View from our cottage
A car on Ninety Mile Beach
I suppose time flies by when one is having fun! I was delighted to find New Zealand as beautiful as I remembered it, even better. It tasted just like a fruit which one has not eaten for a while. I know it might sound cliché but there are few places I have seen in all of my travels where colours are so sharp and contrasted. New Zealand is just a beautiful place to be in.
So what did we do? We travelled, to Northland first where we hiked, swam, met up with friends, relaxed, and cooked. Mais bien sûr, how couldn’t I? Typical of us, when we take off on adventurous roads, we always like to be able to cook our own food. I love to walk around open markets or foreign supermarkets to get a feel of what it is like to grocery shop somewhere else. What do people eat? How much does it cost? How different are the mussels? (New Zealand mussels are enormous by the way). Of course, summer is such a great time of the year for tasty vegetables, fresh seafood and juicy refreshing fruit, and New Zealand was just no exception!
I am happy to be back to find you all again and will need a few long days to catch up, rest (yes it takes over 30 hours to get down there!) and prepare myself for new food blogging stories! I can only tell you that I am looking forward to it! And to start I will share our fish stories from up North.
New Zealand Prawns
Why do people call them prawns and others shrimps? American English versus Bristish English? Are they the same?? Well, in any case, they don’t look the same to me!! I much prefer prawns to the taste, but I might be fooled!
While we travelled in our rented car to Northland (which is the most Northern part of the North Island in New Zealand), we reached Ninety Mile Beach . As suggested by its name, Ninety Mile Beach is a huge beach, so long you can never seem to see the end; it runs all the way to Cape Reinga, the most Northern point of the North Island. To be able to enjoy the place and feel it, we rented a little cottage facing the ocean and its gigantic dunes (a bach as kiwis call them), purely isolated from people (only accessible by driving on a dirt road for about 10kms). A true paradise. On the afternoon of our arrival, we were later greeted by the owners, Connie and Ron (the only other people living in the surroundings). As we pulled the car in front of the main house driveway (in view of its size, we knew our cottage should be elsewhere!), we could not see any sign of people around. “Y a quelqu’un? (anyone there?)” we called a few times. After a few mns, we caught a glimpse of a silhouette walking back from between the dunes: Connie the owner was just on her way back from the beach with her kids. The sun and light were strong. It must have been a gorgeous day to be on the beach as we could feel the cooling sea breeze. It never gets too hot in New Zealand. Connie greeted us with a large smile, and after we exchanged a few words, she took us to see the cottage we were staying in. When we reached it (1 mn, not even from the beach, a pure 50 m stroll to the beach), we could not hide our excitement. The place was even better than expected! It was getting late and the tide was coming in. Connie suddendly realized she had the key to the tractor still on the beach, which Ron her husband would soon need to come back with the fish he had just caught that afternoon. Since she had to look after the kids (ah the pleasures of being a mum!), she asked if we minded to take the key to Ron. Mais non! Of course! So we walked away to meet him. We found him alone with his two dogs and the little tractor. Again, large smile! New Zealanders are really welcoming! He was busy cleaning the large snappers from which we could not detach our eyes. Wow! Big catch! After a short conversation, we were about to leave when he asked what our dinner plans were.
- “-Well, euh, ben, easy, simple you know, not much tonight, a mixed salad and rice, maybe.”
- “-Do you want some fish?”
- “-YES! Thanks!”
Nice! It turned beautiful barbecued after I marinated it with olive oil, fresh herbs, sea salt and pepper. Simple, delicious, and fresh, fresh, fresh!
On the next day, the fish experience continued. Prawns were our dinner menu. With again, another version of a simple fish marinade.
- Olive oil
- Dash of cumin (optional)
- Sea salt
- Limes (zest and a dash of juice)
- Large bunch of fresh coriander (or basil or parsley)
- Garlic cloves (I use 2 or 3 for a 1 lb prawns or fish)
- Mix together the chopped garlic, fresh coriander, a dash of cumin, sea salt and black pepper, lime zest with the olive oil.
- Add a dash of lime juice and mix with the fish or prawns. (prepare just 30 mns before using as lime or lemon cook the fish)
- Cook on heated grill or BBQ for a few min only.
Oh and by the way, I bought tons of cookbooks (I just love Australian/New Zealand cooking magazines and such), so here we are! I had a special luggage with cookbooks! Ah!
I have so much to talk about!
