Thursday, September 29, 2011

Love thy neighbour...

I love our neighbours today, even though the toddler (I assume) has buried my parsley plant in soil - as if the slugs/snails, cats and caterpillars weren't doing enough damage in the garden already :-(

The reason I love our neighbours is that they let us borrow their vacuum cleaner. Ours broke a few weeks ago so the carpet's been looking more than a little sorry. Now it's looking so clean! I got the flatmate to take them over a jar of our homemade kiwifruit jam to say thanks.

I've been thinking that it's nice that we get along with our neighbours and actually know who they are - it's so easy in the city to live in your own little bubble. Ours may be a little rough around the edges, what with their parties every week (but at least their singing to 10 guitars at 6am is in tune) but they are always really friendly and give free Maori lessons too. The kids are a lot of fun (when the toddler's not digging up my plants he helps me out with the watering can) and we steal borrow their cat from time to time as well.

It was a good job the floor finally got vacuumed because a couple of old friends came around for tea. We polished off a couple of bottles of some very good wine (Stoneleigh pinot gris and Mt Difficulty pinot noir), a fair amount of roast beef with all the trimmings, and chocolate cake with berry coulis. Delicious! It was such a great evening - I think we'll have to do it more often.

When we do roasts we do a separate tray of veges that don't touch the meat and also yorkshire puddings and a nut roast to make it just as exciting for our vegetarian flatmate - not that she was home this evening anyway.

Her nut roast (like a meatloaf shaped giant stuffing) recipe is pretty tasty but tonight we were down a couple of ingredients and it turned out to be one of those times where the 'thrown-together-bits-we-had-in-the-pantry' tasted even better than the real deal. Even carnivores like it served as a side dish.

  • First boil one cup of dried pearl barley for around 10 minutes until softened. 
  • In a food processor blend 1 cup mixed nuts, 1 onion, 2 slices bread, 2 eggs, salt/pepper, and dried herbs.
  • Add the barley, 2 grated carrots and 1/2 cup of grated cheese. 
  • Put it all in a loaf tin and put it in the oven with the roast to cook for one hour.
  • Voila, something to serve to that awkward vegetarian that comes over for dinner (or that awkward vegetarian you live with 7 days a week, 365 days a year haha).


  1. I love our neighbours too - sheep behind and to the one side and a very quiet old lady of 92 on the other side ;-).

    I don't think I could ever live in the city so close to everybody.

    Your meal sounds yummy!

  2. Your food always sounds delicious! Wish I could cook as much as you do!

  3. It's a definite catch 22 living in the central city - but mostly the benefits of being so close to everything outweigh the downsides. It must be so nice living up the coast though - love that part of Wellington. And Lina, haha, I'm sure I wouldn't have as much time to potter about the kitchen if I had 2 under 3!!! Somehow I think things like baking bread would go out the window :-)