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hello, i’m so glad you’re here

June 21, 2014

This online space is a collection of stories of the times during our weekends that are lived within the space of our arm’s reach… the places that are the source of our ‘humanness’… the foundations on which the rest of our life is built. The pieces of our life that quietly pass by – no grand adventures, no obviously meaningful exchanges. The moments where chores happen, we take our children to sports practise, we do our grocery shopping, go for a run, attend a weekend event, spend reverent time with our chosen deity, catch up with friends, try something new or stay home and fold the laundry.

The moments we often perceive as everyday / boring / not worth telling about, are very often just the moments that someone else craves… These are the moments that make up our lives… These are weekends, collected.

» We’d love to have you join us

4 for OCT

November 10, 2014

I LOVE seeing things being made and shared using the #weekendscollected tag on instagram and thought I would start sharing four of my favourites each month.

Here’s four from October:

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1 // @xantheb’s son Cosmo makes bread. 2 // @rachlees89 makes the windfall apple cake that @circleofpines shared the recipe for. 3 // @soulaperture has a man that makes her breakfast on the weekends! 4 // @nina_nixon’s italian hot chocolate.

Do you have a recipe or weekend you’d like to share? Visit the submit page for all the details and get writing / creating – we’d love to have you join us.

On instagram? Tag your photos with #weekendscollected.

The Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Milk Craze

October 25, 2014

It appears Lewis Road Creamery has a hit on their hands. They normally make high-end (expensive, organic, somewhat hipster) butter and milk, and they teamed up with Whittaker’s to make a chocolate milk. It’s got to the point where most stockists sell out within hours. In the time it took me to buy a few bits at my local fruit and veg shop (RAW, the only ones on Waiheke Island who sell it), two people came in to ask if they had any. “No, it comes in on Wednesday” was the reply, tho they should have added “and it’ll be gone on Wednesday”, too.

Stuff had this to say:

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A north Waikato milk producer has been churning out Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Chocolate Milk as fast as it can make it, but scarce supply has resulted in customers waiting at supermarkets to snap up fresh deliveries.

Lewis Road Creamery’s Angela Weeks said a small team was working around the clock to make as much chocolate milk as it could, going through 3000 kilograms of Whittaker’s five roll refined creamy milk chocolate and 24,000 litres of milk a week.

Havelock North New World owner-operator Richard Lucas said the supermarket received 90 bottles this morning.

The chocolate milk was one of the fastest-selling new products he had seen for a long time.

“It has been a phenomenon,” he said.

The store was selling 300-millilitre bottles for $3.59 and 750ml bottles for $6.29.

The normal price of a bottle of their milk is around $4.50. Non-organic, regular milk is around $2/L. And also:

Security guards have been employed to monitor supermarket fridges containing Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Chocolate Milk as customer demand continues to froth over.

Since the chocolate milk went on sale three weeks ago, demand has been so great that customers are queuing up for fresh deliveries, purchase limits have been put in place at supermarkets, and security guards are being employed to watch over fridges containing the chocolate gold.

Being a bit of a choc-o-phile, I thought that it shouldn’t be too hard to make my own. Turns out, it’s not.

I have previous experience making chocolate ganache and truffles, so if you haven’t, just take your time, and remember two things: chocolate melts quickly and at fairly low temperatures, and oil (chocolate/milk fat) and water don’t mix, so keep your equipment as dry as you can. It’s not as important with this recipe as it is when making truffles, but it’s a good habit to get into.

The only downside of this is the cost. The LRC chocolate milk sells for $6.30, but once you add in the cost of the milk (about $4.50) and chocolate ($3.50) you’re already over budget. However, given how hard it is to find it at any price….

What you need to make your own:

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  • A 750ml bottle of Lewis Road Creamery non-homogenised milk. This could work with any kind of milk, but go for the maximum fat content that you can find. If you have a friend with a dairy farm, get it off them.
  • 75g of good quality chocolate. I used Green and Blacks 85%, but only because my local supermarket was sold out of Whittaker’s and it was the smallest bar of good quality chocolate I could find. In hindsight, it’s a bit dark and bitter for this, so I’d recommend around 100g of Whittaker’s 60% Dark Chocolate if you prefer your chocolate milk less sweet and more bitter, and maybe a 35-40% milk chocolate if you prefer it a little sweeter.