Bea – sounds like you had a great time. I’m interested to know where the NZ prawns came from. They don’t have them in my local supermarket or fish shop.
I like your photos!
I am so jealous of you getting to buy all those cookbooks. I’ve just picked up Delicious and the Donna Hay magazine, but all I can get here right now are the ones from Dec! (of course, they are still great to flip through).
Welcome back… looking forward to reading the stories.
I’m so glad you’re back. I’ve missed you, my friend, and I cannot wait to read your account of your travels and to see all the amazing photos!
Welcome back, mon amie!
j’suis tellement contente que tu sois de retour – ton journal virtuel me manquait ! contente de savoir que votre voyage ait été tout ce que vous attendiez. à très bientôt, j’espère !
I love NZ, it’s such a beautiful place. I also love the photo of the prawns and wine.
Welcome back, Bea!
Can’t wait to hear about your adventures!
Were you able to count the muttons head..LOL, and the climb the Rotorua? Fresh and clean country, is’nt it? Just guessing, you brought with you the whole edition of Family circles recipe collection and the Australian weekly recipe magazine “Ils ont super”!! I’ve got about 25! I still wish to complete the collection.
Comment va le decalage horaire, tu n’a pas entrain blogger à 3 heures le matin,LOL.
Mais moi si, je suis revenue de mon payé il y’a une semaine, pour la premiere fois j’ai eu de mal a me mettre à mon someil normal. Solution, le blog!
Que de belles images. You certainly had a great time. Welcome back.
It’s very nice to have you back, Bea, and I hope your trip was memorable.
I must say, those prawns look fantastic, as do your photos.
Bea, welcome back!
It looks you had a fabulous vacation – the shrimp look delicious! Can’t wait to see more of your photos!
Welcome back Bea! Your trip looks like it was wonderful, and delicious as well. I can’t wait to hear more about it!
You will not believe it but we got them at Save and Pack in Ahipara close to our cottage! Your country is just beautiful!
Thanks Perrine. Your blog has great pics too!
I feel lucky indeed to have been able to bring all those magazines, amongst those Donna Hay’s latest. I also got Delicious and Vogue Entertaining and Travel. Do you know this one?
Merci, glad to read you too again! You are sweet!
Merci bien! 😉 Oui merveilleux voyage. Dans un tel pays, c’est facile. A bientot oui j’espere!
Yes I too love NZ!
Thanks! Lots to tell indeed! Where to start?
Merci de ton gentil message. Non non, j’ai dormi comme une souche! 😉 Nous etions a Rotorua la derniere fois, cette fois-ci, c’etait Northland et Abel Tasman via Wellington!
Thanks. I am glad to be back amongst you all too. I missed it even if enjoying myself a lot! Cannot wait to catch up on your stories.
Thank you. Those shrimps were tasty indeed. Maybe everthing also tastes better on vacation? 😉
Yes fabulous trip. I could have stayed on, but am already thinking of next time LOL. We are lucky to have a lot of friends down there!! Cannot wait to read more of your stories too, already started, ah!
Ah Bea its great that you are back I miss those french ramblings… I have met many NZs peep and all they have told so much about their sea food…
Rest and we shall wait for more stories!
I just want to say that you’re so lucky to have a food-intense childhood in France! I envy you for that! I couldn’t help dreaming if I were to have that childhood 🙂
My home country is really close to NZ, but I’ve never been there until now 😛 Seems like you had a wonderful trip. And like everyone else would say, Welcome Back!
~a newbie to food-bloggig~
Glad to be back too and read you again! More stories are cooking!
Thanks for your note. Yes I feel privileged to have grown up with a great food love around. All my family is like this, we just love to cook and eat! In answer to your question about bread, I am sure you can do it by hand. Make sure to protect the dough when rising though as any drafts can damage the rise. Good luck!
cookbooks, wonderfull prawns: NZ sounds heaven!!!
Welcome back from NZ Bea! I love how you still find the time to cook while youre on vacation! I’ve never been to NZ, but when I finally go, I’m going to have to ask you about all the places to go!
Béa, welcome back, yours photos are amazing, I don’t know New Zeland but I think it ‘s good idea for a trip. And this recipe is simple and delicious.
delcious. magazine has a website; it needs a bit of a makeover (Donna Hay’s looks great) but I think it’s the best Australian foodie magazine. I think there’s a NZ edition and now a British edition, too.
I think you might be interested in this website: http://www.creativetourism.co.nz/workshops_taste.html
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