Friday, March 20, 2009

Wine Season is underway...

I am so excited I got a chance to stomp on grapes with my naked feet. Its more invigorating that I had ever fathomed. Imagine being surrounded by thousands of juicy, squishy, slimy beads that envelope your feet much like the sand might do at an ocean, but far more quickly. With each step the grapes suck you in and surround your legs. Its actually quite difficult to move around, although its obvious the we were achieving our goal of "human press", as underneath us a flood of grape juice was streaming out... all cloudy and delicious!

This opportunity was made extra special as it was performed soley by females! The winemaker, Summer Bell, had decided she only wanted the Chardonnay to be handled by women to give it a naturally sweeter taste. I am now even more curious about wine making. I find myself very much attracted to the idea of working close to plants to produce something so delicious, difficult and extremely fragile.

All in all today was really special and a wonderful way for me to wrap up my experiences on the island. "oh
waiheke"... one of my favorite phrases to whisper as I drive along the streets of this island that has no stop lights... "wonderful waiheke"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Recipe included!!!

it's funny I've been "living" on Waiheke for almost 3 months and I feel like I haven't made any real friends, in fact I've only had one or two beyond surface-level conversations with people I've met since coming here. It's not a bad or a good thing, just kind of strange. The plus side to this is I've had loads of personal time, read lots of book and am becoming a better baker (so far i've taught myself how to make pizza dough from scratch, bran muffins, bread and a variety of different cakes). One of the few souvenirs I've picked up thus far is the Edmond's cookbook... its incredible, full of good ol' fashioned kiwi food, like fish pies! :)

Tonight I volunteered my wine-pouring and beer opening abilities to the local theater. A former co-worker had created a contemporary dance show that was really impressive and disturbing, I LOVED IT! I wish I was marginally as aware of my body movements and abilities as the women who performed in the main piece. A simple flick of their wrists would commanded a complimentary movement from the rest of the body. It was beautiful. Reminded me of Caitlin, I think when I return to Portland I'd like to participate in her dance lessons for beginners.

One of my favorite parts about the evening though was feeling like a member of the community... volunteering for the arts, helping a "friend". It was a nice change of pace.

I've spent much of today preparing for my departure from Waiheke. My friend Marc... its funny, i know no one reads my blog, so i am not sure whom to pretend to write for, family, friends, myself, god, "dear diary"... anyways Marc is a dear friend from University. He is coming out and we have been planning an awesome week of adventure. I wish we had more time, but we will do as much as we can while trying to relax and enjoy ourselves. He arrives on the 24th of March, and then we'll leave Waiheke together and I probably won't be back for a while.


1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 3/4 to 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading and dredging
3/4 cup warm water (105-115F)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

How to make dough-
Stir together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until mixture appears creamy on surface, about 5 minutes.

Stir together 1 1/4 cups flour and salt in a large bowl, then add yeast mixture, oil, and remaining 1/2 cup warm water and stir until smooth. Stir in enough of remaining flour (1/4 to 1/2 cup) for dough to come away from side of bowl.

Knead dough on a work surface with floured hands, reflouring work surface and hands when dough becomes too sticky, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 8 minutes. Divide dough in half and form into 2 balls, then generously dust balls all over with flour and put each in a medium bowl. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and let dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours.

Make Pizza:
This dough is made for traditional fire ovens... since i didn't have this I prebaked my dough for about 5 minutes at about 400*, then took it out of oven, sauced and topped it. Then returned to the oven to bake just until crust was golden.

Best pizzas i've ever had... ever!