Friday, April 16, 2010

Hihi Olive Estate

On March 9th, we left for New Zealand to help with the 2010 olive harvesting. Our friends in Hihi raise a variety of olives on hundreds of trees. With that number of trees, help is always needed when the olives ripen and must be picked. This season, not all the trees were bending over with the weight of the fruits. The water situation in the Far North may have a terrific impact on the oil and olives this year. We sure hope not! The ground was extremely hard and dry. Large cracks had formed, wide enough to sink your foot into at the base of the trees. The trees varied in the amount of olives that were produced, some with a
handful and other trees with baskets filled to the brim.

In spite of harsh weather conditions this fall, the Hihi Olive Estate continues to produce award winning oils to sell throughout New Zealand.

Here are a few pictures of the groves and landscape.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nuts about nuts!

A few days ago, I had an urge to bake something with macadamia nuts. I found a sight on Amazon where I could order them by the pound.......low and behold, they arrived today and the baking frenzy begins!

You are now viewing the box of ten pounds of raw, broken pieces of nuts, truly decadent and equally healthy. So, where does one begin cooking or baking?

Banana Macadamia Nut Bread

2 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. of sugar
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. of packed brown sugar
3 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. Cinnamon
1 1/4 c. mashed bananas
1 t. vinegar
3 T. vegetable oil
1 egg
1 c. coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1/3 c. milk

With mixer, blend all the ingredients together EXCEPT the macadamia nuts in a large bowl on medium speed. Mix three minutes or until everything is well blended. Add nuts and stir with spoon until incorporated into mixture. Pour into well greased 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes . Easy!!!

So, I only have have 9 and 1/2 pounds to go! Will be busy roasting! Fortunately, the nuts can be frozen and remain in good shape for a year.