Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Maori Food

I just noticed, half of my working holiday blog talked about food. Chinese always craving for good food. A famous quote, 民以食为天, which simply means food ranks first. This shows how importance the great food for us. And, I am the typical chinese too. :P We work very hard to look for special food which we never tried before here. Today was another lucky day for us to try the local maori food. Yes, local and real.

The maori family is my house owner's friend. Due to that reason, we were able to grab the chance and taste  the genuine maori food.

The boil up. This food was really surprise us because it simply tastes similiar with the chinese watercress soup 西洋菜汤. The only different is ours is soup and theirs was served as main course.

Fried bread. Simple and nice food. But not advisable to take too much. Fat....

The best partner for fried bread- the red plum jam with butter. Yummy~ I love this jam. The sweetness is just nice and it contains slight sour taste. Works well with fried bread.

Dessert~ they called it as trifle~ cake topped with cream and fruits.

Of course we must take a group photo~ A big family. Thanks to the dinner served~ OMG, I'll putting lots of weight if I continue my eating habit like this.. help....
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rotorua: The Luge

When we asked our house owner 'Any interesting place nearby to recommend?' The first place came across his mind was 'The luge in Rotorua'. The luge? What was that? Then, he showed us the photos in the website, my respond was 'Huh? This thing just similiar with the Go Cart in Malaysia. We can play it in Genting as well. What's so special about this?' So, we didn't show much interest in this Luge at that moment.

After couple of days, he asked us whether we want to go or not. This round we said yes because we did not have any plan for the weekend. During that Sunday,we drove to Rotorua and stopped by i site to purchase the tickets. Yes, we purposely bought ticket from i site as the tickets selling was cheaper than those selling at the counter!! My house owner don't even know about this and he kept on asking 'why, why, why' to the staff in i site. Haha~ You see, sometimes tourist know more than local. :P

Here we came, the luge. We took a cable car up to the station!

When we reached there, it was raining, so we took our lunch at the skyline cafe in The Luge theme park (I think it doesn't called as theme park but it is a theme park for me).

Fish and chip. Argh, the worst fish and chip that I ever had in NZ. Disappointing.

Swiss roll. Dessert in NZ is always too sweet for me.

Steak cruiser. Yeah, this was the best food among the three that we ordered. It was something similiar like steak pie. Not bad.

We took this up the hill and started our luge journey!

Yes, the luge. This is totally different with the F1 in Genting. Genting one is quite slow even u press for full speed. But, the luge is much faster and it runs due to the slope of the hill. Brakes are available so you can control your speed by using it. There are three different categories for us to choose, scenic, intermediate and fast. We were quite greedy and we want to choose intermediate during our first ride because we just purchased for 2 rides.

However, we were stopped by our house owner as he commented that we had to go for scenic first because we didnt' know how to control it. OK, fine, scenic first.

Wao, I felt good for the first ride! Since second ride was the last ride, we chose the fast one. Fast one was really different with scenic. But something stupid happened. My luge stopped at one of the turning!! Yes, stop! Then, I was forced to move my luge MANUALLY. I use my leg to move the luge!!! So embarrasing and I guess those who saw me must be laughing non stop. Sob sob... Now I know even there was slope but technique was still needed to let the luge keep moving.. sweat...

We had our 2 rides and we just loitering around. There was an cherry blossom way but we only saw stick at that garden due to the winter.

Fees: $33 (2 rides + gondola)

Try it if you have extra budget.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My First Ever Butter Cookies

When we were in Malaysia, we always need to think, when we work, we think, when we were doing something, we think, when we have to solve a problem, we think again. Over here, we don't actually need to think much. The hottest topic to think is 'what should we cook tonight.' That's all. A very simple life. Sometimes I do worry that my brain might become rusty after half year of working holiday.

Basically, we are very free after work. So, I start doing something that I don't do in Malaysia. I learnt to bake butter cookies!! Yes, first time in my life.


cookies dough were ready!

Let's see the complete version~

Wah~my cookies

Let me share the recipe

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least one hour. Chill cookie sheets.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Press dough out onto ungreased, chilled cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly golden at the edges. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Very easy right? :P

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Yummy Kiwi Breakfast

A non working day is definitely a very relaxing day. Now I worked as repacker in a kiwi packhouse again. Yesterday was a working day as there was order needed to be rushed.

This morning, my house owner cooked us a kiwi breakfast!~~!~ Wao, we were really lucky. I never think that being a backpacker actually can sleep well stay well and being so xin fu 幸福.

