WINTER

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Kiwi Dairy

When I was a child growing up in rural New Zealand we had a local shop which we called 'The Dairy'...as did most kids that grew up in New Zealand. My 'dairy' was the centre of the community where one went through the ranch slider covered in local notices and adverts to grab a bottle of milk or a loaf of bread, a hamburger or fish and chips, a newspaper and mixed bags of 'lollies' and packets of 'chips'....
kids hung outside on their bikes or swung their legs around the picnic table chatting and giggling....in the later years our dairy even had a shack style building out the back that had a pool table in it...a few coins meant an hours entertainment in a small village that lacked all of the usual teenage haunts...a half hour drive to the nearest cinema, cafe, restaurant or library...at the time a bit frustrating but, to be honest, we did not know any different and did all sorts of other things to entertain ourselves...in my case we went mushrooming, although I never ate them as the black pile that my father created out of the treasured, carefully selected and peeled fungi from the fields of dairy cows surrounding our home was of absolutely no appeal to my 12 year old self! Funny enough as an adult J'adore les champignons...

The delicious blackberries we collected were of much more appeal and we came home to make a sweet short pastry to encase these precious dark burgundy berries with a few apples to boost if we ate too many en route to the kitchen!

So basically if I was bored I entertained myself by cooking! With my mother by my side in my early years and home alone soon after...a great life lesson that still stays with me today...
The other great draw to the 'dairy' for all children was ice cream! Every dairy had a freezer full of huge brown cardboard cartons full of creamy Tip Top ice cream with flavours like orange chocolate chip, boysenberry, neopolitain, passionfruit, hokey pokey and mint chocolate chip! On top of the freezer there was always a white six cone ice cream holder emblazoned with the rainbow of the Tip Top logo, an ice cream cone distributor with single and double cones...and, if you were lucky, a chocolate melting machine which was used to dip the ice cream into after being securely tapped into the cone...then sprinkles of nuts or hundreds and thousands were stuck to the still warm chocolate...yum!

While living in London and France we often craved for these fabulous ice cream experiences of childhood...BUT it is impossible to get orange chocolate chip, hokey pokey or boysenberry ice cream outside the shores of NZ. We have had to settle for mint chocolate chip so that has always been the favourite of the house....

SO yesterday when Mike was trimming the last of the mint to rescue it before the first frosts turn it an undesirable black he set upon a mission to make his own Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream.

1/2 a cup of sugar was blended with a generous handful of fresh mint leaves and 400 mls of cream...into the ice cream maker till thick and creamy and in he threw 100 gms of freshly hand chopped shavings of dark chocolate...then into the deep freezer!

The official sampling last night with the 2 girls as chief judges was not a total rip roaring success!! 'Too minty', 'not green enough' and surprisingly 'too sweet'...so the junior members of family were not won over BUT I thought it was great as did Mike...a little less sugar would improve the recipe above but if you are in a position to give it a try please do and let me know how it went! I think we will call that one 'in development' but definately worth pursuing further...

1 comment:

Joan said...

Great Kiwi memories Glenis! Son Steve and Ann have just returned to Canada after three weeks in NZ. TipTop icecream was frequently on the menu. Gumdrop being a hot fav. On the way to and from the airport a stop must always be made at Pokeno for a big icecream.