Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Eating our way north

This morning we left Auckland for the Northland, specifically Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands.  This is not to be confused with Karekare, which was the black sand beach.  The roads leading north from Auckland are dotted with wineries, fruit stands, chocolate shops, etc. so you sort of eat your way north.  We embraced the food trail wholeheartedly.  Our first stop was the oldest tea room in NZ.  They specialized in Devonshire Teas, which means a pot of tea, a scone, butter, raspberry jam, and whipped cream.  I had already had both tea and another Starbucks that morning, so I asked if I could just have a scone.  He seemed morally offended and said, "You just want a Devonshire Water?"  My response of, "I guess so," seemed to disgust him further and he continued to refer to it as a Devonshire water instead of just saying I wanted a scone.  I decided to ignore him and just enjoy my scone, which really was just a large biscuit.  Here and in Australia they call cookies biscuits, biscuits are scones, and what we would call a scone don't really exist.  Their scones aren't really like a southern biscuit, either.  However, it was very tasty, but I don't know anything that isn't good with butter, raspberry jam, and whipped cream on top.  Well, maybe a McRib.

While eating we got to take in the surrounding countryside.  Mostly today we saw lots of low green mountains with sheep and cows grazing.  That was the view while at the tearoom, too:

It was very pretty and very green after coming from dusty, dry Australia.  

Our next stop was the dairy with a sign proudly welcoming cheese lovers.  We got a cheese plate to share:

Yum!  There was a sharp cheddar, camberet, and a blue brie with bread, crackers, apples, grapes, dried apricots, walnuts, and a spiced chutney.

I think digesting all that cheese was making Daniel sluggish, so he took a snooze and I took over driving.  Our next stop was a honey farm, where you could see the bees in a glass hive:

We picked up some cinnamon honey for our breakfast toast, and tried some honey fudge, too.  

We stopped at some craft places after that, but no more food until we got to our hostel, which is set in an orange grove, so there's all the oranges you want:

It is a very small and very cute hostel, with a hammock, even:

It also is a mini-farm, with three dogs, chickens:

You'll note that the chickens are eating some orange rinds.  They also have Maori wild pigs:

Also eating oranges :)  They looked decidedly tame to me.  Sharing their pen is a sheep that was raised bottle fed, so is extremely friendly.  Her name is appropriately Fluffy, and I thought she was going to make a break for it here:

We headed for Woolies to get stuff to grill mushroom swiss burgers and make the whole hostel smell awesome.  I saw some forlorn looks from a couple of girls eating beans on toast and scrambled eggs.  Our host was making something that I couldn't really even process while I was watching it.  She put lettuce, onion, tomato, and cucumber (and I think some sort of seafood when I wasn't watching) on a cookie sheet.  Then she covered all of it in mayo and lemon juice and STUCK IT IN THE OVEN.  For like an hour! I guess I can't knock it because I didn't try it, but it just sounded gross.  It sort of reminded me of the How I Met Your Mother where Lilly makes the Midwest layer salad consisting of weird things like potato chips and gummy bears in between layers of mayo.  Ech.  


  1. Ugh, that hostel meal (not yours) sounds disgusting. But your hostel itself looks fab! The idea of cinnamon honey sounds delicious. yeah, american "scones" are not real scones. The nice, less sweet scones everywhere else in the world are so tasty. And that cheese plate...wow, yum.

  2. The view along makes me want to check out that tearoom. Glad you didn't have to eat the hostel dinner. I mean, I know I eat lettuce on weird things, but come on!