Retro kiwi kai

kiwibakeoffIt may not be common knowledge amongst the general populace but librarians love a nice morning tea and what could be more fitting in preparation for celebrating our national day, than indulging in a little food nostalgia?

  • Home made : stories and recipes from New Zealand stove tops – A collection of New Zealanders’ family recipes and stories behind them as passed  down through the generations.  Includes historic photos and images of the recipes. They have thought of everything, including a pocket at the back for you to add your own favourite family specialties.
  • Ladies a plate : traditional home baking – Johnston is a dedicated home baker herself, and has searched through hundreds of manuscripts and community cookbooks from the early to mid twentieth century. She tested the recipes herself to find the best version of some of our well known favourites.   This is a pretty good looking book, with lots of recipes and historical material.
  • The Edmonds cookery book – Keep it “old school” with this 1914 edition of the beloved cookbook which is now available online.  The cinnamon scones sound nice but I might pass on the tongue omelet, just quietly.
  • First catch your weka :  A story of New Zealand cooking – In which author David Veart investigates just how our Kiwi “style” of cuisine came into existence (no wekas were harmed in the production of the book).

And if all that isn’t enough to have you dreaming of lamingtons over the long weekend then check out our page on iconic Kiwi foods.  Dig in!

Here’s pie in your eye

I’ve never understood what the origin of this saying was (perhaps someone more learned would care to enlighten me).  I would have thought a pie in the mouth would be more appropriate (and obvious) but there you go.  For me, winter is all about comfort food and there’s a lot that’s comforting about a good pie.  We New Zealanders have something of a love affair with that staple of stodge as is evidenced by the nostalgic and wistful way in which many people fondly recall the days of the life-saving, tummy-lining pie cart.

New publication, The great New Zealand pie cart, is a fitting tribute to a largely forgotten pie-slice of Kiwiana.  The book includes reminiscences of pie carts of yore, including one from Ray Columbus (who used to frequent the carts around the Cathedral Square as a rock ‘n’ rolling teenager).  The book covers carts from Kawakawa in the north to Stewart Island in the south and just about everywhere in between.

Another book that panders to the Kiwi preference for pastry is The great New Zealand pie guide : a tasting guide to some of the best Kiwi pies up and down the country which gives pie lovers an informed travel guide to the bakeries that make pies of note of the sort recognised in the annual Bakels Pie Awards (held every July).

Now, if only there were a book about tomato sauce.  That would be the only fitting literary/culinary accompaniment…