Archive for the ‘ Food ’ Category

Mac’s Ginger Beer & Green Apple… drinks are delicious!

green-apple-straightIn my (somewhat cynical) eye’s Mac’s can do no wrong. They have put out a string of very nice beer, they don’t feel the need to use preservatives and they’re advertising is clever.

Their latest products – non-alcoholic – are Ginger Beer and Green Apple.

The Ginger Beer is really like “your mother used to make it” in fact it’s a bit like the last batch of home brew stuff I made (except mine had alcohol in it – great for young nephews and nieces). It’s not as sweet and fizzy as Bundaburg Ginger Beer. It’s ‘clean’ and refreshing on ice with with a slice of lime. I also noticed that even left until the next day opened it was still fizzy so it must still have the natural yeast busy working away in it – so it is authentic.

The Green Apple drink is really nice too. Not sweet or cloying. It makes as great mixer – as winter suddenly arrived over the weekend and cool drinks are not required, but alcoholic ones are.

Try this…

  • Martini Glass (or similar)
  • Bottle of Mac’s Green Apple
  • Roses Lime Juice ‘concentrate’
  • Bacardi (or vodka if you don’t have white rum)
  • Some ice

Pour a couple of shots of rum into glass onto about three or four ice cubes, if it’s been a tough day, add a couple more.

A dash of lime, if you have fresh limes then use those.

The pour over the Mac’s Green Apple juice… ahhhhh! Knock that back and make another one.

I know what you’re thinking. The ice will dilute the drink, and yes it will. But unless you’re organised and have everything pre-chilled, then this is the only way to do it. Whatever you do, do not try mixing this all in a shaker (thus being able to strain out the ice), that is, unless you what to make a green apple fire extinguisher, and wiping it off the walls is a pain… a mate told me that could happen, I’d never be so stupid.

Next time your’e in the supermarket check these two latest Mac’s additions, well worth it!



Paying ‘more’ for Water in Auckland

I see Rodney Hide with usual honesty and frankness, has said that water rates will go up for some people under the new ‘super city’.

The anti Watercare group and other who think water should be ‘free’ will be performing their usual tantrums.

Water, as in the stuff that falls out of the sky, is free of charge.

We have a water tank, we collect water from the roof, store it in a tank and use it. If we run out because there’s no rain, we have to buy it. No problem with that because someone has to truck it out to us. There’s also a cost to us for the infrastructure we own in tanks, pipes, pumps, and I guess, even the roof, plus maintenance involved. The water isn’t treated, we don’t bother and have never been sick (touch wood). I’ve never done an analysis on it, but I’d guess over the long term it works out cheaper than a reticulated system. Of course, if there’s a power cut, the pump won’t work so no water, also if a rat fell in the tank, then there’s a lot more fuss and cost involved.

no service is free!

no service is free!

It’s also worth noting that we are very very careful with our water usage, no bath only showers etc etc, this way we have only ever had one ‘externally’ provided tank fill in five years. I guess we treat the water supply with a lot of respect, it really is a precious commodity in February when it hasn’t rained properly for weeks!

As you can see there are costs involved in collecting water and using it. No different in Auckland city on a reticulated service. With this service you get treated drinking water, as much as you like, 24/7, you can water the garden with it, have 50 baths a day if you like, it will be there 99.99% of the time, it’s safe, clean and convenient – it’s on tap!

Hell, out of most service utilities I’d bet in Auckland it’s the most reliable, more so than electricity and much more so than telecommunications – both of which could be regarded as equally important.

So, that people get upset about paying for what is an excellent, world class service, which is taken for granted, puzzles me. It’s not cheap to achieve, and like anything there is a cost that has to be recovered somewhere, which brings me to the next point.

In an increasing number of countries, water is now a scarce commodity. It’s so scarce that they buy it in by the super tanker load from other countries, or ration it’s use. This of course means that the cost, or if you like, price, of water is increasing as a commodity internationally. It’s not just that the infrastructure to collect, treat and get the water to your tap is expensive, it’s just that there is only so much water to go around and the demand in some countries, outstrips the supply. It’s predicted that wars could be fought over water in the future, and in fact it could be argued that in the Middle East and Africa, they already are.

