It’s more fun to say it with all the extra anananans. My pie looked a lot more ‘rustic’ than the one in the photograph above, but hey, it tasted plenty good. Recipe from here, photo from here.

Tin (~400g) of condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk!)

Three large bananas

One packet of McVities Chocolate Hob-Nobs (or similar-digestives will do)

Half-pint of double cream, or whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter

Crush the biscuits in a freezer bag with a rolling pin until they are reduced to crumbs. Gently heat some margarine in a saucepan until liquid (or just leave some out at room temperature to soften). Pour crumbs and liquid/soft margarine and mix in with the crumbs until they start to bind together. Transfer the biscuit crumbs to a round dish (a large Pyrex dish is good) and pat with a spoon so that they cover the base. Place in the fridge to set.

Put the tin of condensed milk in a pan of boiling water (NB- don’t open the tin first!) and allow to boil for 2 hours . You should put a lid on the pan to prevent all the water boiling off. When done, remove the tin and leave to cool a little (you could pour cold water on it to cool the outside). When cool enough to handle, open the tin carefully – the condensed milk will have caramelised and may well shoot out the opening. Pour/spoon the toffee from the tin onto the biscuit base of the Pyrex dish. Place back in the fridge to cool. Slice the bananas and arrange them on top of the toffee. Whip the cream until peaking, then fold on top and smooth out. Dust with chocolate powder for effect. Keep in the fridge until needed, covered with cling-film.


poetic platitudes

May 15, 2008

Thanks to beachbungalow8 I got to see the inside of the new Stefan Sagmeister book. Is he speaking directly to me??

the place where we live

April 24, 2008

First go check out this recent post by Remodelista. The loft shown is my perfect abode.

Now for some pictures of the space I do inhabit…

There’s a high probability that we’ll be putting our house up for sale very soon. If you know someone who wants to live on the tip of a peninsula in New Zealand, send them our way :).

the beauty of becoming

April 6, 2008

I took a walk after work down through the small town I work in. I got a kiddie-sized ice cream and passed the galleries and shops that lead down to the river.

I didn’t notice at first that these asclepias bushes were teaming with life.

Ice cream dripped down my hand as I watched the catepillars munching away, and the Monarchs slowly flapping, drying out, in the breeze, gently dangling from pale white bell-shaped flowers.

It struck me that they have gone through quite a trial just to get to this quiet flapping. Where do they go from here? Do they find others of their kind, half a world away, and spend a few hours or days drifting along in butterfly bliss? Do they know how few of their kind are left? Can they sense the beauty around them, and the beauty that they themselves possess?

a whole new world

March 11, 2008

Once I decided to let myself be interested in jewellery, it was everywhere I looked. Not just the typical earrings/ring/necklace combos, or glittery forgettables in 18k gold, but intimately crafted objet d’art. A lilliputian world of social commentary and exquisitely wrought personal creativity. Like this work by David Neale. The methodology and commentary on these lyrical pieces (on Neale’s website) is accessible and quite evocative to me, which I don’t find with some contemporary art.



Neale’s work, as well as Julie Blyfield‘s, shown below, make me want to hop on the next plane to Melbourne.



I found these two artists through some amazing sites. Check out Gallery Funaki, either online or in person, as it’s heralded to be the best jewellery gallery in this southern quadrant of the world. Another excellent resource and community is Klimt02.

it’s been a while…

March 3, 2008

I know I’ve been letting this little blog languish. Sometimes real life gets in the way of i-life. It’s been a challenging couple of months, but good things are on the horizon. I love the jewellery class I’ve been taking, and hope to roll up my sleeves and get into it fully very soon. Here’s a brooch I completed at last night’s class.


Pressed silver is riveted to sanded plexi/perspex, antique sari thread from Nepal is caught in between. And a view of the back:


The tutor for the class is Jane Dodd. See some of her amazing work here and here.

come on over…

January 8, 2008


…the water’s fine. The Cream of Matakana shop now has a blog! Check it out.

apricot shortbread cookies

December 9, 2007

Yum! I needed a good recipe for lots of fresh apricots. These turned out great, especially with a tall glass of cold milk.


1 1/2 c. ground almonds

3/4 c. butter

2 c. chopped fresh or dried apricots

2 large eggs

2 1/2 c. flour

1/2 t. salt

1 c. sugar

2 t. vanilla (or 1 t. plus one vanilla pod, seeds scraped)

Makes 5 dozen 2-inch cookies

Prep 90 minutes

Preheat oven to 375 F.

With an electric mixer or wooden spoon (or your hands), cream butter, sugar, salt and ground almonds together until homogeneous.

Add and beat until well combined, one whole egg plus one egg yolk, and vanilla.

Mix in flour until just combined.

Chop dried apricots in food processor ~30 seconds. Mix into dough.

Divide dough into four equal lumps, cover with plastic, and refrigerate 30-60 minutes.

To bake, remove one lump from refridgerator and form ~1 1/4 inch balls of dough by hand. Place on a well greased cookie sheet and flatten using fingers.

Cook 7-9 minutes, until edges brown slightly.

Note: keep these in an airtight container or they will get soggy the next day (especially if your house is without any kind of climate control like ours)

Recipe from here.

best surf trip ever

December 8, 2007

Kyle went to a secluded beach close to Piha with some friends yesterday. The hike in was amazing, and they had a gobsmacking good time.



improving the shop area

December 8, 2007


We hosted some excellent guests this week (more about their amazing journey and talents in the next post) and it made us yearn to improve the huge space we’re lucky to have out in the ‘shop’.

We covered the storage area with curtain panels and cut some iconic items from the bush – ponga fern leaves, flax flower stalks, pohutukawa blooms. Billy approves! After the photo was taken we brought the rug and chair down from the mezzanine and hung out with the huge doors wide open, the violet evening light washing the inside of the barn. The cats got drenched in the light rain, meowing plaintively, lost in the high grass and weeds just off the driveway.