Easter at Waiheke Island in New Zealand is always special. For starters there is the annual Jazz Festival that kicks off on Good Friday at the Rangihoa Olive Oil Estate. This year 1000 people thronged onto the lawns, relaxed, indulged in great food truck fare, tastings of cold pressed oils and sipped on wine. There was a chance to sample the local ‘herb spread’ and Julie Biuso’s tasting platters, whilst being soothed with the rhapsodies of visiting musicians. I love it.
Then there are the beaches. We stayed at Onetangi this time. It was perfect with teens who sauntered the strip finding mates to hang and surf with. The ultimate was an invitation for home-made pizzas with strangers. We found ourselves in a beautiful home, an indoor outdoor feel, with three generations intermingling as pizzas were formed on the open kitchen bench. For hours we seemed to make and create. First Grandad had it sorted, but kids jumped in for their turn, and everyone’s eyes were on the platters holding the wood charred bases as they left the peel and were flipped with ease onto printed greaseproof paper.
The event was the perfect scenario for cooking together. The pizza oven was a pivotal point for a congregation of folk, chatting and checking on the dough. The kitchen bench was laden with ingredients where people nourished new relationships whilst creating a meal together. It was a joining together of families and foodies who just wanted to share their lives and their journeys and to let each other shine. From gluten free, to fresh to fussy, everyone was catered for and fuss free. It was sublime.
With a Foodie Podcast about to launch it felt the perfect moment to break out the microphones and interview our hosts. From the 13 year old ‘I quit sugar’ daughter who is passionate about food and health, to a Mum who is supporting and honouring her choices, to a Grandad who is still on a journey of learning around cooking and food – what an episode they make!
It was Easter Sunday. It was a time for family and togetherness. Many of us didn’t have our own extended families, but for that day we shared bread and engaged together in the process of a meal that formed new friendships and broke boundaries between children. It was precious. Thank you to the family who welcomed us into their home – we are no longer strangers 🙂