So next time you have a gripe about your water bill, consider that the service in Auckland is among the best in the world, and it’s cheap for something you only think about when you get the bill. If you don’t want to pay for it, use less or get a water tank to supplement supply – but you may find the costs outweigh the benefits which again makes your service look pretty cost effective.

Remember, you’re not paying for the water, you’re paying for the service of collecting it and getting it to your tap, the water itself is still ‘free’.

Eskimo sweets attacked by PC brigade

Sometimes I read about consumer complaints and you empathise, on other occasions I just wonder what side of bed they got out of and there is an obvious need to take a chill-pill.

2100002809255The ‘fuss’ over some Inuit (that’s an Eskimo) tourist has had a small fit over the soft marshmallow sweets called Eskimo. She’s incensed that Kiwi’s actually eat a representation of an Eskimo and claims is culturally insensitive… WTF!

Seeka Lee Veevee Parsons is from Canada and needs to chill out… probably heading home and getting waaaaay up north will enhance the serious amount of chilling out she needs to do.

I also see the MSM managed to dredge up and indignant acedemic, wow, there’s a surprise. Apparently Dr Nicole Gumby Gombay claims she was “shocked” to see the sweet on sale here, this was when she arrived here to study Inuit politics and culture… at Canterbury University… in Canterbury… in the South Island… of New Zealand. Maybe Dr Gombay is in the wrong place to study Inuit don’t you think?

Anyway, Seeka is going to send the sweets to her Grandfather (who’ll probably think they’re yummy) and the Canadian PM, presumably with the view of getting them to invade NZ and set things right.

Fortunately the maker of the sweets essentially told Seeka to get a life, and will continue to make the sweets.

I didn’t even know these still exsisted as I remember buying them at the corner dairy when I was a kid. 

Next week, Seeka teams up with Sue Kedley & and Greens to launch a campaign to rid the world of Eskimo Pies.

Greepeace gives up on real whales, saves paper ones instead.

Fresh from thier succesful campagin savings whales in the South Pacific, Greenepeace have launched a new campagin to save yet more whales…

Oh wait, that wasn’t Greenpeace, that was Sea Shepherd… I forgot, Greenpeace didn’t bother treking down south to help whales this year, they clearly had more important things to do and hell, whales are so yesterday when you can run around saving the world from Global Warming!


whadya mean Greenpeace are busy! do we have to do this by ourselves now???

A quick glance at Greenpeace’s blog tag cloud says it all, a dirty great big Global Warming, the Whales stuck down the corner somewhere in tiny writing.

Naturally Greenpeace is happy to take your cash for saving whales, but don’t expect them to actually get wet trying to protect actual real live whales, because they are now far to corporate to do that sort of thing anymore. Instead some clever marketing department has come up with some trite cmapagin around origami whales. Nice slick way of raising money, any large global corporate would be proud of such a slick cmapagin.

Not sure the poor old whales are so enthusaed though, we’ll never know how the 600 odd whales that got shot to bits by Japanese whalers think about the “gourgeous origami whales cmapagin” because they are currently working their way through some person’s digestive system.

Nice one Greenpeace, pity about the real whales eh?

Sex Fruit

I really thought that maybe this week there wouldn’t be anything really really stupid to write about – apart from Sideshow Pete, but humans being the idiots that they never disappoint.

Apart from the stupid names celebrities give their children, like Coldplay’s lead singer who said..

“People make a big fuss over names. Names of babies, names of albums, names of bands.T here’s nothing weird about calling your baby Chewbacca if that’s what you want to call your baby. It’s no stranger than Sarah.”

Um what, naming your child after a fictional woolly alien is no stranger than Sarah! What planet are you on, oh wait, planet-too-much-money-and-no-sense.

nice name for your kid

And don’t get me started with silly spelling of names. God only knows why but some people clearly don’t feel special enough so they think that spelling their names differently will make them ‘different’, or maybe it’s just because they can’t spell. If you’ve changed the spelling of your name, say from Kylie to Kylee, Kyleigh, Kiley, Kyley, get a grip, the only thing you’ve proved is that you’re a twit that can’t spell.

