Family food

I’ve been in New Zealand for exactly a week now and I’ve eaten what I’d probably eat in two back in Hong Kong. I’m visiting my relatives in Auckland – my mum’s three sisters and brother and my little cousin, who just turned 5 today. There’s a massive food obsession in my family, which my mum passed on to me. We love to plan our next meal, or snack, whilst eating and spend most of our time talking about food.

I’d only been in Auckland for about 10 minutes before I had my first ice cream. There’s a farm store on the way into the city that grows loads of fresh vegetables, as well as strawberries, and one of the sons of the owners decided it would be a good idea to invest in an ice cream machine several years back to make use of the slightly damaged or too ripe berries they had left over. Well it turned out to be hugely popular and there’s now four machines and a heap of picnic tables outside the large shed that were full of people happily licking away at their strawberry ice creams.

The farm shop

Vanilla ice cream and strawberries are blended together on the spot to create soft serve ice cream in a lovely fresh waffle cone. I ordered a regular size, laughing away suggestions of trying the smaller ‘kiddie’ size. Well, regular size is absolutely massive, I think I was very nearly sick by the time I got to the end of the cone, but it was well worth the struggle!

My huge strawberry ice cream

We were invited over for lunch today to celebrate my cousin, Amberley’s birthday. My aunts who I’m staying with, decided we had to make something to take along and decided on scones since we didn’t have much time. We don’t make traditional individual scones, but instead one large one that is chopped up into squares, which makes it really nice and easy to make.

We used dates and crystallised ginger in this batch, but you can use anything really – dried fruit, chocolate, cheese and tomato, and I’m pretty sure it would all be delicious.

It’s super simple – to make one batch you just need 1 cup self-raising flour, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tablespoon butter, plus the fruit or whatever you are using. Place the flour in a food processor, pulse for a couple of seconds just to get a bit of air in there, add the chopped up cold butter, pulse again til it looks like breadcrumbs. Turn out into a bowl, add the fruit and then gradually pour in the milk, mixing well. Place this on a floured baking tray and shape out a bit, then brush with a bit of milk and shake a little bit of sugar over it. There are loads of variations on this recipe but these are the basics. We baked them at 200ÂșC for about 12 minutes, checking if they were done by tapping them on the outside – if it sounds hollow they are ready! Serve with butter, jam, cream, whatever you like really!

The dough sitting on a floured baking sheet

Flattened out and shaped

Just out of the oven

The finished scones, all cut up