Loved having our whanau come down this past week. My cousin Princess (named after our Nanny Princess Te Puea Wirihana-Tawake) came through from Coro for a flying visit with her bright as a button wee pepe (who is just the cutest) and her doting Karani or Lollie (Nan's name is still to be confirmed), Aunty Sonia, and to add to the mix, our brother Ronnie from Auckland was also down for the week with his wife Tracy helping out with some whanau matters. Both visits went by so quickly and on Saturday we saw the cuz off, and then that same afternoon the bro. Have been hinting hard out to Augie since then that we might need to do a roadie to Auckland over Summer, a detour to Coromandel, and stop off to see other whanau along the way. Enticing him with the promise of kaimoana, and fishing in Coro. I'll let you know if I am able to coax him into it, I think he is playing hard ball cos hello, fresh seafood.
Managed to jam in lots of Toru Road kai activity in and around the whanau visiting. Sadly my new printer that I purchased a couple of weeks ago died on me and after attempts to fix, via online, and several phone calls to someone offshore - yes we've all had those phone calls, a replacement printer was ordered and arrived a week or so later. Usually I couldn’t give a stuff about a printer, but typical when you really need something it breaks. I make my own labels, just until I get what I want right (I'm continually perfecting things) and so when my blank labels arrived yay, no printer. Thankfully a new printer arrived and after the tedious task of setting up my second printer in a few weeks, find out that the labels I had need a laser printer. So problem solved, next lot of labels ordered today! Whilst super annoying, I did suss out a typo on the label for kimchi pepe size which had 100 grams, when its 200 grams. Quality control issue detected. I also learnt that printing a test page first is useful as well, another handy tip. These are just some of my many lessons I'm learning on this journey which is great, as long as I get them out of the way now. FYI I'm trying to be nice to the printer so it doesn’t conk out on me again.
Took some time out from whanau to attend a Canestrelli (hope I spelt that right - its gorgeous Italian cookies) demo at Med Foods one evening during their Week of Italy with my friend Darlene, and of course stocked up with ingredients for Toru Road at the same time. Love love shopping for good quality kai. The cookies were gorgeous and surprisingly for me, they contained boiled egg yolks which were then sieved, like flour, into the ingredients. Cool aye. They were pretty, and all important, they tasted delicious. They also made some chocolate truffles that night which is right up my alley. Last week I tidied my pantry to realise that I have gone a bit OTT with the dark chocolate (just the good stuff) and have over a dozen bars on reserve, actually atm its 14 bars - I did buy a bulk lot of vegan organic dark chocolate blocks from Bennetto at the Go Green Expo with the intent that I might use them in a dish for Toru Road (still developing/tasting lol ideas). I reckon some of that chocolate can go towards making some chocolate truffles (with coconut cream for our vegan) ready to whip out when friends come around over the festive season. I was wondering what I should do with all those blocks, other than eating them all myself. Another problem sorted, not that dark chocolate is really a problem.
Had a couple of big orders that went out on Thursday and Friday which depleted my kai stocks. Not like me not to have some Kale & Kawakawa Pesto or Horopito Dukkah on hand, so to avoid any crisis it'll be back into the kitchen again this week after orders close off on Wednesday morning to make fresh for the weekend. Goodies for a Christmas Breaky gift pack are also getting prepped and putting these packs together is so rewarding. I just love that I am actually putting together a Toru Road gift pack and it struck me this week how awesome that is. Who would've thought?
This time last year we were at our nieces wedding (Lee & Nate) in Christchurch, then three days later with all our kids and mokopuna in Rarotonga at our other niece wedding (Lorraine & Sam). We haven’t been able to see our kids since, with two trips stalled due to covid, one of them the weekend that the country went into lockdown. With whanau visiting this past week it’s been a reminder of how lucky we are to have family that can traverse the country to see us, and on the flipside of that it reminded me again that this Christmas we won't see our rauru whanaunga that are living overseas, and those that have just visited. It makes me appreciate what we do have right here in Aotearoa, and it made saying our goodbyes to whanau that left this week just that little bit harder.
Heoi ano taku mo naianei