Wednesday, January 5, 2011

No Year Resolutions

Ho ho! It's 2011 already! Happy New Year everyone!
Usually I start the year with some kind of flimsy commitment to drink less coffee or do more exercise, but this year I thought I'd save us all the charade and just flag New Year's Resolutions. I call it "No Year Resolutions".
We went away for New Year, off to Hanmer Springs for a few days to catch up with some of our favourite old friends. They make me giggle like a silly schoolgirl and I love it. *Sigh*. One of our highlights; visiting Molesworth Station. It's such a beautiful part of New Zealand, so remote, and so...New Zealandy. We stopped in at the Acheron Accommodation House, an old cobb house built in 1862. Here is what it looked like when people lived in it.
And here is what it looks like today. Lonely but still loved. 
Cobb houses, these really old ones built from mud and tussock and so on, they just amaze me. They were built out of what was there, when most people would consider that there was nothing to build a house out of. I love how resourceful people were back then.
Another relic of the days when people lived there was the gooseberry and redcurrant bushes surrounding the house. The gooseberries were small, furry, sour, and fantastic cooked up and served with cream and custard. I picked a big bag full to bring home and make gooseberry sauce.
This rather unlikely sauce is the taste of my childhood. We ate it every morning on fried potato cakes. This recipe makes a big batch- I will halve it when I make it up.
Gooseberry Sauce
3 kg gooseberries
2.5 kg brown sugar
1 kg onions
50 g salt
50 g whole cloves
1.9 L malt vinegar
Top and tail the gooseberries, then boil with the other ingredients for 2 h. Strain through a coarse sieve or colander, and bottle while hot. Keep a while to let the flavours mellow before using it. Keeps for years.
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  1. Your photographs are perfect! The color of the scale and those Gooseberries! And that house against the sky! I'm beside myself!

  2. Nothing wrong with those gooseberries. I love those remnants of a life that survive around old houses; often an old apple tree. The old resolution charade...I'm still planning on formulating a few, when I get around to it and thanks for my glorious present. A very welcome surprise. Hope it's been a great day.

  3. Lovely photos Miss Smith - how about some goals instead of resolutions - things you really want to do but need to commit to doing them. Resolutions that involve more self discipline (be more tidy, lose weight etc) are no fun and are bound for failure - but some fun goals might be just the ticket. I'm just thinking up some fun goals myself. We enjoyed our holiday in Nelson so much we're already thinking about when we'll next be down. I think that might one of my "fun" goals.

  4. I love cobb houses too!!
    Hey hope you had a fabulous birthday, we thought of you on the day and even wrote you out a postcard. It hasn't been sent yet but I'll make posting it my new years resolution since I dont have any either. And that's one I can be sure to stick to.

  5. So beautiful! That little house against the wilderness looks like a painting. I can't wait to make your gooseberry sauce--must wait a few months for them to be in season here, but it sounds delicious. :)

  6. I've never seen a Gooseberry! ATT is right, your photos are breathtaking.

  7. You so make me want to move to New Zealand.So Beautiful!! I would dream of moving into that house and loving it full time. And beloved gooseberries on the side.