2 min read

wood ash and elbow grease

the upper part of a horse standing behind a fence facing towards the photographer. in the distance, the ocean and a row of lo

don’t let these blue skies fool you, these winter days are the coldest we’ve seen this year.

in the sunny days between storms and hail, there’s been digging + planting + moving barrow loads of mulch from one end of the section to the other. jokingly, to myself, i call this gumboot camp — a workout as good as any i’ve had at a gym with results that make the garden look better and make me look like i’ve been mud wrestling (and lost).

my indoor days are permeated with study, words, cleaning, wood ash and elbow grease // wood ash still my favourite remedy for cleaning the glass on the oven door and removing baked-on grease from racks and trays. non-toxic and septic safe, this age-old cleaning method beats any toxic (or non-toxic) oven cleaner i’ve ever encountered. try it and you may i say…

in between chores this week, i drive a favourite road. a dead end, it’s ocean views a privileged seat with a show that varies daily. the topography here both new and familiar.



a quiet kitchen by nici wickes // in between the recipe chapters, nici shares some of the intimate details of her life. parts of it i read aloud to nic, her words piercing me in recognition of another whose had a similar journey to my own in small ways.

7 urban hotels worth travelling for on the neat places website (a firm favourite of mine) // we have stayed in numbers 1, 6 & 7 and loved them all. the intrepid has a bit of an ace hotel vibe, the britomart is luxurious, and the sherwood has transformed an old motor inn into something really special (the restaurant alone is worth visiting for).


endangered species aotearoa via tvnz on demand // we are loving this series where pax (comedian) and nicola (ceo of forest & bird nz) travel around new zealand tracking down vulnerable wildlife species facing extinction in aotearoa and the south pacific. we are transported to places we can only dream of visiting to see wildlife that we’d love to see thriving once more.


sauerkraut // from the final piece of cabbage that’s been sitting in the bottom of the fridge for a few weeks, slowing being transformed into colcannon and other dishes.

pizza dough // i made pizza every friday during lockdown in nz and got out of the habit when we re-emerged into the world. time to return to the dough again today. tonight we’ll be topping it with mascarpone, potato and the salmon that’s leftover from last night’s dinner

seeded crackers // every week i make at least one batch. two if i share them with friends.

habanero chilli chutney // a hotter, and thicker, variation of this recipe from anna jones. we have it with rösti, as well as on eggs, in sandwiches, etc., etc.