The sun rises early in the summer over Takatu Vineyard, and if you are in the mood you could be up and walking through the vines. It is one of my favourite times of the day. Usually I am in the kitchen making breakfast for our guests while they sleep peacefully behind wool black out curtains, slowly waking to discover they have had the best sleep in a long time. Last week we had guests up before the sun and off to Tawharanui to watch the sunrise and have a walk along an empty beach. Breakfast at Takatu Lodge is the best way to start your day before you head off to discover the Matakana area. I love using fresh local ingredients in season and at the moment that is strawberries from Charlies Gelato on Sharps Road. A favourite to go with these are my famous pancakes. Guests often leave with the recipe tucked away to use at home.
I try to encourage my guests to make the most of their time here as Matakana and the surrounding area have so may interesting foodie places to visit that you could easily fill in the whole weekend trying to visit them all. I love the Matakana Market early on a Saturday morning, wandering around peacefully with my shopping bag to get the ingredients to use for the following days breakfast or any Gourmet Platters that are ordered that evening. First stop is always to say hullo to "Mike", the knife sharpener and drop off anything that needs his attention. This can range from your knives, scissors to all garden tools. Then I pass by the ladies that do the amazing baking on the corner, hopefully with my eyes closed so I am not tempted by all their sweet goodies. Once around the first corner it is ok as you can then taste their dukka and cereals. Sadly for them I make all my own cereals at Takatu. I then have to weave from side to side between the local cheese, smoked garlic, bread, olive oil and vegetables.The Matakana Olive Co-operative make the most amazing handcream. Feels great, works well and smells divine. I forgot to mention our local smoked salmon and opposite them the hand made preserves. Finally I get to the roses, which are everybody's favourite and then a quick chat with James on the "Viet Q Foods" stall. Their prawn rolls and steamed buns are to die for.James is our wine maker at Takatu Vineyard so we always manage to chat until another customer comes along.
This is only a quarter of the market and my basket is filling quickly. More on the market next month.
This week I have been out and about with Sarah, our wine sales representative. We put together a wine tasting for all our local restaurant clients at Takatu Lodge for the release of our new wines. Takatu Rose 2015 and Takatu Pinot Gris 2014. It was a great success and we are now planning a harvest picnic to celebrate the end of picking. Look out for the accommodation offer to be part of this weekend.Outside, food and wine with friend...Just the best way to spend an afternoon.
4 eggs separated, 1 cup milk, 1 cup plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 70g butter - melted, pinch of salt.
Combine the egg yolks & milk. Whisk in the flour & baking powder to make a smooth batter. Mix in the butter. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and fold in gently. Cook in a greased non-stick pan, 2 - 3 minutes each side. Great with pure maple syrup, Charlie's Strawberries and Whangaripo Buffalo Yoghurt.