Where are we

Sunday 27 October 2019

On the way to Whangarei

We left Opua for an extremely short sail to anchor off Paihia.  We have walked twice from Opua to Paihia on the coastal path so that gives you and idea how far it is, about 8 km. On the last walk, I set my scratched and battered camera down during a rest/water stop and neglected to pick it back up. By the time I noticed I didn’t have it, we were in Paihia and far too pooped to go back and look for it. It is a tough walk for us, but it has been reported lost and I hope that it comes back to me.

(I do have lots of photos to share but they will have to wait till we’re back in a marina.)

We shopped, walked along the bay and got Tim a hair cut. The wind has been cutting enough on the aft deck that neither of us fancied getting the clippers out.

I’m on a permanent search for rhubarb, so I try to shop often in the hope that someone somewhere will have some.  On our first visit to a good sized food shop, I bought two bunches and made rhubarb crumble to my Mom’s recipe, which is far too good not to share. I particularly like this recipe because the main ingredients are in the oral tradition, easily doubled, tripled or quadrupled should you be so lucky to have that much rhubarb and the result is poetry to my palette. You can find it at the end of the blog.

Sadly, there was no rhubarb to be had. The shop where I previously bought it, said they never order it so it had been sent by accident. I asked our driver, Morgan of Raven Taxis, where I could get rhubarb and she told me that in NZ rhubarb is a winter vegetable and I might well be out of luck, but I will not give up the hunt.

As we drove back to Opua, Morgan told us a little of her heritage.  She is a blond, fair skin and narrow featured Maori.  She told us her ancestors pre-date the arrival of the Polynesian Maori and are thought to have been Viking. (Viking! My head is spinning at the thought of that journey.)  Her tribe name is Toe, might be spelled Toa.  They were named after a blond coloured beach grass, Toetoe. There are many tribes or ‘Iwi’ in New Zealand.  List of New Zealand TribesToetoe information sheet.

Yesterday morning we left Paihia and the Bay of Islands along with a huge number of other boats.  Monday, today here in NZ, is a public holiday and the weather has been wet and wild for the last week, so everyone is taking advantage of light winds and flat seas.  We motored out of the bay to the east and are heading south in short half day hops.

Last night we anchored in Whangaruru, which is ‘Sheltered Harbour’ in Maori. It really is a large sheltered harbour and the beaches along the coast are lined with small hotels and B&B and nothing else. The guests fish, canoe and enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the area. Not far from here is an old whaling station in a bay called Whangamumu, a more grisly name than Whangaruru as mumu is Maori for the colour red.

Today we are having a lovely sail with the wind on our beam to Tutukaka. I do love the Maori names, but I couldn’t find a translation for this one.  There is a small marina, sport shops and a residential area in the hills surrounding the bay.  We’re looking forward to the walk from the village to Tutukaka Head to see the old light house.

The wind in due to come up from the south for a few days, so we will hangout here until that changes. Our next stop we be Whangarei.

As promised, Mom’s Rhubarb Crumble

For every 3 cups of rhubarb, use one cup of sugar.
For every cup of sugar, use one egg.
For every egg, use one tablespoon of flour.
For every tablespoon of flour, use one third of a nutmeg.

Put washed, trimmed and cut into 1cm pieces rhubarb into a baking dish, Whisk egg, flour and nutmeg till light and frothy.  Pour over rhubarb and lightly coat rhubarb.  Bake in a moderate oven until a bubbly crust just begins to form.  Sprinkle the oat topping over the par-baked rhubarb and then bake until bubbles are seen in the middle of the crumble. I make a small hole in the middle of the crumble to make spotting the bubbles easier.

The Crispy Oat Topping hasn’t a recipe as such. I toss together at least a cup of oats, a couple tablespoons of flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar and enough melted butter and oil to lightly coat the oats.  Not enough oil and the topping won’t brown. FYI a ‘cup’ is 8 fluid ounces.

The egg, flour and sugar bakes into a custard, the crumble is crisp and oaty and it’s made with rhubarb. What more could one want. For me there is no dessert like it. It’s good warm with vanilla ice cream and equally delicious cold straight from the fridge.

1 comment:

  1. Great to read all the news, just like reading a good book! Love to you both and Larus.