I met Liz and Nathan through Holly, one of my students at the studio. Liz, a teacher, is currently in rehearsals as part of Theatre Whakatane’s production of Evita, as is Nathan, her husband, and Holly, whom I haven't seen in the studio in weeks due to various singing commitments. Their two exchange students, Tonje and Lilly, will be part of the backstage crew too. Dinner at the Minchington farm on Saturday night was not only gastronomically satisfying, the conversation was an interesting milkshake of life experiences, foodie opinions and various hobbies.
The Minchingtons moved to Taneatua after the Christchurch earthquakes. As I came up the driveway, I was greeted by their dog, Rua, and two puppies. JC sat in the back seat, making a loud racket, a mix of excitement and anxiety to meet new friends.
Liz had invited me for dinner numerous times, and I'm glad I finally took them up on the offer. The women took JC and I on a walking tour of the farm and nearby private track, with the dogs leading the way, trying their best to convince JC that running full sprint up and down the hills was the best way to enjoy the view.
Nathan remained at the house, as he was our chef for the evening. Food is serious business to a foodie, especially when you have a foodie guest. Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed by the spread.
On the kitchen bench was slow cooked tandoori goat, couscous, peacock and a green salad which included fig, grapes, walnuts and olives and blue cheese. I especially enjoyed the burst of the unique salty creaminess of a blue cheese, complimented by the sweet texture of a fig.
I thought it was wise to have a few of everything on offer, then come back for seconds. Unfortunately I got full quickly, and decided to leave room for dessert.
The dessert was a self saucing lemon sponge, served with cream or yoghurt. I had cream. It was a decadent, cold spring evening treat.
JC and I left around 9pm, and even in the darkness, it was unmistakable. She has a smile from ear to ear, and so did I. An evening among friends, and a spread many restaurants can only dream of.