the five days at Titirangi have slipped by in the twinkling of a twinkling
and all too quickly we found ourselves gathering on the morning of the last day
my students wrapped their bundles
we lit the cauldron [one match, no paper, honour satisfied]
and then we made gumbo
willing assistants helped chop vegetables
while i stirred the roux [cornmeal with peanut oil and some butter because butter makes it better and only butter butters] until it was a bit darker than the colour of my skin
i slung in some previously toasted spices [a cajun mix, some ground pimiento, a little extra sweet paprika] followed closely by the trinity [finely diced green peppers, celery and onion]
but after that we deviated from the traditional ingredients
adding kumara [we are in Aotearoa after all], pumpkin and sweetcorn
the gumbo sulked quietly on the stove for a few hours
while we stoked the fire
and mumbled a few quiet blessings
then i headed back to the kitchen to prepare some "green stuff"
a garnish [again not quite traditional] composed of finely chopped spinach, parsley, chives, lemon rind and a squoze of same. i simply didn't have time to prep the other necessary accompaniments [rice and potato salad]
nonetheless our gumbo was damned fine stuff sir and a nice flavour contrast to the super healthy boot camp soup we had yesterday [a lentil, leek and ginger brew]
just as well that soup was a light one...yesterday Renee brought in a cake made by her partner
that was so squishy and delicious it was difficult to decide whether to eat it or rub it on.
after lunch we extracted the bundles from the cauldron
and headed down to Otitori Bay to open them up
much to the bemusement of summer beach-goers
the results were glorious
and for the record
Manukau Harbour mud makes very good marks on cloth
[i tried it on my nightie!]
what i would really like to try
is magic dust.
sadly they were fresh out of it at the market.
so tomorrow i fly home, a little sad to leave Aotearoa
i like it here very much
i have been told that it's time to grease up the sewing machines
and get back to the coal face
of the very first shipment that my new stockist Gilda's took,
everything bar one dress sold before it hit the shopfloor
which is rather exciting
i have an exhibition in New Orleans coming up...
but i do wish Ananda lived closer
i'd love to photograph more things on her!