Thats it. Like the best recipes, it has very few ingredients. By comparison, the “real thing” has 86% milk and 13% chocolate, with a little cocoa powder added. I’m not sure it needs the cocoa powder, but adjust to your own taste.

You’ll also need a whisk and a bain marie, which sounds like a complex piece of kitchen equipment, but it’s just a normal pot, with about 1-2cm of water in the bottom, and a glass or metal bowl sitting in it, above the water. You then put the water on a simmer (not boiling) which gently heats whatever is in the bowl. Pretty easy.

Steps:

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First, break the chocolate up into squares, so it melts quicker. Put it in the bowl over the water, and turn the heat on. If bubbles start forming in the water, you may have the heat up too high – remember, slow is the key for chocolate. The chocolate will slowly start to melt, so move it around a little with the whisk to help it along.

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Once all the solid bits of chocolate are melted, add about 50ml of milk and whisk until it’s all mixed together. Keep adding the milk slowly, whisking each time, until you have added all the milk. After about 150ml, you can take it off the heat all together.

Put the resulting mix back into the (cleaned) milk bottle, and put in the fridge.

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Drink once it’s chilled, and shake it well first, as the non-homogenised milk will seperate out into chocolate milk and chocolate cream. Not a bad thing. I suspect it’ll not last long.

Afternote: I just tried this with 100g of Whittaker’s 66% Dark, and I can’t tell the difference between that and the “real” thing. Takes all of 10 mins, and cooling time, to make. Makes a great Latte/Flat White too.

Nic Wise lives with his wife, one cat and a garden full of birds on a small island just off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand. He can usually be found writing apps for his iPhone, or taking photos on Instagram.

three things

October 18, 2014

Three things I like to do on a dark and rainy October weekend:

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Sketch those pretty leaves I collected before the sun ran away and left the full harvest moon and thunderclouds in charge.

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Eat a pomegranate, the first miraculous one of the season. Feel the boundary between this world and the next grow thin and ephemeral as a raven’s feather. (Wonder….what happened to Persephone when she was middle-aged like me? The stories don’t say.) Let its vibrant-as-a-pulsating-heartbeat-red inspire my next painting.

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Look for signs. Let the memory in my bones, of yellow crocus strong enough to burst out through snow and ice, let it remind me that spring will come back around again.

Heather Cox is a painter, poet, and photographer exploring outer landscapes and inner wildernesses in the red rocks of southwest Utah. Follow her inspirations and adventures at heatherlcoxart.com or on instagram – heatherlcoxart

windfall apple cake

October 12, 2014

Windfall Apple Cake

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In my kitchen, weekends have always been a time for cake. I bake on other days too: for after school snacks, or mid-week puddings, but it is weekend baking that I love the most. A quiet, unhurried potter in the kitchen -with the radio on, and the sunlight softly falling onto the table- is a calming balm to soothe away the stresses of a busy week. Weekend afternoons were made for a hot cup of tea and a slice of still-warm cake.

Sometimes we take our tea in a flask, and our cake wrapped in tinfoil, to be eaten out in the woods, or atop a hill. Other times, we sit in the garden, mugs in hand, whilst the children play in the afternoon sunshine. More often than not, however, a cake is sliced straight from the cooling rack and eaten at the kitchen table, eager fingers dropping buttery crumbs.

A bowl of windfall apples is a permanent feature in the autumn. A kind friend with bountiful apple trees replenishes it whenever I see her, and in between times, I pick apples up from honesty-box shops or roadside baskets. I use them for breakfasts, or bake crumbles and cookies during the week, but when the weekend arrives, it’s time for a Windfall Apple Cake.

This cake, an adaptation of a Nigel Slater recipe, is a recurrent feature of my autumnal kitchen. At its absolute best eaten fresh from the oven, it will keep for several days in a tin, wrapped in foil. It works well as a pudding with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt.

Bake it, and taste the meditative pleasure of the weekend kitchen.

