366 days of gratitude


I hold canned asparagus responsible for many people’s dislike of the vegetable.

Canned it’s slimy and definitely not the best way to experience a new taste.

But fresh – cooked until it’s just el dente – both taste and texture are sublime.

We’ve been eating it steamed and grilled.

We’ve added it to pizzas, roulades and salads.

We enjoyed it undressed and dressed –  with sauce or cheese (Whitestone Windsor Blue is a particularly good match, although I haven’t got round to making asparagus rolls with it this season).

And now, before our enjoyment in it begins to pall and we start taking it for granted, the season is almost over.

Like a lot of produce, it will be available out of season thanks to producers who manage to extend the growing period, and imports, should you have the desire to buy it but I rarely do.

A lot of the pleasure in seasonal food is it’s seasonality.  It comes, we enjoy it, it goes and is replaced by something else in season.

Today I’m grateful for fresh food in season.




Vote for best cheese


New World is inviting people to vote for the People’s Choice in the Cuisine Cheese Awards.

You can only vote for one cheese, vote only once and when you’ve voted you can’t see anything in the other categories.

They’re listed in alphabetical order so you have to go right to the end to get to the best: Whitestone.

I started with the blues and voted for New Zealand’s best – Whitestone Windsor Blue, which is the last listed in that category.

Having done that I wasn’t able to see the options for other categories but Whitestone is sure to be well represented there and if I was choosing a soft cheese I’d have gone for Whitestone Waitaki Camembert.

If you vote you’re in the draw to win tickets to the Monteith’s CheeseFest on Wednesday, 29 February at The Langham in Auckland, two nights accommodation there, dinner and a The Langham, dinner, a  Tiffin Afternoon Tea and a $500 VISA Prezzy Card.

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