28 Feb Making Home Your Haven
Kia Ora Scarecrow Readers,
Keeping the frame of our focus small, I want to highlight the steps Scarecrow has taken in response to the latest iteration of Covid.
- We will CLOSE MONDAYS in both our stores
- We will operate Victoria St East with 2 separate teams to give the business the best chance of keeping our doors open
- Our Earth Harvest Dinner, scheduled for March, has been cancelled
- In the coming week we will put a revised Take Away Menu online
- Our Ready Meals continue as previously
- Our florist must receive orders by 2.00pm Friday for any weekend deliveries or pick ups
- Monday – Friday deliveries can be same day if they are received by 2.00pm
With the expectation that Omicron will peak in a few weeks time, and simultaneously border restrictions will begin to ease, we look forward to better times ahead for businesses in Auckland. Having said that, there will be continued impacts in so many ways; a good example is the severe supply chain issues that will inevitably affect us all. We encourage you to continue shopping locally and we commit to trying to keep you supplied with carefully considered products.
I am constantly being reminded to be kind to myself, especially since losing my mum. Undoubtedly this means different things to different people: walking, swimming, meditating, reading, gardening or simply taking a nap. For me it often means just being quiet at home, in spaces that I enjoy, that I find calming and inspiring. It’s good to take time to appreciate the privilege of our homes. Making home your haven is what we are thinking about in this newsletter at such a challenging time in our world.
Looking to the world outside our borders it is devastating to witness the tumult in Ukraine and Europe, wrought in a world desperately trying to emerge from the pandemic. However far you care to cast your gaze, locally or internationally, there is social dislocation, upheaval, discord and polarisation, even here in Aotearoa. Each of us in our own ways are responding to what feels like a more dangerous and fragile world and for many finding someone to blame is an old but menacingly resilient response. It seems many want to find someone to accuse, someone to bear the brunt of our anger, hurt and despair, someone to hold responsible. Let’s try to foster tolerance, kindness and patience, otherwise we must beware of the new crisis that will surely emerge from this visceral blame culture. Let’s remember to make our homes a shelter from the storm.
Recipe: Figs, French Beans & Smoked Duck
It’s fig season! One of my favourite fruits and they’re so versatile, you can use them in sweet or savoury dishes. This week I was at a friend’s farm and couldn’t believe the bountiful crop of White Adriatic figs dripping off heavily laden branches. A delicate pale green skin with rose-coloured flesh on the inside, they were sweet and juicy. So, you already probably know that a fig like this wants to be eaten then and there, right under the boughs of the tree, but if you can get them home carefully without bruising, you can dress them up and share them with your best friends! So, here is a simple recipe to enjoy this succulent seasonal beauty.
Firstly, understand the figs won’t really keep well for long, keep them cool when transporting but don’t put them in the fridge – you will find they loose their delicate flavour.
Serves 6 to 8 (a generous entrée dish or a light lunch)
About 12 fresh figs, quartered
200 grams of Pecorino or Parmesan ribbons (use a peeler for this). If you prefer you can use bocconcini or mozzarella instead.
600 grams lightly cooked and cooled French beans (steam the beans for about 4 minutes, drain, then plunge into cold water)
200 grams lightly toasted and roughly chopped walnuts (Uncle Joe’s from Central Otago are excellent)
200 grams Manuka Smoked Duck Breast (optional), As an alternative, you can use Prosciutto.
Ground Black pepper and salt for seasoning.
50ml Rosemary or lavender infused honey (or a local bush honey, not too dark and intense)
1 heaped teaspoon whole grain mustard
100ml olive oil
50ml red wine vinegar
Whisk honey into olive oil, add mustard and vinegar, shake well.
On a large, flat serving dish scatter the beans, sprinkle with walnuts, pecorino shavings and finely sliced duck breast, season with ground salt and black pepper, finally top with fig quarters. Drizzle with dressing. Serve with warm crusty ciabatta or rosemary sourdough.
Harking back to linen…
Take a moment to pause and reflect on the way our grandparents lived. The practices they followed may, in today’s fast-paced world, seem long & laboured. The quality of materials they used now overtaken by things that are much easier to mass-produce. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can really transform your home, humble or grand, into a haven. Which leads us to the latest stunning range of Ali Davies linen tea towels. We think our grandparents were onto something – linen is long-lasting, it dries better and it is far more sustainable than traditional cotton. You can see for yourself what an utterly gorgeous addition these will make to any home. Do browse our Ali Davies range next time you are in store at 811 Mt Eden Road or 33 Victoria St East in the city. We’d love to show you in person.
It’s true, turning daily habits into rituals can make something as simple as making a cup of tea into a moment of tranquility and pleasure. Instead of a hurried, half-cold morning cuppa before you rush out the door each morning, try this. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. Use a quality teapot (we have plenty to choose from at Scarecrow), and a brew that will support you – feeling stressed? Choose something calming. While your tea is brewing, take a few deep breaths… Pour tea into your favourite teacup. Consciously choose one you love, or has meaning; perhaps one from your grandmother’s passed down tea set; perhaps one of the feelgood ceramic mugs we have in store. Find a quiet spot to savour your brew. Smell the aromas, taste the flavours. Breath deeply in, then out; be present in appreciation. Continue to sip the tea, and try to stay in the moment. A little like meditation, a simple tea ritual each morning can really start your day right. Try it 🙂
A picnic… at home🤎
Weather-wise, February & March are traditionally some of our loveliest months. Crisper mornings hint at the imminent change of season. Whilst things are uncertain still, why not choose to have your picnic at home, with friends & loved ones. A way to treasure those close over delicious food; a way to celebrate your little nook in this big, busy world. Scarecrow has a carefully thought-out range of picnic hampers made to order, so you can simply collect & go. Have a look at our options online, or give the team a call on 09 377 1333 to pre-order. Make the most of our glorious late summer days, whether that’s at home or in a leafy park nearby, with a picnic from Scarecrow.
Cheers to that…
It’s no secret the Scarecrow Cellar is one of our (and your!) favourite places to hang out. In selecting our offering, we have focused on local independent wineries prioritising organic, vegan & natural wines, and you can find selected NZ craft beers & ciders there too! In short, in the Scarecrow Cellar you’ll discover the perfect drop to enjoy now, for dining at home or to age in your own cellar. Pop in to 811 Mt Eden Road & see for yourself – or shop our full range online.
Cakes & loaves to enjoy with us
With such talented Patisserie chefs, you’ll forgive us for drawing attention once more to our delectable, beautiful cakes and loaves. On any given day, you’ll find our tempting, freshly-baked treats in the cabinet at Scarecrow in the City, available by the slice (or 2!). If you’re looking for a solution for a birthday celebration or other event, simply let us know in advance & we will make you a whole cake from scratch. Perhaps you’d just like to curl up with a cup of tea & a sweet treat in the sunroom at home. Just tell us what your heart (and tastebuds) desires, and we will make it happen. 💛
New In: Opito Bay Salts
Brand new to the Scarecrow shelves, a product we absolutely adore! Opito Bay sea salt has been carefully crafted through the combination of three key ingredients: sunshine + patience + love, from the Coromandel’s pristine Opito Bay. Pure sea water is hand-gathered, then settled, filtered and carefully evaporated in sunshine to create big, translucent crystals which bring out the coast’s unique minerality. A handy addition to any kitchen, and makes a wonderful gift – plus how lovely is the packaging! Find Opito Bay Salt in store at Scarecrow Grocer, 811 Mt Eden Road, and Scarecrow in the City, 33 Victoria St East.