That’s a Wrap – March 24, 2019

The week started in New Zealand, had it’s middle in the office, and finished on a high with my daughter turning 21. It really was the week that had everything. So, without further ado, let’s wrap it up!

Cheese scones…

These ones at Neighbourhood in Martinborough. So good.


These ones at the lookout at the top of the Rimutakas on our way from Martinborough across to Wellington.

Fish and chips…

I don’t eat a lot of fish and chips at home, but these ones at Paraparaumu Beach were pretty good.

More views…

So so so happy for my friends and their new dream home in Wellington. Not only is it utterly beautiful inside, but it also comes with views like this. Now that’s worth an Aperol spritz and a toast to good friends.


I know I’ve said it before, but I do love the soul of this city and one day need to come up with a story that suits it.


I came across this Danish phrase during the week: tandsmor. (There’s a diagonal line through the o.) Its rough translation is “tooth butter” to describe the teeth marks that you leave in thickly spread butter on bread and it’s about both joy and generosity. Just how lovely is that?


Cyclone Trevor? Seriously? It gives weight to my theory that the naming of cyclones is a sort of reward and recognition scheme at the Bureau of Meteorology. ‘Okay Trev, you correctly forecast the recent heat wave in Sydney to the degree (pause for a round of applause for Trevor) so mate, the next cyclone is yours!’

Almost sunrises…

Sunrise is getting later and later and we’re almost catching it. It’s funny but even though you know there’s always a sunrise, seeing it makes a huge difference. Like when you know you’ve put on weight but until you see it on the scales you actually haven’t…or is that just me?


Shandong Chicken. This used to be our daughter’s favourite at the Chinese restaurant in Kellyville when we lived in Sydney, but we haven’t found a decent one since moving here. Then I found this recipe. It’s actually a healthier version than the original, but hilariously involved blow-drying the chook to make the skin go crispy – it worked.

According to Sarah – who knows about these things – my version is tastier. ‘Wow kids, why do you need to go out for dinner when you get food like this at home. Taste the serenity.’ Yes, she’s a fan of that classic Aussie movie The Castle. We served it with a quick pickled carrot side and a cucumber and radish salad and so much herb that you can barely see the chicken pieces.

I also ticked another few recipes off my Nigella How To Eat challenge: sponge cake, shortbread, parsley sauce, lemon creams. Note to self – I really must do a catch-up post for The Nigella Diaries.

Oh, I also made pikelets that were awfully like crumpets. You can find that recipe here.


I’ve been watching this pineapple grow in our backyard for months and months. I hav no idea if it’s a real pineapple or an ornamental one, but it was getting bigger and yellower by the day. So I took a photo.

I went down the following day – everyday after I knock off work I like to water my garden and centre myself a little – and instead of seeing the picture above, I saw this.

I blame this.


Finally but absolutely far from least, our daughter turned 21 today.

Sarah is the baby that we thought we’d never have. I remember my doctor called her a little miracle and she certainly is that – in many ways. She’s also an off-key whistler, has a super quick wit, smiles much more than she frowns, is the partner in many of my adventures, and is the absolute light of our lives. She has, however, over the years become a tad camera shy…

We celebrated with lunch at our favourite restaurant here on the Sunny Coast – Spirit House.

We’ve been coming here for years. Not only is the food great, but it really does feel as though you’re eating in an outdoor pavillion somewhere in South East Asia. Heaven forbid if they ever take the whole crispy fish with chilli tamarind sauce (below) or coconut soul of smoked salmon off the menu – I remember Sarah digging into the fish when she was half the age she is now!

Ok, that was my week…how was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

15 thoughts

  1. Very interesting post. I had my 50th at Spirit House. Great to know still such great food and atmosphere. 🙂

  2. Happy birthday to Sarah – it’s my baby’s 30th birthday this weekend – crazy how fast time has flown by! Loved “tooth butter” and I’m going to try blow drying my next roast chicken just to see what happens to its skin!

  3. What an action packed and super delicious week! Happy Birthday to your girl! I hope 21 is tons of fun! I loved the hairdryer action on the chook and “tooth butter” is just the best! Those Danes know what’s what! Will wait with bated breath for the Nigella update!

  4. You sound so much more relaxed Jo after your NZ trip and congratulations and Happy Birthday to your beautiful girl. I also love how you come up with the odd piece of trivia such as the Danish phrase tandsmor. It made me want to eat some fresh bread with lashings of butter! Have a great week. #Lifethisweek

  5. I need to visit NZ sometime – maybe 2020 will be that year. Beautiful pics! The sun is rising quite late these days – it depresses me because I know it means daylight savings is coming to an end and soon it will be cold and I will hate it! Happy birthday to your daughter! The food looks delicious!

  6. Wow – what a week Jo! Oh NZ is so beautiful – I can’t wait to visit there one day (hope it’s not too far away)! I’ve noticed sunrise is getting later and later too and that sunset is getting sooner and sooner! That is a brilliant idea about blow-drying the chook for a crispy skin! That will stay in my memory bank that one. Oh my goodness I had a chuckle over the missing pineapple (sorry not sorry)! Finally – a big HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY to your precious daughter, Sarah!! That lunch at Spirit House looks divine. I haven’t been there before but I have heard such good things. Have a great week!

  7. Those miracle babies are the best! Happy 21st Sarah. The view from your friend’s place: wow! Glad you had quite the mix of leisure and fun along with what brings in the cash in this catch up. As for the pineapple. I guess “you will never know.” Sigh.
    Thank you for linking up for #LifeThisWeek Next week’s optional prompt: April Is About. Denyse

  8. It sounds like Sarah had a great birthday.

    The cheese scones look amazing. Probably hard to make something like that GF.

    As for the naming of cyclones, I was wondering if (whoever names them) chooses culturally / regionally appropriate names. For eg, the south east of Africa was hit by Cyclone Idai. (Not a name you’d hear here I suspect?)

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