A bit of colour…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on July 24th, 2006 by Coffee

I got a bit of a shock today. On the daily inspection of the chillis, there was a hint of colour on a chilli or two on both types! Yippee!

Which is a relief, as all weekend I’d been trying on and off to find a website that told me just how long it took until chillis started to ripen. The only sites I found all had pictures from around October time with ripe chillis, and I was starting to think that I might have to wait that long! NNNnooooooooooo!!

I can’t work out if it’s the weather today, or the long conversation I had with them yesterday that’s done the trick, but I’m not complaining! But there is a little concern with the plants though. All this hot weather is, I think, causing a few issues with flowering. I understand that the plants need coolish nights to set flowers, but for a lot of nights lately the temperature in the house seems to stay well about 20 to 25 degrees. Great for sleeping too!

But I guess I won’t have to wait too long now the scary part. Finding out just how hot they are! Gulp!

Toast’ed – 2006

Posted in Food and Drink, London on July 15th, 2006 by Coffee


Toast – a favourite food of the British……. Also the name of the NZ Wine and Food Festival in the UK. A fine sunny Saturday and what better way to spend it than heading off to one of London’s great parks, Regents Park, to indulge in some fine NZ food and wine.

With the wine selling opening at 12pm and it being really, really hot we set off to find a nice glass of vino blanco. But as it was so hot and the glasses were so small we had to have a few more…. The majority that we tasted were from Central Otago. Not sure we can remember what any of them are anymore! But the one we really wanted to try somehow managed to sell out in 40 mins, so there was either not much of it or it was extremely popular!

To break up the day and escape the sun for a while we went and watched a cooking demonstration – sushi skills. We learnt that fresh grated NZ grown wasabi is really yummy! It’s quite different to the normal paste, and I guess the best description would be the wasabi paste flavour without the really sharp bite. Good fun to watch, but we didn’t learn that much that we didn’t already know. Nice to know that we aren’t really that bad at making sushi!

Oh yeah and we made sure we used the food vouchers you get when you get your ticket by eating 2 lots of salt and pepper squid, some very expensive seared tuna, some fantastic green lip mussels and of course nothing better than to finish off with some boysenberry cheesecake!!

It was a great day out and good to taste some NZ favs again. But we were left wondering a little just what it meant for the exhibitors, and who the target “guest” was. The whole place was packed out with mainly young Kiwi’s, quite a few of us just there to enjoy the day and have a few drinks. It doesn’t really seem like a show where the products are getting introduced to a new audience, and I reckon you could count the number of people who can remember what wines they were drinking.

But it didn’t seem like the sort of show where everyone exhibiting was out to make a killing either. Most of the food and wine was relatively resonably priced (in fact, compared to some shows it was pretty cheap).

But I’m sure that for the Kiwi’s coming across to show off their stuff, a weekend in the London summer has to beat all the cold and snow back in NZ!

The organisers had also made a good decision (in our minds at least) of shutting the bars at 4pm. 4 hours was long enough for everyone, I think, even though some would maybe not admit it. We didn’t see anyone who was in a very messy state, but I think closing them one hour later and there would have been quite a few.

All in all, a grand day out.

Almost ready!

Posted in Plants and Gardens on July 11th, 2006 by Coffee

Once again it’s been a while since the last chilli update… But here they are! The latest pics.



And damn! They’re starting to look good enough to eat! No idea when the Habeneros will start to change colour, and not sure how big the Ring of Fire’s will get, or when they’ll ripen either, but we’ll see.

I just hope they’re getting enough sun on the not so sunny window sills. I’ve been really surprised at just how prolific the Ring of Fires have been given that they’re in pots that are really too small for them, and that has obviously stunted their growth a bit, but given the size the Habeneros have got to, that’s maybe not a bad thing! Next time though, maybe a pot size somewhere in between would be better.

And it’s maybe a good thing that the hundreds of flowers on the Habeneros have not all managed to pollentate through the “shake that plant” pollenation method, else we’d have enough to feed a whole Carribean community! Amazing amounts of flowers.

All looks good for a full production run one day though.

And more tennis….

Posted in London on July 3rd, 2006 by Coffee

After the real experience of Wimbledon, queueing, it was great to be able to wander stright up to the gates and get in with some preorganised tickets. I’m not sure where they came from, but Bec managed to get 2 Centre Court tickets through her work. Much quicker and easier (and meant we could have a much longer sleep in that morning), but not the same as Friday’s effort.

Which was probably just as well, as it was a LOT hotter than on Friday. Too hot! We were melting all the time, and couldn’t last watching a full game from the seats. There was just no air at all moving in the court, and no shade all day where we were sitting, so we had to get out now and then for a bit of shade and try to track down any breeze that was around. There wasn’t much of that!