Lucky Bitches

So the weekend before last I was in Auckland attending our annual sisters' reunion. There are four girls in my family, no boys. This is usually a weekend in either Auckland or Sydney and involves copious amounts of food, booze, giggling, bitching and sometimes tears.

This reunion began with foot massages and yum cha at Pearl Garden for which I was not present, instead I was standing at the kitchen sink grumbling about everything being organised far too early for my tastes, when I realised I just needed to go back to bed for a couple more hours (I had spent the previous day travelling 13 hours from Canberra to Auckland because I had decided to save money and catch the bus from Canberra to Sydney)

So the real get together began Saturday night. I collected kokoda and uni from the Nola's fish shop,


whilst other sisters bought oysters, salmon sashimi, crab, pipis and mussels.

Our dinners when held at my older sisters' are usually a movable feast. First off someone popped some champagne and then I decided to make guacamole with corn chips to serve with the kokoda, a la mexican kokoda that had worked so well when I made in March in NZ....the combination of Pacific Island style fish ceviche with mexican accountrements works and I recommend you try it.

We drunk more

My sister made the pipis and mussels smoked inside the bbq.


We drunk some more

I made kina spread on bruschetta with a bit of butter, salt and pepper and lemon. I had intended on serving it raw but it had a strange bitter after taste that Japanese uni doesn't tend to have so I decided that grilling it would be better. It was. Although reactions to the idea of kina bruschetta by my sister's partner's Maori and Pacific Island work mates was one of confusion "Kina...hmmm....Bruschetta????" Kina Bruschetta is an abomination to anyone that grew up fishing and diving in the Pacific seas.


Then we decided we were full....the live crabs sitting in a bucket in the garage probably thought they had made it past dinner


But then a few hours later came a second wind. We plunged them into hot water, pried back their heads and quartered them and threw them on the brazier


The night ended with cheese, whiskey (seconded from our father's booze cabinet) and a card game that couldn't be won on account of the fact that a number of cards were missing from the deck but everyone was far too drunk to notice


Sunday morning rolled round and began with my sister's spelt flour pancakes served with strawberries, yoghurt and maple syrup. An indulgence that made me wonder where the indulgence was.

We then went cockling at Cornwallis


Once everyone had collected their alloted 50 cockles each we recounted them and threw back the littlest ones



We headed for the grass for a rest beneath the pohutukawa trees, the classic red flowering tree of NZ often called the NZ Christmas tree.


Until we decided we were hungry again

So lunch of smoked salmon, salmon sashimi, cockles, bread and every single condiment we could find was amassed on the table in addition to a salsa verde I whipped up from my sister's kitchen garden.



We peeled off. I had a nap, others went for a walk and the littlest went home to feed her kitten. We reconvened at another Huia beach for a high tide swim


We returned for one last mammoth eating effort, lentil salad, toulouse sausages, tomato ragu and watercress, avocado, pear and walnut salad.


And said goodbye for another year.

1 comments: zillund. Thanks for this lovely account!


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