following pretty much since she started out a few months ago ;) )

    The tea spread looked wonderful and I had a right royal chuckle at your lack of craftiness! To be honest, as far as knitting and sewing are concerned, I'm in your league - hopeless at both!

  7. Ooh ooh, I just saw this! Going to link to it x

  8. Table setting is the key to a beautiful event, elegantly laid, all beautifully.

  9. I loved the photo of the afternoon tea table and was so surprised to see a Rosenthal coffee pot. I have the same and a teapot and the cups and saucers. So rare here in NZ. The afternoon tea looks just lovely.


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