Been dreaming of the islands so much these past couple of weeks. Augie and I were married in Samoa 27 years ago and this week we celebrate 37 years as a couple. Yes the math is right, ten years from dating (and two tamariki in tow) to wedded bliss. On Wednesday last week we had our first official Toru Road Event, collaborating with MaiTui Group for the Wellington Pasifika Business Awards 2020 held at Te Wharewaka o Poneke in Wellington which also happened to be the 9th wedding anniversary for my bestie Darlene from MaiTui Group. What a way to spend her anniversary than with her Maid of Honour doing our first official event gig together, and a Pasifika inspired one at that. I love these meant to be moments. Took me back to her wedding day in the Cook Islands, with memories of that beautiful day, the sun, the ocean, the white sand, the kai, and the warmth of her beautiful whanau, oh and amazing friends (myself included!) As I write this I am so wishing I was back in the islands.
We wanted to create a warm Pasifika feel to the settings with no table the same – same but different! From the front table to the back of the room each setting had pieces from our collective whanau and it was with a good heart that we left them there for others to enjoy. 25 table settings for a crowd of 250 were created. I loved it and feedback tells me that others enjoyed it to. I so appreciate that I am doing something that I love, with whanau, with my bestie, what more could you ask for! We have some more events booked that we are working on and I can’t wait to collaborate again on the next one.
It’s been busy in the Toru Road Kai office as well. Finally, yes finally, have got my labels sorted for Vegan Kale & Kawakawa Pesto, Chocoholic Granola, and Kimchi with Watercress. Horopito Dukkah was done and dusted a few weeks back, and so was the granola – but needed a new label for our newest Chocoholic Granola which is really good - I am biased but yes it’s worth putting it in the cupboard for breaky, or even dessert, and yep its minus the fat content that can be associated with granola or muesli - all natural goodness with the addition of cacao nibs, premium Dutch cocoa and NZ manuka honey.
We’ve just finished our first jar of Toru Road Kimchi with Watercress which usually takes an age to get through but I’ve been adding it to my vege broth with rice noodles that I often have for lunch, and piling it with a cooked breaky whenever I get the chance. Keenau was eating kimchi on toast the other day, that is a bit too far for me but he reckons its delicious. Kimchi is worth trying, specially if you are into good gut health, this certainly promotes that, and the addition of watercress is so good – maybe that’s why I’m loving this kimchi so much.
With a promise of free Vegan Kale & Kawakawa Pesto for life, Keenau has come to my social media rescue and is taking the reins in that space for a little bit, and is teaching me some tricks so that I can then take it back on. I know its torture for the boy but I am doing my best and am learning bits and pieces as we go (he knows he already had free pesto for life anyways so he is humouring his mum (or putting up with) me 😊. We’ve also been looking at what Christmas packs we can put together as we lead up to the festive season and whilst it’s just a bit too early for us to get the whanau together to put up our tree, we will have some Toru Road goodies ready for Christmas and look forward to bringing you them.
I’m thinking about which pics to put up from our Pasifika event, there are so many to choose from, I just loved every setting, but I’ll just do a couple and you can check out more on our Toru Road Events page. At the same time in my head I’m singing a song and thinking about my late father-in-law (also named August by coincide lol) Gus Betham. He would sing this many a time in only the way he could, makes me miss him, and the joy he brought the last time we were in the islands with him, on our wedding day. I'll leave you with a couple of verses from that Harry Belafonte tune and a few pics from the event:
This is my island in the sun
Where my people have toiled since time begun
I may sail on many a sea
Her shores will always be home to me
Oh, island in the sun
Willed to me by my father's hand
All my days I will sing in praise
Of your forest, waters, your shining sand