Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 19th: Drive from Wellington to Lake Taupo

Yesterday (May 19th) was another driving day. We were headed from Wellington, in the southern part of the North Island, to a smallish town called Turangi that is next to Lake Taupo in the middle of the North Island.

It was a pretty full day of driving, but it was much easier going than in the South Island. The roads were pretty much straight, and while they were still one-lane, there were passing lanes every 20 kilometers or so.

On the way out of Wellington we stopped by a young couple's house who used to live in the U.S. and did some work for Dana's mom and moved to New Zealand in 2002. It was nice to see another example of how people live here. Especially a couple that made the move from the East Coast of the U.S. to New Zealand without ever having been to New Zealand before - very brave! We also got to meet their cat Lucy (who's tail looks like Streak's) and hear about her month in quarantine during their transition. They made us some yummy lemon scones :).

Then we got on our way north. The drive did have its share of nice views. Here is a pic from an outlook of the west coast - the town in the picture is Paekakariki:

After Dana's stretch of driving:

we decided to stop for ice cream. We went into a small dairy (corner store) in some random little town to check out their selection of Tip Top ice cream. I asked if they had chocolate, and the woman behind the counter said no, but that they did have chocolate fudge. I then asked about 'Gone Fishing', and she pointed to the same container that she had just told me was chocolate fudge. Dana and I both ended up getting a cone of this 'flavor', and sure enough, about 10 licks in we discovered it was actually some strange mix of chocolate, rum raisin, orange chocolate chip, cookies and creme, and gone fishing. We called it the Everlasting Gobscream Flavor, and we decided that this mix was not on purpose (we speculated for a while as to how it might have come into being), and due to that and the staleness of the cone itself, have opted out of ice cream since.

In Turangi, we picked up the keys to Vicky and Steve's batch in Kuratau, where we would spend two nights. Vicky and Steve are parents of my friend Matt from Digitaria, and they offered to have us stay at their bach (vacation home) on Lake Taupo for a few nights, before driving to Whakatane and staying with them. We are loving our time here, it's a great house and so peaceful right on the lake. We've made friends with an interesting bird out front with a wonderful song - it consists of about six different calls, very distinct from one another, strung together. Neither of us has ever heard a bird like it before!

1 comment:

Chris said...

It was delightful to meet you both. Here is the scone recipe:


Chris's notes: I found these recipes on the web at: http://www.mit.edu/~wchuang/cooking/recipes/Pastries/More_Scones.txt

I've only made the Fruit Scones. I use a kitchen scale to measure out the ingredients and the recipe works great every time. I like to substitute 2 oz. Of whole meal flour into the flour. I don't bother with using self-raising flour – instead I just use a generous teaspoon of baking powder. I also use rather more than 3 oz of dried fruit – more like 8 oz or greater. I like the diced, dried apricot you can find at Moore Wilsons. I use their crystalised ginger and roughly chop it. The odd big piece makes a nice surprise. I use baking paper instead of a lightly floured baking sheet.

You can make a nice alternative version by substituting 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds and the zest of a lemon for the dried fruit. A simple icing made from the juice of the lemon and icing sugar makes tasty topping. Prepare the topping in flat-bottomed bowl and dip scones in it. Surprisingly little lemon juice is needed to make a thick icing (somewhere between the consistancy of yoghurt or tomato sauce). Leave them for 20 minutes while the icing sets. Put the rack over a baking sheet for easy clean up as the icing will drip and run off a bit – or a lot if the scones are still hot.

* * *
In answer to the recent request for scones, I dug some up
from: Hamlyn All Colour Cakes and Baking cookbook. It is
an honest-to-goodness British cookbook.

Fruit scones are my favorite, so I'll write the recipe for
them first. Because this is a British cookbook, the
measurements may look a little different than you're
used to. In these recipes, I assume that caster sugar is
roughly equivalent to the American granulated sugar.

Fruit Scones

8 oz. self-raising flour (225 g)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 oz. butter or margarine (50 g)
2 Tbsp. caster sugar (granulated sugar)
3 oz. mixed dried fruit (e.g., raisins)
1/4 pint milk (150 ml)
milk to glaze

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar and fruit and add enough milk to mix to a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface, knead lightly and roll out to 3/4-inch
Cut into 2-inch rounds and place on a lightly floured baking sheet.
Brush with milk to glaze.

Bake for 10 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
Serve with butter and jam
(or clotted cream--sort of like whipped cream (yum yum)).

Tip: Most scones will keep for a day or two if stored in an
airtight container, but are always best reheated in the
oven for a few minutes before serving.