Bringing back some joy

Bringing back some joy

It’s been a wild few months (with some wild spring weather to accompany it!), but we’re looking forward to something new as summer rolls around and we farewell the tumult of fickle spring. It certainly feels more hopeful now as the Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine recipe takes off! Now we eagerly look forward to businesses opening up, to families reuniting and for the zest for life to reignite our spirits. This is a hard fought battle, and while it’s not over yet, we need to embrace this new hope,  ‘sun fuelled’ energy and we must revitalise ourselves. 
There has been deep and significant suffering in our community, in all sectors and age groups, in all socio-economic brackets: it is evident in the conversations we are having and the fatigue we see around us. We sincerely hope that while we look forward and recognise there will be more challenges ahead, this current ‘despair’ can be tempered by connection and community as we increasingly, and safely, return to some normalcy, bolstered by the vaccine and change of season. New things to let you know about: in our website: you’ll find an offering of picnic hampers & new gift hampers (and more absolutely fabulous hampers on their way!). We have new recipes for our whole Organic Chicken Leg dishes that are now prepared and available in our store fridges – such delicious and easy meals (gluten free of course!) – choose from either the Tagine or the Provençal Chicken. Wonderful served with either steamed vegetables, salad, rice or couscous, as the mood takes you. Our chefs have done the hard work, you just add the sides. They’ll also be available to order online soon… Picnics are available to order online too! My recipe this week features the glorious baby Earth Gem potatoes, little jewels to brighten any plate – you could replace these with a waxy white alternative, but the brilliant colours of Little Gems are the ‘pièce de résistance’ of this dish! We have them at Scarecrow.

Earth Gem Salad
Serves 4.

Very finely slice a red onion (or 2 if you want to keep some of the pickled onions for another day) and put in a bowl, cover in boiling water for a minute or two (until slightly softened), drain and return to the bowl.
Pickling: simmer together 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp sea salt flakes and 2 dessert spoons raw sugar, 1 star anise, 1 bay leaf, when the sugar and salt are dissolved, pour the hot mix over the sliced onions, leave for at least 30 minutes (while you prep the rest of your salad).  
Bring to boil 400 grams of Earth Gem potatoes in salted water, simmer until cooked – be careful, they are small and will not take too long (about 10 to 12 minutes), test with a sharp knife. Drain and cool immediately in a bath of iced water.
With a mandolin or peeler finely slice 3 or 4 red radishes and one zucchini or cucumber. 
Gather a selection of baby greens – maybe spinach leaves, or baby beetroot leaves (or more of that spicy watercress from a local stream!). About 1 cup of spring green leaves.
About 200 grams of Smoked Salmon
1 tbsp of capers (or 1/4 cup of diced green olives if you prefer)
To assemble:
Drain the onion rings and toss them with the potatoes, capers (or olives) and green leaves. Put into a serving dish. Top with chunks of smoked salmon, finely peeled cucumber and radish.
Dress with a Lemon Vinaigrette;
Juice of 1 squeezed lemon
1/2 cup of Olive Oil
2 tsp smooth Dijon Mustard
Delicious served with a chilled Rosé (see our selection below)
Bon appetit!

La dolce vita

Anticipating the sunshine has got us thinking about the imminent holiday season, so we have stocked our cellar shelves with all the things we like to sip on with friends & family. Someone said to me recently that what they love most about our Cellar is that they don’t need to know the wines – they just know that we have selected  a small range of the most reliable and delicious NZ wines. A lovely compliment and we are confident you’ll feel the same.

And for the evening barbeque you’ll be wanting to open a pinot noir – fabulous served with butterflied lamb, roasted salmon or something more gamey if you’re enjoying a pinot with heavier tannins. Take a tour of the Central Otago summer bottled into this trio of outstanding Pinot Noir wines.
Adding a little fizz to the season, here’s a quartet of sparkling New Zealand wines made in the Méthode Traditionnelle style, an absolutely elegant way to toast family, friends and everyday joys. Sparking wines are so versatile – they can top and tail a meal…some even choose to stay on the ‘fizzy’ all meal long. You can’t go wrong with this collection of beautifully made local wines, two from Waiheke and two from Central Otago. Bring on some bubbles for your bubble!
Visit us in store at 811 Mt Eden Road, or pop over to the website and we’ll deliver to your door.

Mi Barista di Casa

Influenced by our charming Fran & Marcela at Scarecrow Grocer, we’ve added a little Latina to our gift hamper offering. Mi Barista di Casa is for the coffee lover in your life, featuring NZ artisan roasted coffees and chocolate, double walled glass coffee cups, a stunning NZ placemat & more. Ideal for a twist on your morning ritual, or to savour a ‘short black’ after dinner with a fresh amaretti. Add on a Late Harvest Riesling to top off this hamper! We know you’re thinking about gifts for the holiday season, and we are too! So keep your eyes out for more hampers coming to the webstore very soon, we have some special treats lined up. We are always happy to create bespoke hampers, and Fran will discuss options. Order online or call the team to arrange your bespoke gift hamper. Fran & Marce are creative experts!

Lilac, Lavender & Lush Peonies 

Meander past Scarecrow Grocer and see nature’s bounty for yourself. Every season has its stars, and this time of year we must take a bow to the peony – their heavy heads open to reveal full & showy blooms that transform from intense colour to fading tints, and NZ grows some of the best in the world!  For many people they are ‘the’ favourite. Coming along now is Lilac: a flower that represents Renewal and Confidence – we sure need that right now! It may well have been your grandmother’s favourite, it was for mine!  Or, pick up a pot of fragrant lavender to enjoy on a balcony or get established in your garden. Call the florist today on 09 377 1333 ext 4, or shop online in our flowers department.  Your support has been phenomenal over the last few weeks, and we are full of gratitude, thank you!

Picnics with Scarecrow

Sunny weekends, lighter, longer evenings… one word: picnics! Luckily we’ve sourced the most stylish sustainable picnic-ware in Auckland. New Natural’s reusable plates, bowls, mugs & utensils are wonderfully chic, super durable, and what’s more tick all the environmental boxes. We of course have all the picnic goodies to complete the picnic picture. Call ahead on 09 377 1333 & preorder one of our new picnic hampers with cheese, artisan bread, dips, heirloom tomatoes and all sorts of other goodies. Add a little sparkle from the cellar, or perhaps a kombucha from the drinks fridge. Our loaf cakes are a perfect addition to a picnic basket! (GF available.)


NZ made cheeses…

We love it, you love it. New Zealand made cheese is among the best quality, most acclaimed cheese on this planet. We continue to add new artisan NZ made cheeses to the chiller, and will be adding these to our website in the coming days. We’ve got well-loved Over the Moon, Clevedon Buffalo, Grinning Gecko & Mahoe, and are thrilled with our new arrivals from Moody Cow & Tasman Blue from the upper South Island. You can find our full range from passionate NZ artisan producers in the fridges in both our stores, so pop in to see the selection. The team will talk you through their favourite ways to serve these creamy delights. 811 Mt Eden Road or 33 Victoria St East.



Order a Scarecrow picnic to go

You can now order your Picnic-to-go online from Scarecrow. With 24 hours notice, we will put together a delectable picnic you can enjoy with your bubble(s) at the nearest park or beach. Order a DIY Double Bubble or Ready-to-Go Double Bubble picnic hamper online today!


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