Friday, 21 October 2011

Food and Flowers

Since we last wrote:  spring has (really) finally happened in Christchurch; we've attended two pizza parties; we helped out at the Vegetarian Expo; Cindy made cookies with a local woman and her son; and Paul gave two final tests.  We also have been watching the All Blacks (New Zealand national team) advance in the Rugby World Cup.

As part of Open Day at the University of Canterbury, Okeover Gardens had a pizza party.  Everyone rolled dough and made their own pizza, which was then baked in the outdoor adobe pizza oven in the garden.

The next day we attended a pizza party at Joff's house.  Joff is a programmer (system administrator) in Paul's department at University of Canterbury, and he's also vegetarian.  Every year Joff invites a bunch of people over, and makes pizzas all afternoon.  On the day we were there, Joff made a total of 16 vegetarian pizzas with toppings ranging from fresh garlic to asparagus to canned spaghetti (for the kids).

Last Sunday we volunteered in the kitchen and food area at the Vegetarian Expo put on by the Christchurch Vegetarian Society.  The event included information tables, product sales, food vendors, music, movies and cooking demonstrations, including a demo by Robert Jacobs, a young man who was one of the contestants in last year's "Master Chef - New Zealand".  Over five thousand people attended the expo, which we thought was quite impressive.

Cindy was asked by Marcela, one of the hosts of the university newcomers' group, to help her learn how to make cookies.  So Cindy, Marcela, and Marcela's seven year old son Orlando made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and lemon sour cream cutout cookies.  Orlando impressed Cindy with how well he learned to roll out the dough and cut out cookies.  His favorite was the rugby ball that Cindy made out of the leftover dough.

Now that we will be leaving, spring weather is finally here.  We only need to wear two or three layers of tops rather than four or five.  We've been able to do a little biking, flowers are blooming everywhere, and the birds are calling most of the day.  Soon we'll head out on our final trip - to the Catlins and Stewart Island in the south.

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