29 Nov Reasons to Celebrate!
We are excited. It’s not just the festive time of the year with crimson Pōhutukawa flowers bursting from their buds in Albert Park; it’s not just the warming weather; it’s not just the quickening pulse of the city winding up; it’s the arrival of the long awaited moment for cafés and restaurants to re-open their doors to customers!! While we have seen many of you in our city store to shop, we have not had the pleasure of serving you at our tables for some months now, and that’s surely what we do best! Jump in to town soon, we await you with open arms!
Recently I again discussed with one of our city business leaders about the critical development of Auckland City Centre, to bring a lens to the city with less focus on business and more focus on development of infrastructure to support families and children to live successfully in our inner city – bringing inter-generational vibrancy and sustainability to our city. This is the natural mechanism to support business, hospitality, retail and the web of associated services that flourish when a city centre is a viable option for all ages to thrive in. I’ve written about this before. It troubles me greatly to see the fringes of Auckland creeping out, with satellite communities being built on vital agricultural land and services required to support these communities, while at the same time the central city has enormous investments in transport and other infrastructures without critical services (schools, family apartments and more safe play-parks!) being developed simultaneously to encourage families to consider city living. Auckland City Centre has so many advantages: a beautiful waterfront; a greener city centre quickly evolving, increasing emphasis on pedestrians and people-powered transport; parks fringing the city offering space and opportunity to fulfil community needs; constantly improving, integrated transport services; theatres, cinemas, concert venues; as well as the Art Gallery, universities, hospitals, and the nearby Museum and maunga offering plenty of ‘on your doorstep’ adventures. Let’s get family-friendly in our city and offer quality living options to the many who would appreciate the opportunity to live in the beating heart of the biggest city in NZ. If we are looking for a safer, more economically secure and socially integrated city, Auckland must embrace all age groups and demographics. Are we serious about addressing Climate Change? If we are, we must bring people together to live in integrated and supported places where walking and cycling to all amenities are truly an option. Buildings that are likely to not be required as parking buildings (or offices!) into the future can convert into schools and apartments. I return to this subject as we struggle to emerge from the impact of the pandemic, we know this is a long road and there and more tortuous turns on the horizon, but the devastating consequences of having a minimal city population demonstrates just how important it is to review the meaning of ‘city centre’. It’s not ever going to be a successful place if it exists as an isolated island of commercial activity, a city centre is dependent for its livelihood on the people; let’s design it better for the people.
Outdoor gatherings have been wonderful to extend our social opportunities, I wonder how many of you, like me, have tried to avoid the Covid conversations, only to find it is compelling and you are drawn back to this (often vexatious – or “vacc-atious” as some would have it) discussion? Here’s hoping we can put all that on hold for a few weeks of a summer break… and we are on countdown for that!
Now, a recipe. Here’s something very tasty and simple that you can prepare in advance for a picnic or for party platters. It’s a recipe from my days in Paris, and 30 years later it’s still a great favourite with me, especially in the summer season. You can slice it or make it into ‘fingers’. You know how some recipes are really precious? Well, this is one of those. I learnt this from a wonderful woman who was part of a group of ‘older ladies’ who hosted new arrivals to Paris (many of us young mothers), we cooked together, learnt French in their homes and shared our stories.
So, here is Françoise’s “Olive Loaf” (Gateaux aux Olives)
200 grams green olives, cut in halves (stuffed with peppers if you want red flecks through the loaf)
2/3 cup white wine (I use whatever white might be open in my fridge, Chardonnay or Sauvignon is ideal)
2/3 cup olive oil
200 grams grated Edam (or Gruyere)
200 grams plain white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 x large bunch Italian parsley, chopped
Pre-heat oven to 175C. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs, whisk in olive oil and white wine then add the chopped olives and parsley, grated cheese and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl mix the baking powder through the flour, add ground black pepper to taste. Stirring well, sift the dry into the wet ingredients. Pour into a loaf tin and bake for about 45 minutes, until the loaf is slightly risen and firm in the centre. It will look ‘foamy’ at the edges, this is the olive oil. Remove from the oven when cooked and cool in the tin, the olive oil will reabsorb into the loaf. Do not cut the loaf until it is chilled or fully cooled.
Happy Hanukkah to everyone celebrating the Festival of Lights this week.
Bon appétit and see you soon!
Friday 3 December – Scarecrow in the City reopens!
How we have waited for the day Scarecrow in the City and all our hospitality neighbours can reopen to you. Our kitchen team & front of house staff have done incredibly well in adjusting to the restricted trading conditions over the past 100+ days, and we are all so ready to resume life as ‘normal’. We are delighted to fling open our café doors this Friday 3 December! Of course there will be new adjustments, and we hope our community understands certain requirements under which we must operate, including scanning your vaccine pass. But our doors will be open; our team ready for you, our cabinet filled to the brim & our brand new menu launching. We cannot wait to welcome you back into our central city oasis. Make a booking now! See you soon!
French Pastries – Mais Oui!
Each morning, our kitchen team turns out freshly baked treats under the guidance of our French chef Aurélien. With a passion for patisserie, Aurélien’s cabinet selection has been adored by so many of you over the years; not least in recent months when a sweet Scarecrow treat has provided temporary comfort in times when not much else has been certain. We’ll be ramping up our pastry selection in anticipation of our doors at last opening for dine-in visitors. Come in early – these rarely last beyond lunchtime!
