Hello Sunday

Anne and I snuck out on our day off for a taste of the new-ish menu at Hello Sunday.  We have a bias.  Sam, our 24 year old is the head chef and food designer there – so any advocacy about his food is reflective of parental pride and all that.  But… the cafe won Best Cafe of the Year in the 2015 Hospitality Awards plus three other awards including People’s Choice – so other people back us up!

Also, if we want to eat a meal prepared by chef Sam then we seem to have to pay for it!

We are not complaining… the food was remarkable – exquisite Turkish influences with egg, asparagus with pumpkin with a hint of fennel… light yet lasting… beautiful to the eye and a delight in each bite.

And the chef was in a crazy mood – lots of fun.

It is fantastic tracking the development in the vibe and food quality as Hello Sunday draws near to its second birthday.




Hello Sunday cafe, Christchurch

I am itchy to write a review but my bias is total – my eldest son Sam is the head chef and menu designer and my younger son Josh is on the front of house staff.
Hello Sunday on Elgin St, Sydenham, Christchurch

Hello Sunday on Elgin St, Sydenham, Christchurch

That declared and out of the way, I want to acknowledge the passion and energy of this young team – Christopher Penny (owner/manager) and Sam Stewart and the people alongside and around them have established a fantastic operation – the food (and I am paying my full share – they can’t afford favours!) has been consistently fresh, tasty, well-presented and an adventure.  The coffee has been smooth and good with no bitter edge (well done Switch, well done baristas!), and the surroundings, while echoing a little at this early stage of their development, are very pleasant with a nice comfortable homely retro feel.
We have encouraged many friends and church-folk to try it out and they have all reported that they loved the food and coffee and service (I am going to talk to the management about a ‘being a promoter’ discount one day).
Sydenham is bustling and the addition of this fine little cafe on Elgin Street near The Columbo mall and Academy movie theatre is fantastic.

Tomato Soup

here’s a grand recipe we love… we anticipate making 30kg of our homegrown tomatoes into soup this year!

Tomato soup one hour from now!

Tomato soup one hour from now!


Tomato Soup

9lbs/4kg tomatoes

3lbs/1.5kg onions

1 cup sugar

1 dsp salt


1 tbs short grain rice

Mint or mint flakes

Chop tomatoes & onions

Add other ingredients

Bring to boil

Simmer until well-cooked

Puree the mixture (can wait until a bit cooler)

If want to dilute a bit water is useful

Freeze as much as want in containers
(a margarine container is just right for two adults – the children starve)

Blackcurrant Harvest

some of the jars of jam

some of the jars of jam

New Year’s Eve and we are nearing the end of the blackcurrant harvest… over 20 jars of blackcurrant jam (Anne has a liking/fetish for b/c jam!), 3.5kg of frozen b/cs and 7 jars of blackcurrant relish and we still have a quarter of the crop to go… they are wonderful this year, many of the currants are larger than usual.  Search the site for the awesome blackcurrant relish recipe (posted last year) – an amazing taste on crackers and cheese.
We found the 12 ‘agee’ old jam jars on a second-hand junk shop in Leeston earlier this year and couldn’t resist recreating the old-style jam jar look!

tea tonight

DSC_0801Sometimes an ordinary meal is extraordinary – steak on bbq, new potatoes from the garden, peas (baby ones) and these carrots – the first of the thinnings – carrots at their best.  A nice Sauvignon for the woman and Shiraz for the man and life is sweet!

Yummy Tea

Thanks Annabel Langbein for the recipe for Mediterranean Baked Fish and Parsley Mashed Potatoes from the new Simple Pleasures recipe book – amazing!  Anne cooked it – though I went fishing with her and ‘caught’ the sole fillets at Theos in Riccarton (the flounder were far too small to fillet!).  The tomatoes are from our own greenhouse and the parsley was from the garden.  Delicious!

vegemite forever!

Vegemite - always a place for you in my pantry and the NZ product supply chain!

It is not good to gloat, and it is not nice to pick on people and things when they are down… but Vegemite is in favour in New Zealand because Marmite is out of stock because of the earthquake damage to the Christchurch Sanitarium Factory.  Some people have been stock-piling Marmite and some have even being selling it on Trade Me (the NZ version of e-Bay) for extravagant amounts of money.  I do not understand that – just have Vegemite, it is so much nicer and the stocks are reliable and the taste is exquisite.