Jul 012017 Tagged with 2 Responses

Asparagus, easy to grow and SO easy to eat

There are a few foods that are really seasonal and are with us for just a brief period – my two favourites are Cherries and Asparagus.  I absolutely love both of them and neither of them are anywhere near as good eaten out of season.  So when the season is right we eat them most days and enjoy them while we can.  Asparagus is really easy to grow and even a small patch will provide you with some mouth-watering meals. Read More…

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May 042017 0 Responses

The Douro Valley Drive

No trip to Portugal would be complete without a few days in the Douro. As we live in Hawkes Bay and love our wine, the Douro was a definite on the itinerary from the very beginning.  Many friends, and indeed customers at the Green Door had told us how beautiful this part of Portugal is. They were certainly right and we were glad we had given ourselves three nights to enjoy the upper end of the Douro – the Alto Douro. We chose Tabuaco as our base as it is not far from Pinhao but set above the river with great views across to the other side.   How many pictures of the terraces does a person need I thought after the second day.  The terraces of grapes are a bit like the sea.  People who live by the sea often say that no two days are the same.  Well, the same could easily be said about the terraced hillsides of the Douro.  Every hour the scene changes as the sun moves over them placing  shadows at different angles throughout the day. Both sides of the upper Douro are smothered in vines with pockets of olives to help with land stabilisation.  However, as it appears that the vines grow practically in rock! – the land is very stable.  So much more than in NZ.  There’s no way we could terrace hillsides like they have here for hundreds and hundreds of years.  It is indeed quite a sight and a taste or two of 25yr old Porto certainly helps it along.

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May 102015 0 Responses

Vegetable patch Croatian style

We had our first rainy day today so decided to drive the short distance from where we’re staying in the National Park at Lokve to Krk Island where it was fine.

Over the the causeway by 7am and down to the bottom of the island for an early coffee at 8.  On top of the beautiful little village of St Baska we saw this gorgeous vege patch with an incredible view – straight out to sea, over the islands and back to the coast of Croatia.

Every possible space in the villages is used – mainly for vegetables and at this time of the year many are edged with flowering tulips.  The tulips are so strong over here, and the colourings beautiful.  Everyone who can grows potatoes, if they can grown nothing else, they always have potatoes.

In the countryside the larger patches have 3-4m poles around them. I initially thought these were for beans – but there weren’t any cross supports.  I’ve since seen a little painting in one of our b&bs of sunflowers surrounding a vege patch – so that must be what they’re for.  It’s too early yet for the sunflowers to have germinated, or be planted.  They must look wonderful late summer when in flower.  Drat, we will be well home and in the cold by then.

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