29 Apr Mother’s Day and May Magic
Recently we joined friends, family, neighbours and volunteers to pick their olive crops.
Pickers included all ages, from children through to grandparents, all focused on the task at hand. As the day warmed up layers of clothing came off and the excited morning chatter resolved into a quiet hum around the trees. Dogs and babies played or slept in the shade.
I was reminded again of the role of community and of the collective work around harvest. The tradition of gathering together for harvest season is age old. Its rewards are many: knowing a food source has been harnessed, accomplishing a shared task, exchanging fresh ideas with new acquaintances over a ‘post harvest’ meal, all of these things are a joy. For generations farmers have lived according to this rhythm, preparing land, sewing seed, caring for crops and harvesting the result of months, even years, of work. However the tragedy of the pandemic has resulted in devastation for so many farmers who have been unable to complete harvests and consequently have had to ‘waste’ so much of their crop. So while I reflect on our day of joyful harvest I know that so many others have not had this satisfaction and will see little reward for the work that is their primary income. I think we are all increasingly conscious of food security, as I have previously discussed, the global tremors now affecting the food chain due to climate change, cost of production, war, pandemic are seismic in scale. More tough times lie ahead and the cost will not lie solely with the farmers. Even a terrace or small garden can become a productive food source and will give you a lot pf pleasure when you pick and eat from your own garden! If you haven’t done this before, take the time to read about gardens, or chat to neighbours or friends who are growing and harvesting successfully. Perhaps this is a good place to start thinking about our own food security and how we can each do something toward achieving this.
With the return to longer evenings comes our return to Wine Tastings! Our first tasting will be dedicated to all the Mamas out there! Connie Festa from Peacock Sky will run a tasting at 5.30pm on Friday 29 April at Scarecrow Mount Eden and in the Victoria St East store on Saturday 7 May – just ahead of Mother’s Day. We have limited space so you do need to book the Friday evening event.
Our Mother’s Day Menu runs from Friday 6 May to Sunday 8 May (because we should be toasting mum every day, right?). Our menu celebrates the occasion with a glass of Peacock Sky Reserve Blanc de Noirs 2016 on arrival accompanied by a small ‘amuse bouche’’ to share, and we celebrate the season with a menu focused on funghi. Enjoy our house-made Portobello & Porcini Ravioli, finished with a Vincotto & White Truffle Dressing, and, to complete your meal, our Scarecrow Tiramisu. Just $50 per person. Simple and delicious, as we believe good food should be! Make Mum the centre of your table with the addition of a posy in a vase that we will then pop into a bag for her to take home for an additional $60. Bookings required! Email your reservation to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 09 377 1333 (xtn 2).
Mushroom Duxelles Recipe
Autumn is Mushroom Season! Thinking about seasonal foods I have to include a note on Mushroom Duxelles. You will now be seeing more mushrooms around, all sizes and shapes, increasing varieties are available. Damp weather permitting, you might even be foraging mushrooms! Some mushrooms will be the star of the show and you will grill them, pop them in a pan with butter, garlic and salt, or stuff and roast them; but what to do with the stems? Some mushrooms are more modest in appearance, and these you can chop and mince these your heart’s content!
Use Duxelles as a topping for crostini, on your pasta and risotto dishes, in a pie or an omelette – or as an accompaniment to venison or other red meats. Really, there are endless ways to use a delicious Duxelles!
A classic, basic Duxelles is simple (you can keep your mushroom stems and chop them up with other ’simple’ brown mushrooms). Start with very finely chopped onion and a bunch of fresh herbs (any of thyme, rosemary, parsley are suitable), cooked gently in a pan of unsalted butter (or substitute olive oil if you prefer), then add your finely chopped (or minced) mushrooms, a good grind of black pepper and crushed sea salt; you will need a ratio of about 1 medium brown onion to 500gr of chopped mushroom. Cooking will take about 1 hour or so. It needs to cook until it has become a paste, finish it with a good dash of either medium sherry or brandy (sherry adds a little sweetness) and cook a little longer until the moisture has evaporated.
