Friday, September 25, 2009

Festival Italiano in Auckland 2009

Great day, lovely weather, fantastic Italian products and lots of participants. Thank you all for a great 5th edition of the Italian Festival in Auckland.

From Left: The Hon Chris Carter MP, Opposition Spokesperson for Ethnic Affair; Alessandra Zecchini, President, Dante Alighieri Auckland; Cav. Mario Magaraggia, Italian Honoray Consul; The Hon Pansy Wong, Minister for Ethnic Affairs

Monday, September 21, 2009

Henderson Valley School's Edible Garden

Dear Committee members of Slow Food Waitakere Convivium

Thank you so very much for your generous donation to Henderson Valley School's edible garden. We really appreciate how you are helping our school in such a big way. We also have a compost system, two worm farms and a Wetland. These are just some of the things we do at Henderson Valley to make our school more sustainable for the future. Here are some pictures of the Edible Garden.

Gill Robertson
Henderson Valley School

For more info about Slow Food Waitekere please click here.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Coppa Amaretto

My children made this dessert, a little improvised but so easy, and no cooking required.

They used:
300 ml cream,
1 tsp caster sugar
2 (children's) handfuls of amaretti biscuits
+ 4 amaretti to decorate
70 g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
2 tbsp mixed citrus peels

Serves 4

Whip the cream with one teaspoon of caster sugar. The girl did that. Crush the amaretti into small crumbs. The boy did that. Grate the chocolate (hard work, they took turns, started with 100 g but I think that in the end only about 70 g went into the dessert). Fold the crushed amaretti, grated chocolate and citrus peels with the cream. Divide between four glasses and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Top each dessert with an amaretto biscuit and serve.

Not bad, maybe a bit fattening for mum, and also I could have added some booze to mine...but it is interesting for me to see that even if my children were born in New Zealand they think Italian when they choose ingredients and mix things together.

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Festival Italiano in Auckland

Sunday 20 September 2009, 11am-4pm, Freemans Bay Primary School,
95 Wellington Street, Ponsonby, Auckland

Free Entry


at the
Glen Eden Garden Club

On Tuesday 15 September I gave a talk about Slow Food Waitakere at the Glen Eden Garden Club. Topics ranged from school and community gardens to the purpose of Slow Food as a whole. It was a lovely morning with lovely ladies, and we would like to thank them for their interest in Slow Food and their donation towards our garden projects.

We also hope to see some of them soon in one of our school gardens!

For more info about the Glen Eden Garden Club please call Lynn on 818 4348.
For more info about Slow Food Waitekere please click here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Book Launch and Chilled Cucumber Soup

The Iron-Bound Coast book launch

12 September 2009 - Going West Books & Writers Festival

Oratia Media was pleased to launch the third title of its Libro International book list - The Iron-Bound Coast: Karekare in the Early Years - at the Going West festival. On stage, publisher Peter Dowling and writer Bob Harvey spoke to a crowd of over 150 about the historical significance of the book and its wry and witty tales, while a slideshow of old pictures in the background gave an insight of Karekare at the beginning of last century. Author Wallace Badham died in 2001, but he was represented by family members including son, Warwick.

Thanks to the Badham family, the local organisations that supported the book, our talented publishing team, and the fine people behind the Going West festival for their help in making this a memorable night.

Read more about the making of The Iron-Bound Coast book, and an interview with Bob Harvey on the Western Leader

Bookman and blogger Graham Beattie was there to report on the Festival.

And after the talks the celebrations continued with Italian nibbles made by Oratia Media Creative Director Alessandra Zecchini, and wine offered by Artisan Wines.

And now a final note: a few guests from the launch asked to know the recipe of the chilled cucumber soup, so here it is:

Alessandra's Chilled Cucumber Soup


1 telegraph cucumber
A few generous pinches of salt
4 tbsp white balsamic condiment (or white aromatic vinegar)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 fresh mint leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
750 ml plain full cream yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste.
Carrot sticks and Borage flowers to decorate.

Slice the cucumber (do not peel) and place in a colander with salt. Stir and let the cucumber sweat for 30 minutes. Rinse well under cold running water and then place in a blender with the vinegar (only use white vinegar). Let the cucumber absorb the vinegar for 10 minutes, the add extra virgin olive oil, mint, garlic and yogurt. Blend a few times, until liquid and lightly frothy. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste and store in the fridge until serving time. Shake well before serving (in shot glasses) and decorate with thin carrot sticks and borage flowers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Slow Food Waitakere’s plans are coming to fruition.

