20 Sep You Can Help Us… Support Local Now!
|ALERT LEVEL 4|
At Covid-19 Alert Level 4 our physical stores are closed, but we are open for online orders for delivery – no pickups till we go to Level 3. Please be aware couriers are currently slower than usual. Deliveries are made by a courier using contactless protocols.
Hello from Alison
I have a couple of things to ask of you in this newsletter.
In Auckland we oscillate between hope and despair, a little like the spring weather, a pendulum swinging between the promise of summer and the wild gusts of winter as we battle the fatigue of COVID. You already know that many businesses are teetering on the brink, for some this Level 4 lockdown is a death knell. At Scarecrow we are particularly aware of the impact on flower growers. Flowers, those symbols of love united, of love lost, of grief, of friendship, of celebration and commemoration. We take them for granted to some extent. Flowers are a large international industry, and some bigger NZ Flower growers do participate in this international market. However, many of our growers are small, passionate growers, whose blooms serve just their local communities. They rely on the purchases you make from florists, from the supermarket, from a local farmers’ market and for your special events and occasions. It is a perishable and fragile product. So, we ask you to think about buying flowers sometime soon for a lover or a mother, for a friend or a family member, for a colleague or a neighbour and certainly for yourself – yes, that’s definitely worthwhile, and even encouraged! Many events, such as weddings, were not possible at various times over the past year or more, and again this season the flower growers will be nervous about what the next few critical months hold for them. You can help by purchasing flowers. Our florist team will be back with their magic fingers hard at work from Level 3.
Another major threat emerging out of the Covid lockdowns is how to support the hospitality industry. We would be so incredibly grateful if you purchased one of the products we make in our kitchen. We began making things for you to enjoy in the comfort of your homes as a result of the Lockdown Level 4 last year. It has been a steep learning curve for us. But we have some GREAT products made by our talented team and they are available now online for you to purchase. In the last couple of weeks we have been developing some new products – including dessert pies, we think you’re going to love them! If everyone who receives this newsletter buys just one item we will be over the moon! And if your favourite Scarecrow item isn’t in stock yet – just wait…. it’s coming! We are making product as fast as we can. We would be hugely appreciative of your support right now!
Finally a recipe. Last newsletter I shared the Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola recipe – inspired by the abundant greens in our garden and the new season watercress in our stream (thanks for the great feedback!). This week I’m still inspired by what comes easily to hand. Growing wild by the roadside are the emerging fennel fronds, so vibrant in colour and smell. In our garden is the perpetual spinach and spring onions, and of course those crazy chickens out the back making plenty of eggs now the longer days are here. Well, this just spells Greek Spinach and Feta Pie to me!! So, we now have it for sale in our chiller at Scarecrow, or, you can make it at home (see my recipe below).
A word about feta. Not all feta is born equal! I much prefer the crumbly kind; traditionally feta is a product of sheep or a combination of goat and sheep’s milk. Cow’s milk makes a wetter, creamier and thicker feta (higher in calories too). It doesn’t have the crumbly, drier texture, nor does it have the little acidic bite that is so characteristic of a good feta. So, I recommend you try to buy a sheep’s feta. Also, it’s a brined cheese, so it is reasonably salty. You don’t need to add much salt to the recipe here as the cheese does that job for you. There are increasing numbers of farmers getting into sheep milk production; there are many benefits – including for the land and environment.
Spinach & Feta Pie
4 eggs, beaten
400 grams wilted greens (you can use spinach, silverbeet, beetroot leaves – great mixed up together!)
250 grams fennel (you can use the fronds or the bulb, or both. If using the bulb you need to grate it)
4 spring onions, chopped finely
150 grams feta, crumbled into small nuggets.
Pastry – either filo (traditionally used in Greece) or make or buy a pastry (flaky is a good alternative to filo)
We will use filo here. You will need 50grams of melted butter and 50mls olive oil mixed together to brush your pastry layers.
Pre-heat your oven to 175C.
Wash your greens and chop them roughly (you can use the stems too in this recipe – just cut them finely). With the moisture on the leaves, put them in a pot with a fitted lid and wilt them on a low temperature for a few minutes. Tip them into a drainer, allow them to cool. Gently squeeze the wilted greens to remove excess water (don’t pulverise them… just a gentle squeeze will do!).