If you wish to experiment further try adding ground nutmeg, crushed garlic and 100gr or so of finely chopped walnuts midway through the cooking. Truffle oil can be included towards the end of the cooking. It’s a fantastic base for vegan dishes if you use olive oil or a vegan butter. Great autumn food that is versatile, nutritious, rich and satisfying.
Cheap & Cheerful Eats for the Month of May
We have some lovely ways to help you spoil the mother figure in your life this Mother’s Day. Sunday 8 May is just around the corner so don’t leave it a moment more to start your preparations!
Mother’s Day is about experiences as much as gifts. Life is so busy these days & it can be hard to find a time to get everyone around the table to connect & create memories over good food and wine. Mother’s Day is the ideal opportunity for you to gather siblings and parents and come into Scarecrow for our very special Mother’s Day menu, running Friday 6, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May from 11am to 2pm. Bookings are required!
As an additional surprise for Mum, the Mama Crow Posy can be ordered for the centre of the table, presented in a small vase and popped in a bag to take home. Gorgeous, huh?
We’re kicking off wine tasting season with not one, but two events hosted by the wonderful Connie Festa of Waiheke Island’s Peacock Sky. If you’ve been to one of Connie’s tastings before, you’ll know she is a fabulous host with plenty of great stories and an impressive knowledge on all things wine. Connie will be coming to Scarecrow Grocer at 811 Mt Eden Road this Friday 29 April from 5.30pm to take us through a selection of Peacock Sky wines; and then again for a very special Mother’s Day Bubbles Tasting from 11am – 1pm on Saturday 7 May at Scarecrow in the City, featuring the ever-popular Blanc De Noirs. Bring Mum along for what will be an entertaining session with delicious bubbles to boot! This is an excellent way to celebrate Mum this coming Mother’s Day. Spaces are limited so please do book in advance by sending an email to email@example.com – and as a bonus we’re offering 10% off Peacock Sky Wines and 5% off our entire cellar selection when you purchase at one of our tastings!
Mother’s Day Hampers
Show Mum you really care with one of our beautifully packaged limited edition Mother’s Day Gift Hampers.
The Labour of Love Hamper is just right for the mum who loves to nourish her family and the earth! This hamper includes a variety of four organic Winter Planting Seed packs from Little Sun Seeds, a Sophie Conran bird feeder, Blue Earth Soap & Hand Cream, a relaxing scented candle and a beautiful NZ made gift card.
For a little fizz, choose the Sparkling Mama Hamper, including a bottle of Peacock Sky Reserve Blanc de Noirs, an Ali Davis Linen Vintage tea towel and a Telle Organic Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Bar. The perfect gift to say I love you Mum!
As well as these thoughtfully composed hampers, we’ve also updated our existing range, meaning you’re sure to find something that will delight your mama. Browse the full range online – we deliver Auckland wide.
Flowers for Mum
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about flowers for Mum! Our florist has created a range of gorgeous NZ grown bouquets and posies for the mother figure in your life – there’s something for everyone. Like our classical , Lady Madonna Bouquet a cool, calm contemporary bouquet of classic neutrals perfect for your timelessly elegant Matriarch. Or perhaps the Dear Mama Bouquet; a modern, vibrant arrangement of earthy copper & lustrous jewel tones expertly arranged to say “you are appreciated”. Take a look over on the website for the full range and be sure to get those orders in quick smart.
A Brand New Menu at Scarecrow in the City
To finish on the fabulous subject of food, our brand new Autumn menu is now live! Our Chef has created a selection of new seasonal dishes that will delight your tastebuds and warm your bellies. We’re so lucky with the fantastic produce available to us in our little corner of the world, come in and taste for yourselves the delicious creations that Chef has devised. Favourite new additions? Our daily Lunch Board – always seasonal, always fresh – and a new section, Small Plates. Grab one for a light lunch on the go or pile several onto the table to enjoy with friends, and a glass of something lovely from the wine menu. We look forward to seeing you at Scarecrow in the City for breakfast, brunch or lunch very soon!