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— INGREDIENTS —

  • 130g butter, softened
  • 130g unrefined caster sugar
  • 2 apples (or 3 if very small)
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • demerara sugar – 2 tbsp plus more for sprinkling
  • eggs – 2 large
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

— METHOD —

  1. Heat the oven to 180c/gas 4
  2. Line the base and sides of a 24cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  3. Combine the butter and caster sugar, and cream together. If you have a freestanding mixer, you can leave them to mix whilst you get on with the apples.
  4. Core and finely chop the apples and toss with the lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in the demerara sugar and the cinnamon, if using (I love the cake both with and without it, depending on my mood.).
  5. Beat the eggs and whisk with a fork. Slowly add to the butter and sugar, beating as you go. Sift together the flour and baking powder (it may seem a hassle, but it really does make for a lighter cake). Fold them gently into the mixture.
  6. Spread the mixture evenly over the base of the cake tin, scatter the apple pieces on top and pour over any excess lemon juice.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the apple pieces have browned, the edges of the cake have shrunk away from the sides of the tin, and a skewer comes out clean. Immediately scatter generously with demerara sugar and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  8. Eat warm.
Laura Pashby lives in Gloucestershire UK with her husband, three small sons and a collection of vintage cameras. She is a writer, a blogger and an endless photo-taker.

blog: Circle of Pine Trees
instagram : @circleofpines
twitter: @circleofpines

scenes from the weekend

September 28, 2014

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1 – 2 // getting out into the garden to plant more of the summer crop before the rain begins

3 // i’m trying a new recipe {black tea spring rolls} to take to a friends for lunch tomorrow. i make them today & we have some for lunch, just incase they don’t work out and i need to come up with something else to take for lunch tomorrow! (i don’t, they’re delicious)

4 // the limoncello i bottled a couple of weeks ago is now ready for tasting. it’s delicious too – super lemony and not too sweet. i soaked the lemons for twice what any internet recipe i found said to do and used about half the quantity of sugar that any recipe said to use. like many other times before, i neglected to write the quantities down, so i’ll have to guess at what i did next time i make this!

5 // lunch with friends on the mainland. the spring rolls are a hit and we have chinese steamboat as our main course. i love these little baskets we use to scoop the goodies out of the broth and into our rice bowl

6 // i hope i’m always delighted by the fact that our house is surrounded by trees

7 // i was given this huge oil lantern years ago and i love it, but it’s really difficult to find wick that fits. i found some thick woven cotton a couple of weeks ago and tried it out last night. not sure if it’s going to work, so i’m back on the hunt for some proper wick for it

8 // the grocery stores close early here and the fridge was empty, so it was burgers outside on the deck for dinner. the perfect end to our weekend

leonie wise – curator of weekends collected. beach lover, island dweller.
website: leoniewise.com
instagram: leoniewise_

fridays are the best

September 14, 2014

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it feels like my weekends truly begin when we are both in the kitchen, winding down from the week and preparing a nice relaxed meal together – Fridays are the best.

everything seems more cozy – we get to enjoy our new home and chat about how our days went and what we want to do over the weekend. The best weekends are when nothing is scheduled.

you’ll often find me enjoying a lazy evening watching a movie with my spouse, our roomie Max the cat curled up at our feet

not thinking about anything much

and we like to make homemade pizza chopping the ingredients and snacking a bit on the mozzarella cheese.

the soundtrack to my weekend is a quiet house with sports games on in the background

i’d rather be curled up in a chair reading a book

than doing laundry

and this weekend, i’ll be watching reruns of Springwatch – I can’t get enough of that show.

and if i could, i would get up early on Sunday and go to the spa for a nice morning in hot baths and the steam room, melting all the knots out before the start of another busy week.

Kif a.k.a Katherine Forster is an urban wanderer – appreciator of detail – lover of messy green spaces and hoarder of downtime. She takes tiny steps, every chance she can get, towards her new career as an urban biophilic entrepreneur.

Blog: flourishinggrace.ca

bearing drizzle and beauty

August 31, 2014

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it was drizzly and grey. and quiet. i stepped outside and headed to the garden. i knew there were tomatoes waiting for me. turned out the sunflowers were waiting for me too. one of them had tumbled over in the night, its weight just too much to bear. i cut off the blooms and brought them inside, placed them in a jar of water.

the rain continued to fall. my husband and kids were reading or drawing or something. a saturday morning with nowhere to be but exactly where we were. drizzly and grey. and quiet. i roasted the tomatoes and made photographs of the flowers. i had to catch my breath. because sometimes the beauty is just too much to bear.

michelle gd is a lover of life and a seeker of ways to capture the tiny moments of that life. she can be found at her blog, the collaborative blog makings of motherhood, and on instagram.

taco fridays

August 24, 2014

I’m not sure when I first discovered Mexican food. Most likely during university in Auckland, where the only place to get it was The Mexican Cafe. Burritos, questadillas, enchiladas – they did most of the “fast” Tex-Mex staples, and had an excellent Tequila selection.