Waitakere, Ranui Community House

The idea that we could create a food garden and use it to teach the community what growing food is all about and also provide tutors for cooking lessons is a step closer with the completion of custom made aprons combining the logos of Slow Food Waitakere and the Ranui Community House.

Pictured in their new aprons, partially funded by Slow Food Waitakere, are the children in the “Cooking for Kids” class on a Tuesday afternoon. Adult cooking classes are on a Wednesday and both classes have tutors who are Slow Food Members. A decision on a funding application to the local community board is due soon, and if it goes in our favour, Slow Food members will create a ‘teaching garden” and also fund an after school children’s class in growing vegetables.

Of course this has been a great example of many different groups and individuals in a small community working together to create something that benefits everyone. From the quilting lady who made the aprons, through the staff of the community house who donated the material, to the printer who did the work and the committee member of the Ranui Community House who organised it all. Essential in this was the contribution by all Slow Food Waitakere members, as part of their contribution is used for community projects.

The results have been all positive and we at Slow Food Waitakere are proud to have done our share.

Further details can be obtained from Karen Perri (09) 833 9064 or Claire Inwood (09) 8128192

Or check the Slow Food Waitakere Site

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Taste of Yellow

photo by Alessandra Zecchini ©

On Vanille beautiful blog, At Down Under I found this very precious information and, although the deadline is close, I thought of spreading the news.

Cook something yellow, and celebrate LiveStrong Day 2009 with a Taste of Yellow, a blog event hosted by Barbara from Winos and Foodies to raise awareness of cancer issues worldwide.

I sent in this.

Thank you Vanille for the info, and thank you Barbara for the hosting.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Going West Books & Writers Festival 2009

The Going West Books and Writers Festival comprises an exciting range of word-based events including the theatre

season, poetry slam, rare and second-hand book market, writers in schools programme, the literary weekend - bringing together

writers and performers from around the country and Storyfest, the free family day.

The festival will be running from 17 August - 26 September

at various venues in Waitakere City.

Celebrate the West:

Westside Forever - FREE Afternoon

Outrageous FortuneSaturday 12 September

4:30 to 5:30 - An insiders look at 'Outrageous Fortune' with James Griffin, Rachel Lang and Robyn Malcolm (Cheryl)

5:30 Book launch - The Ironbound Coast - Karekare in the Early Years,
with wine and nibbles (by Alessandra)

For the Festival Programme click here

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Iron-Bound Coast: Karekare in the early years

The Iron-Bound Coast is a rare book. Discovered by writer and Waitakere City mayor Bob Harvey while researching Auckland’s spectacular west coast, the two manuscripts for the work were written in long hand with photos laboriously pasted in. Wally Badham had set out to preserve his crystal-clear memories of early Karekare for his nieces, but has created a work of living history that speaks to all New Zealanders.

Bob Harvey recalls his excitement on discovering The Iron-Bound Coast: I realised this is truly a rich gem, a legacy of not only remote Karekare beach, but a grand story of this country. Wally speaks in a voice that reflects the time; a time that is now rapidly fading in memory and people.”

Illustrated with 215 photos, most never before published, this hardback edition marks the third release of the Libro International book imprint from Waitakere-based publisher Oratia Media.

Managing director Peter Dowling heralded the publication: “We are thrilled to publish The Iron-Bound Coast, a work of historical significance and entertaining content. We hope we’ve done Wally proud – everyone who reads it seems to fall under his spell.”

Review copies are available now; the book launches at theGoing West Books and Writers Festival on 12 September and will be in stores from 15 September.

Extracts and photos from the work are available to selected media.


Wallace Badham grew up at Karekare and left only with the onset of World War II. His unhappy later life belied the accomplishments and adventure of his youth, when he was among the first pilots in Auckland and spent days roaming across the remote valleys of the Waitkare Ranges. He retained a deep affection for the area and its history until his death in 2001.


Bob Harvey, historian, writer and mayor of Waitakere City, has edited the Badham text. A prolific author, Harvey is the author of six books centred on the west coast and its history, including Untamed Coast, Rolling Thunder and Wild Beast: The Art of Dean Buchanan. Bob spends much of his time at his beach home in Karekare.


The Iron-Bound Coast is the third book from Libro International, the new book division launched this year by Oratia Media. It followsOutrageous Fortune: The West Family Album, and Tim Tipene’s Kura Toa: Warrior School. Libro International is taking New Zealand history, Maori studies, children’s and general nonfiction titles to the world.

The Iron-Bound Coast: Karekare in the early years

Wallace Badham; edited by Bob Harvey

ISBN: 978-1-877514-01-2

Format: 200 pages, jacketed hardback

Publisher: Libro International, an imprint of Oratia Media Ltd, Auckland;

Recommended retail price: $60


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