Put the eggs into a large bowl, beat. Add 1 tsp salt.
Add all other ingredients and mix through the beaten eggs.
Open your filo pastry packet. It dries out very quickly, so just take 9 sheets out of the roll and put them onto a damp tea-towel. Put the rest away. Use a medium-sized pie tin with a removable base, you can use an oblong tin if you don’t have a round one (about 16cm diameter).
Layer 6 sheets on the base (save the remaining 3 for the top), using a pastry brush, coat every second layer with the butter & olive oil mix; allow the pastry to drape over the sides of your tin. Turn your tin so that you have pastry sheets draped evenly around the tin. Now pour in the mix. Fold the draped pastry over the filling, brush with butter mix. Now take the remaining 3 sheets of filo and place them on top of the pie, and using the damp pastry brush gently tuck the pastry down around the sides of the pie, like tucking in a bed sheet. Brush the remaining butter mix over the top. Place into your hot oven for about 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and looks puffy.
Serve with a tomato, olive & red onion salad and a leafy green salad. Enjoy!
Scarecrow Grocer Online
We hope soon to reopen the doors to Scarecrow Grocer, 811 Mt Eden Road, but have you considered shopping online for the products you love? Check out our range of Kiwi breakfast spreads, including honey & ever-popular nut butters (here’s a tip, for a nutritious snack to fill you up, put them together on toast, mmmm) from our favourite local producers. Have a browse through Scarecrow Grocer online – we are adding new household items regularly.
Ready Meals are go!
Since last week, a skeleton team has been getting creative back in the kitchen. Not only so our chillers are stocked with Scarecrow made goodies, but to ensure we have new, delicious things to give you a night off cooking. Like our Greek Spinach & Feta Pie which is incredible accompanied by garden greens for lunch or dinner. Scarecrow Vegetarian Lasagne has had a revamp, do try our new recipe! We think we love this version even more, if that’s possible!
We’re making sweet pies
When you have a French pastry chef in the kitchen, you let him get creative! Aurelien is responsible for all of the sweet Scarecrow cabinet goodies you love so well. Lately, he has been working on a selection of dessert pies which by all accounts are the bomb! To start, try the brand new Summer Berry & Almond Cream Pie, and Caramelised Pear & Apple Vanilla Cream Pie. Close your eyes and take a bite, you’ll feel like you’re back in Paris! Order online now for contactless delivery within Auckland.
Fed up with home schooling?
We know the home learning is not easy, but why not get them involved in the kitchen for some sweet relief. Scarecrow Grocer online is now stocking baking packs, as well as individual pantry items, meaning you can avoid the supermarket queues, and tussles over flour! For a quicker, equally delicious option, local business Secret Kiwi Kitchen have some fabulous options. We recommend our SKK Baking Combo, combining their famous Triple Fudge Brownie Mix & Dark Chocolate Cake & Cupcake Mix. Treat yourself, online now!
Fingers crossed for flowers
It’s been tough watching our NZ flower industry suffer during this Delta lockdown. The sheer wastage of gorgeous product & extremely hard work, has been heartbreaking. We are crossing every finger & toe that Wednesday will see us waking up to flowers again. Please, help us support our local growers by purchasing Scarecrow flowers online. We’ve put every necessary precaution in place to help keep things safe. Follow our updates on Facebook or Instagram – we’ll let you know as soon as any Level 3 news comes in!
Send a Scarecrow Hamper!
In times like these, a little kindness can go a long way. Luckily, Scarecrow has a fabulous selection of gift hampers for every occasion. There’s the Immune Boost Box to nurture and restore, the Chocolate Festival for absolutely divine indulgence, our supremely popular Pollinate Bee Box and much more. Have a look at our range online now! And while you’re there do pop across to Scarecrow’s online Cellar, which as you know is 100% filled with local NZ wines, craft beers and ciders. Treat yourself, treat a loved one. Shop online now for contactless delivery across Auckland.
We hope to be in Level 3 very soon. Sorry to bid farewell to long walks and calm days on the island, but we’re certainly ready to get back to work! Scarecrow will reopen in Level 3. In the city you can buy grocery items, takeaway food & drinks (hooray for barista coffee!); in the Mt Eden Store we will be fully open as a Grocery Store, Wine Shop and Florist. We are already open online for Gift Hampers, Wines & Beers and Ready Meals.