Monthly Archives: August 2014

French flag blowing in wind.

French Flag Flies at Otaki | Murray Lloyd Photography

French flag blowing in wind.The French flag was flying again at PukeKaraka Marae in Otaki where guests assembled for Ruth Pretty’s “Casssoulet and Karaka Trees”, a Wellington on a Plate event.

Fr. Jean-Baptiste Comte, a French Roman Catholic Priest founded the mission at Pukekaraka 170 years ago in 1844 and brought with him a typical French passion for food.

Pukekaraka Marae in Otaki, New Zealand.
Pukekaraka Marae

Together with local Maori, Comte built a flourishing community with three flour mills, maize, wheat and food crops that supplied shops in villages from Otaki all the way to Wellington. Was this the first Wellington on a Plate?

Guests being invited onto Pukekaraka Marae in Otaki..

Ruth Pretty and her father Eric.
Ruth and her father Eric

After a formal welcome onto the marae by Ngāti Kapu and an appropriately crowing rooster, guests were invited into ‘Hine Nui o te Ao Katoa’ which translates into ‘Mary, Great Woman of the Whole World, Woman of Light’.

Hine Nui o te Ao Katoa, Pukekaraka, Otaki.Interior of Hine Nui o te Ao Katoa at Pukekaraka Marae in Otaki.Interior of Hine Nui o te Ao Katoa at Pukekaraka Marae in Otaki.

Dressed in 1840's attire, Fr. Phil Cody prepares to say Grace
Dressed in 1840’s attire, Fr. Phil Cody prepares to say Grace

Baked potato and eel rillette by Ruth Pretty.Guests dined on baked potato and eel rillettes before the much anticipated cassoulet was served with a salad of pear, walnut and perennial greens

Menu with Ruth Pretty's cassoulet ingrediants displayedWellington on a plate event by Ruth PrettyCassoulet and salad.Guests dining at long table.

Wellington on a plate event by Ruth Pretty
Ruth explains the difference between lambs lettuce and miners lettuce
Rawiri leading the singing at Pukekaraka Marae.
Rawiri Rikihana leading the singing
Wellington on a plate event by Ruth Pretty
Chef’s Donna Carkeek and Terry Morris being acknowledged

Wellington on a plate event by Ruth PrettyA walk up the ‘Cavalry ‘ was needed after the wholesome lunch where Rawiri Rikihana gave a short history of the area.

Wellington on a plate event by Ruth Pretty

Wellington on a plate event by Ruth Pretty
Fr. Comte lived in ‘Ohaki’ on top of the hill when he first arrived at PukeKaraka

Wellington on a plate event by Ruth Pretty St Mary’s Church provided a fascinating backdrop with both local custodian Irene Mackle and Mary McLeod (Martha’s Pantry) giving an intimate account of the beautiful interior. Restored lovingly in the early 1990’s it was easy to see why this Church has the highest Historic Places rating. Built in 1859, St Mary’s is the oldest Catholic Church that has been in constant use in New Zealand

St Mary's Church at Pukekaraka Marae.

Wellington on a plate event by Ruth Pretty

Wellington on a plate event by Ruth Pretty
Irene Mackle
Wellington on a plate event by Ruth Pretty
Irene Mackle and Mary McLeod
Wellington on a plate event by Ruth Pretty
The 1974 painting of the Otaki district is by A. Keller, but has subsequently been retouched to remove any human presence and lengthened to improve perspective

Wellington on a plate event by Ruth PrettyWellington on a plate event by Ruth PrettyWellington on a plate event by Ruth PrettyWellington on a plate event by Ruth Pretty

Iphone photo of little French Cakes on plate by Ruth Pretty
Little French cakes

Wellington on a plate event by Ruth PrettyFr. Comte flew the French flag to signify feast days for special prayers. As champion of harmonious relations between Maori, Europeans and Priests I am sure he would have had no hesitation hoisting it once again  for Ruth’s “Cassoulet and Karaka Trees”

Close up of tubs of mushy peas with fish and chips.

Mobile Fish ‘n’ Chips at Quainton | Murray Lloyd Photography

Mushy peas or curry sauce with your Fish ‘n’ Chips? Quainton, a very cute English village of about 1200, located just north of London, gets visited every Wednesday evening from 5.30 – 8 by a mobile fish and chip van.

Howe and Co have been delivering fish and chips from “coast to door” for more than 80 years, currently making hundreds of stops to more than 90 villages in a 50km radius. New Zealand does not have the same mobile service with fish and chips (although Mr Whippy hints at this) but we do at least have a mobile butcher.

The mushy peas certainly add a fresh colour to the golden tones but the quality of the fish ‘n’ chips did not match the high standard of service. Maybe I am spoiled by the excellent quality easily found in New Zealand.

Thatched roof house in Quainton, EnglandThatched roof house in Quainton, EnglandThatched roof house in Quainton, EnglandQuainton Garage in EnglandVillage store sign in Quainton Village.Howe and Co fish and Chip mobile van in Quainton Village, England.Howe and Co fish and Chip mobile van in Quainton Village, England.From coast to door signage on side of mobile fish and chip van.Howe and Co fish and Chip mobile van in Quainton Village, England.Howe and Co fish and Chip mobile van in Quainton Village, England.Close up of fish and chip dinner.Close up of tubs of mushy peas with fish and chips.

Pulled pork bagel from Wholly Bagels in Wellington.

7 stands, 3 lights and a bagel | Murray Lloyd Photography

The saying photography is 90% “moving furniture” and 10% photography was proved when I was asked to photograph one pulled pork bagel for Wholly Bagels in Wellington.

On location, at night, saw three lights, one background, two diffusers, two bounce boards and seven light stands in action. Pulled pork originated in the southern states of the US but seems to be everywhere now.

Pulled pork bagel from Wholly Bagels in Wellington.