Back to the real reason for this post, it’s been around for a while but it’s parents who are stoned, or maybe just stupid giving names to their kids that will without any doubt lead to their lives being a complete misery, or as a Judge described it, essentially child abuse. I’ve heard the ones about Holden and Ford, but how about this selection…

Fish and Chips (twins), Masport and Mower (twins); boys Yeah Detroit, Spiral Cicada, Kaos, Stallion and Hitler; girls Cinderella Beauty Blossom and Twisty Poi; and sex unknown Keenan Got Lucky and Sex Fruit.

You’re probably thinking “only in America” right? well no, the muppets who gave their kids these names are right here in New Zealand. WTF is going through someones head to call their kid ‘Sex Fruit’? Maybe in addition to licencing people to own dogs we should be licencing people to have kids, because clearly some people think it’s a bit of a joke!

So people, if you’re thinking of giving your kid a name based on a food, consumer product, or hated historical figure, take a deep breath and a cold shower and then go to a web site which has real human names on it and pick something that isn’t going to make their life a misery, and when you pick one leave the spelling alone and don’t screw with it!

Tasty lunch snack – Uncle Ben’s Express

These are a pretty clever idea, they are good for a dinner side but also perfect for a quick hot lunch, especially now winter has well and truly arrived.

Uncle Ben’s has a range of pre cooked rices called ‘Express’. They come in a range of flavours from Speical fired rice. Mexican, Savory Chicken you get the picture. You tear a small hole in the top, pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes, let it cool and eat it straight out of the bag.

they don’t have to be refrigerated so you can stash them in the drawer at work for that day when it’s so miserable going outside requires a rubber dingy and wet whether gear.

They have no artifical colours, flavours or added preservatives (note the ‘added’ bit) so for the natural health freaks out there these are almost acceptable – although I can’t vouch for the plastic as it doesn’t say what it is so I’m not sure if it is ‘7’ which is the one that gives you a tiny bit of a female hormone boost, and hey, a few hormones never hurt anyone and it’s not like you’re going to be eating these for lunch every day! They are made in the E.U. not somewhere dodgy like some of the snap frozen meals.

So far my favorit is the Mexican one, a bit spicy. They cost about $2.70 so that’s about the price of a pie and possibly a bit healthier.



I’ll admit that I do go to Hallertau quite a bit. If you live out on the West Coast of Auckland pleasant bars are limited. There are a few establishments selling cheap tap beer with the decor consisting of cheap sticky carpet, and the ambience derived from the flashing lights from pokey machines… not really the sort of place to go and relax or take a date too.

That’s why when Hallertau appeared a while back it was a god send for the refugees from Aucklanders who have settled the north west, fleeing the clutter and noise of the city.

It’s interesting how a comfortable ambience is created, and it’s obviously more difficult than it looks because so many places fail miserably. Hallertau seems to have struck a happy medium between being a bar and a restaurant. The actual building itself is sparse – concrete floors and high ceilings, but through colour and lighting they have created something that manages to be cosy and intimate during the winter – cool and breezy during the summer

Hallertau’s main draw is the beer, they have four permanent attractions – brewed in house and available on tap, plus seasonal beers (currently a Manuka Saison – a Belgium Ale with a distinctive honey flavour) and guest beers. There’s a good wine list and an array of fruit wines which are also made in house.

There’s a great selection of small plates, a bit like tapas, that are perfect when you are just going in for a drink and need to line the stomach.

The main menu of the restaurant is small but has an interesting depth and changes constantly. I had braised pork belly with kumara mash and spinach, juicy and melting in the mouth, there was also duck on a huge ravioli of truffle and mushroom. The food is beautifully presented, and has always been good. Beer matches are suggested in the menu.

Hallertau is consistently good, it isn’t too flashy or pretentious (well it is compared to what is available out west, but not by Auckland standards), the service is polite and attentive, the menu interesting. 

Hallertau is a great place to go to for a beer and light lunch if you’ve been out to the beach (but if you don’t need an excuse it’s worth the drive if you enjoy real beer). Check out the lounge next to the restaurant where you can settle down with a group of friends in the huge sofa’s in front of the fire and pick over one of the huge plate of tapas and a tasting paddle with all four beers.