Our New Menu
Over the past weeks Chef & the team have been working on our brand new menu, which we’re thrilled to launch when we open on Friday. Peppered with new seasonal dishes as well as plenty of tried and true favourites, the new menu reflects the abundance of summer produce at our fingertips; just perfect for these warmer days. Try our new smoked duck salad, ‘Heart of the Mediterranean’ dish, or tuck into the new Sicilian House Made Pappardelle. Plenty more to see when you come in and dine with us!
We have a selection of stunning new arrangements in the florist department, like the gorgeous Masala Posy. A fiery, spicy & aromatic posy blending hot hues and radiant textures, the Masala comes in 3 sizes starting at $60. Order online or call the florist on 09 377 1333 ext 4 for pick up in store or delivery Auckland-wide.
Floribunda Rose Bouquet
Another new release to feast your eyes on! For sheer indulgent beauty, order our new Floribunda Rose Bouquet. Joyful bold roses ablaze in a mesmerising & wild bouquet. The florist department is busy cooking up floral festivity for your Christmas tables, soon to be live on the website – so stay tuned!
Focus on Chocolate…
Serious foodie Lucy Bennetto began her quest to produce the best quality Fairtrade chocolate in NZ with a trip to the Dominican Republic. Here Lucy saw the importance of ethically sourcing from an organic and Fairtrade cocoa supplier; not only does the chocolate taste better, it really does improve the lives of the local communities involved. This month Lucy has launched three brand new additions to her certified vegan, gluten free & organic range. We love the new limited edition ‘NZ Bird of the Year’ 60% dark bar, of which 100% of all profits go directly to Forest & Bird NZ to help protect the endangered Kakapo. Or for the true chocolate aficionado, try ‘Exceptionally Dark’ – with 82% cocoa this is Bennetto’s darkest yet, and it’s absolutely approachable we think! And if you were not yet aware, dark chocolate has proven health benefits according to Luscher, a top UK Cardiologist – read the Guardian’s perspective here. Personally, I like to finish a meal with a square of ‘Coffee in Madagascar’. Be warned though, Bennetto Chocolate is supremely moreish, though as every bite helps support a truly sustainable, ethical business, we don’t think indulging a little is bad at all! See our full range in store or shop online for Auckland wide delivery.
Lemon, Pistachio & Polenta Loaf
As always at this time of year, there is plenty to organise; end of year teacher, staff and client gifts, or simply finding the time to bake for the pre-Christmas street party. This year why not give the gift of baking? Scarecrow has a selection of house-made loaves which make for thoughtful, delicious tokens of appreciation. We’re very excited about the new kid on the block; our Lemon, Pistachio & Polenta Loaf. With no gluten containing ingredients it’s perfect for those with intolerances. Perfectly moreish and wonderful for sharing. Grab one (or several) in store today!
Vegan Cheeses now in store
Adding to our range of NZ made vegan products is a brand new selection of non-dairy nut cheeses. Savour Vegan Cheeses are rich in protein & probiotics, individually crafted and aged in a cheese cave by an artisan cheesemaker. Try an inclusive cheese platter at your next gathering – these products are delicious crowd-pleasers and sure to satisfy even the non-vegans in the room! We’re also now stocking Raglan Vegan Aioli which is very versatile, and very good! Scarecrow is constantly adding to our vegan offering, so stay tuned for more incredible products coming soon.
Scarecrow Deli for Gatherings
Did you know Scarecrow has one of the best Deli offerings in Auckland? From house-made cured meats, pasta sauces and pickled mushrooms to the best of New Zealand’s artisan cheeses, dips, breads and summer produce including heirloom tomatoes, seasonal asparagus & Earth Gem potatoes, you can shop online or visit either store to find all you need for a post-lockdown gathering.
If you know Scarecrow, you’ll know we care deeply about supporting local, and our environment. We strive to offer you the very best in NZ made items from the abundance of talented artisanal producers from around the country. If you’re looking for something sustainable this season, come in to either store to view our beautiful range of specialty items. Pay us a visit or shop online.
Award-winning 8 Wired
8 Wired Beer is here! We are thrilled to now stock a selection of 8 Wired beer in our cellar. From their bespoke brewery in Warkworth, the passionate team behind 8 Wired brewed their first beer in 2009 before being recognised as Champion Brewery at the Brewers Guild Awards. Enjoy a chilled beer with your meal when you dine in at Scarecrow in the City, or stock up from our cellar at Mt Eden Road. We even have a Hop Salad Bouquet & Beer pairing from our florist team!
Christmas Cake Reminder
Taiyebeh our Pastry Chef is not only a whizz at baclava, but she’s a dab hand at Christmas Cake too! So, this is a reminder before it’s too late that we are now taking Christmas Cake preorders through til 15 December. Our bakers have been very busy filling all the orders we’ve received so far, and if you’re wanting a fuss-free Christmas Cake solution we recommend letting us know as soon as you can. Ready for pick up or delivery from 1 December. Last delivery date 20 December.