Let's kiwi!!

parsley + white sauce + egg + ham + muffin split with cheese flavour

Wao~ smoke salmon~~~ yummy yummy

The breakfast is easy to prepared and it's tasty~! So happy. Next time I can cook in Malaysia and tell others this is kiwi breakfast. Wahaha~~

I love it~

Friday, July 8, 2011

Malaysia Food

The previous post mentioned that our house owner did an exchange with us. Here are those foods that we cooked for him and his family. One of his friend was invited to our exchange dinner as well. In order to cook the meal, we prepared since afternoon. Of course, I was not the main chef but I did my part as a helper!!!! Helper plays important part in assisting the chef !

Let me present our lovely dinner!!!! Yeah, food that represents Malaysia most! Nasi Lemak.

Yes, it was not complete set but that was what we can cook over here. It was pretty hard to get the ingredients that we needed. Even the coconut cream was not what we want. We were forced to buy the packaging type one instead of fresh. I know, there shouldn't be any tomato over there but the cucumber is pretty expensive so we replaced it with tomato. OK, stop compare our nasi lemak with the actual one.

Chicken curry. Yeah, the taste was same with home~ I love it

Tom Yam fried rice. My house owner loves this so much and he said he want to learn the way to cook this.

Fried Beef with ginger


Fried glass noodle. His mom loves this~

ABC soup
We cooked green bean soup as a dessert but I forget to take a photo on it. But look like kiwi doesn’t used to the green bean flavor. All of them don’t really like it. My house owner insisted that green bean soup was not a dessert because it was not sweet. Hmm.. different concept on dessert.

Yeah, dinner was ready. Red wine and white wine sponsored by house owner~

Group photo! I love this photo very much. A cross culture dinner~

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rotorua: Tamaki Village

When we went through the Boucher in I-site, most of them mentioned that Rotorua is the place full with Maori culture. Maori culture? Yeah, since we are here, we must learn and experience their culture. That was the reason drove us to the Tamaki Maori Village. This village located 15 minute driving distance away from Rotorua city centre. You may choose to drive on your own to the village or you may take the free bus from Tamaki Office to the village.

The whole package includes the ceremonial ritual, cultural performance and hangi feasting. When we first arrived, there was a welcoming ceremony in their tradition method.

Then, we were brought into their village which deep within an ancient Tawa forest. Explanation were given regarding their life style in front of every house.

The Maori and I

This part was a bit rush as we could only stay for a short while for each of the house. There was not much time for us to slowly explore in the village. We had to stick to the schedule fixed by the organizer.

Then, hangi meal preparation method was presented!! You see, the food was being buried inside the soil.
This recalled my memory about backwoodsman. Those who were a girl guide/ scout should knows what I meant. Argh, I miss those days in secondary school. Camping, marching, gathering, station game...... Life is always good when we were young.
After they removed the soil on top, you can see the food~~

They heat it by using hot stone. Real hot..

Yeah~Hangi meal.

After the demonstration, we were lead to a hall to watch some cultural performance included some dancing and song. Those dancing were quite special for me and the song sang were good~

After this, dinner time~~ Hangi meal time!!!

Hangi meal was served in buffet style but the portion served was just enough for us to take it once. Remember to take more if u went there. (typical kiasu mind). The food was rather disappointing. Most of the food was overcook and it lead to bland flavour. The only nice food was the mussel and also the jam.

Dessert was served after the main course. The chocolate cake was not too bad but the rest of them were either too sweet or weird taste.  Disappointing. Sorry but I have to say that. 

Overall I think the time range given were too short and the meal served was not too good. Anyhow, this was just my persona point of view.

Entrance fees: $90 (promotion price)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rotorua: Wai O Ta Pu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, a tourist attraction located in Rotorua, is part of Maroa Caltera formed 160,000 years ago. This area covered with collapsed craters old and boiling pools of mud, water and steaming fumaroles. There are a few different tracks for you to walk around the Wai-O-Tapu. It takes around 2-3 hours to complete the whole scenic walk. (including photo taking)

Let me just show some of the photos taken inside.
The collapsed crater- Devil's Home

This look fake huh? The colour is due to the original orange pigment in the plant.

The champagne pool occupied a 700 years old explosion crater form by a hydro-thermal eruption.

Hot hot hot!!! Temperature for some of the area detected more than 130 degree.. crazy...

Where are the rest???? I can't see...

The most beautiful part in Wai O Ta Pu. Yes, the colour is naturally formed.

The devil's bath. The colour is so..... 'geli'

All the colourful water is natural and it forms due to different mineral elements.

The entrance fees: $32.50