It’s the last day of winter! Woohoo! Spring officially starts tomorrow here in Auckland and I am super glad to see the end of the cold weather.
The start of winter saw The Koala and I return home from our adventure in Thailand and Laos. I got really sick when we arrived home and didn’t come right for about 2 months. So for the first chunk of winter, I barely touched my to do list. It was only in August, the final month of winter that I’ve really felt up to tackling this mini bucket list. It was a mad rush to the finish line and in the end I only failed one entry. Not bad.
Here’s a reflection on the list this month.
1. Make Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
I always wanted to try this and this winter, I first tasted Spaghetti alla Puttanesca in Pai, Thailand. This may seem strange, but this tiny town in Thailand has surprisingly good food. Since we’ve been back, I’ve made this dish at home several times. I adore anchovies so I haven’t been afraid of putting a few extra in this punchy sauce. Luckily, The Koala also loves Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. I really worried that he wouldn’t like it. Olives and anchovies aren’t really his thing. He doesn’t mind them, but he doesn’t adore them like I do. I adapted the recipe so that it uses no fresh ingredients.
Read my recipe and colourfully titled post here: Apocalypse Spaghetti Is For Sluts.
2. Cook curry goat
The first thing that I ticked off my list this winter. Followed by a huge month and a half long funk. The curry goat I made wasn’t quite what I had at Splore, but it sure was a tastey pot of goat. Read my recipe and post here.
3. Tame an ugly root
I located a celeriac root, cooked it, mashed it and served it up. It was declared good and less scary that I thought it would be. Read about it here.
4. Make French Onion Soup
Melty golden gruyere on top of bread and soup. What’s there not to like about this dish? This was one of the dishes I made while sick. Not sure if it cured me, but I found cooking this to be quite theruputic. Read the recipe and post here.
5. Host a dumpling wrapping party
It didn’t happen. To be honest, I haven’t been up for many parties this winter. We’ve had dumplings and wontons at home a few times, but I haven’t shared the joy.
6. Make pork roast with crackling
My crackling was a roaring success. I am probably most proud of ticking this one off and hope to make it again many, many times.
Read my recipe and post here.
7. Have a fondue party
Fondue night was great fun and we had a cheese fondue for a main course and a chocolate fondue for dessert. There was so much to write about I had to split the evening into 3 separate posts. Check out my tips and recipes for general fondue, cheese fondue and chocolate fondue.
I made a lamb biryani to feed 6 to 8 people (there were 2 of us). I’ve got portions for lunches and portions in the freezer to forget about for a little while. Read my post here.
I made butterscotch sauce to drizzle over apple hand pies. See the super easy recipe here.
Go to a Korean BBQ
As part of Auckland Restaurant month, my parents, The Koala and I enjoyed a delicious Koreean BBQ dinner at Faro on Lorne St. Read my full review here.
So there you have it. I didn’t think I would get anywhere as close to finishing this mini bucket list this season, but with only 1 ticket still flapping in the wind, winter can kiss my ass. Bring on spring.
You totally kicked winter’s butt. 🙂
Winter certainly put up a good fight this year.
So I’m curious how you guys get a shorter winter than the rest of the world. Normally the seasons change on the solstices and the equinoxes. While I’m happy to keep summer until Sept. 21, I’d also be happy to shorten winter. What gods did you appease? 🙂 And great culinary conquering.
Hi Colleen, here we consider each season to be 3 months. Winter is June, July and August. It makes for easier blogging too 😉
You smashed it, well done you!!!
Your photos are looking awesome, G.
Here’s to a fun Spring, leading to a spectacular summer!!
Thanks D! I didn’t feel like I smashed it until the last week or so. Nothing like a looming deadline to kick some butt. Hope you have a wonderful spring and get to those croissants.
In Thailand there are lots of Italian chefs (well, most are not even chefs, just Italians who go there during the good season for a few months and open a hut on the beach with written “Italian cook’ to cater for the other Italians that miss pasta when traveling :-). Funny enough I never went to Italian restaurants there, I guess that I was used not to eat pasta all the time, but for sure a lot of Italian recipes are quite common there now, especially in the seaside areas.
Ahhh, I LOVE French onion soup! Our winter will be here before we know it, so I’ll be checking out your recipe.
It’s all about the cheese for me. Golden bubbly cheese. Mmmm…
How very lucky you are that winter will just check out as soon as the calendar hits the date ;)! We’re not so lucky. We’ve had snow storms in April, and 30C in April although not at the same time.
Your mini bucket list has been a great accomplishment; I will see if I can do one this winter.
Check up my first guest post over at http://www.fiveeurofood.com/index.php/2012/08/guest-post-hungarian-cherry-squares/
You definately kicked its butt. You are so inspiring 🙂 I should make a list of stuff to knock over. I always leave myself notes in my phone but always forget about them! Naughty 😛
You should totally make a list to kick butt with. Maybe we can start a support group for list butt kickers. I think blogging about the list helps. Blog guilt. It’s a thing.