However, until recently, tacos where never really my thing. The only ones I knew of were the hard-shelled ones, which were messy and usually quite boring. They always looked too small – good for a starter, but not for a main. After spending more time in the US – California, really, but also Austin, TX – I learned to think of them as more than a snack. The Taco is the perfect flavour delivery vehicle.

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A Taco is a very simple, but flexible, thing. Take a small corn tortilla, grill or steam it a little to make it more flexible and warm, add some topping, and eat. It can be anything from a bite size to a meal, and can contain anything which isn’t too liquid. Supreme flexibility.

So, after getting a tortilla press for my birthday, we started experimenting with various flavours and combinations. I usually start with the meat: prawn, fish, chicken, and sometimes steak or slow cooked brisket. Add in a sauce or something else gooey: flavoured mayonnaise, mashed avocado and top it off with some slaw, cabbage or other greens. La Boca Loca in Wellington have some of the best tacos I’ve tasted, and The Lucky Taco in Auckland regularly goes crazy with things like Ox tongue, tripe and even brains.

Yup. Zombie Tacos.

For us, tacos are usually an end of week thing – a Friday treat after a week at work, and the last Friday we spent at home was no exception. I think it came out as one of our best.

Japanese-inspired Tuna tacos

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  • 6 small to medium sized tortilla
  • 200g tuna loin, around 1-2cm thick
  • Shot of tequila (shochu or sake could also work)
  • A not very hot (but flavourful) chilli
  • Japanese mayonnaise
  • 3 limes (2 for just the juice)
  • 100g Wakame seaweed salad

This made 6 tacos, which is enough for 2-3 people. This filling could easily be stretched to 8 tacos.

Slice the tuna loin into strips about 1cm thick. Put in a bowl with the tequila, some chilli and the juice of 2 limes. Leave to soak for 15 mins or so while you do the other things.

Mix a decent amount of Japanese mayonnaise with the zest of one lime, and the juice of half of the lime. Mix and leave to marinate.

Heat the corn tortilla in a dry frypan or grill plate. You want to make them warm, a bit floppy, and possibly (depending on taste) a little crispy. I usually do them one at a time, and put them in a tea towel to keep them warm and steam them a little. I prefer corn over wheat, too, but that’s just a personal taste.

Once they are cooked, cook the fish to taste – a little crispy on the outside, still rare on the inside. Distribute onto the tortilla, add the lime mayo on top, and finish with wakame. Eat right away.

Perfect.

Nic Wise lives with his wife, one cat and a garden full of birds on a small island just off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand. He can usually be found writing apps for his iPhone, or taking photos on Instagram.

friday quote

August 15, 2014

We wait, starving for moments of high magic to inspire us, but life is a banquet of common enchantment waiting for our alchemist’s eyes to notice.
– Jacob Nordby

august 3, 2014

August 10, 2014

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sunday. central turns into little manila. I walk through the crowds; pushing my way through. everyone annoys me – with their slow walking, with their screaming kids, with their incapability of walking in a straight or predictable way. this summer seems to be hotter than any of the others. lately, I feel overwhelmed despite never being the particular type to feel in such a way. I used to be able to keep my head above water, remain cool. I have been losing that ability.

I started working on a different project last month. something I hope will last. something that feels like the right thing. dream job. I’m pushing myself out of my boundaries and comfort zone. it’s difficult sometimes, having to carry enough for both.

life hasn’t been particularly easy. but it has been worth. if only for the weekends we spend together.

sara tomovic. originally from the balkans, currently living in south east asia. discovering and documenting the differences of the west and east in hong kong; hoping to become a full-time writer one day.

blog: enjoythewait.org
instagram: pereguinn
twitter: pereguinn
website: saratomovic.com