Tuesday 9 February 2016

Aussies prevail on Waitangi Day with a sweet and spicy Italian number.

Aussies prevail on Waitangi Day with a sweet and spicy Italian number.

On Waitangi Day I headed off to the stadium to see NZ play Australia in a one day cricket match. I am always keen to see us take on the Aussies. Unfortunately, from a NZ perspective, wins against the arrogant men in yellow (or as the Australians would say, gold) are not all that common. That does mean that when NZ wins the victory is very sweet.

This was the second of a three match series and NZ had comprehensively won the first game. Beware the wounded Aussie.

The weather was great and we had seats on the sunny side of the stadium. Watching sport in the afternoon sun is one of life’s great delights. Although NZ batted adequately you did wonder at the innings break if they were 20-40 runs light. After an impressive opening stand by Australia the game was already in the bag, and they duly batted their way to victory.

I had brought some snarlers to nibble on during the game. These were sweet and spicy Italian sausages from Cameron Harrison. These are a medium to coarse ground sausage which has good texture in the mouth. They are made of a beef and pork blend. Added to this is a complex and balanced flavour achieved by paprika, hints of pepper and a piquant of fennel. There are also other flavours that I could not distinguish. This sausage is a great eater. It achieves this by having layers of flavour that complement each other. It will not be to everyone’s liking - it does have heat, but this is not too strong. My mate said to me as he munched on a snarler - this certainly tantalises and awakens the tonsils. Another one commented that this was as hot a sausage as they would want to eat.

I consider this sausage to be the best sausage I have brought from Cameron Harrison. It is similar in style to the Italian Banderia made by Westmere Butchery in Auckland.

So it was an enjoyable day sitting and watching cricket on a beautiful warm Wellington day. The result was not to my liking; however this was ameliorated by consuming some very enjoyable sausages.

And in the final match of the series NZ prevailed. After looking gone for all money NZ clawed back and beat the Aussies to retain the Chappell – Hadlee Trophy. Happiness reigns.

Cost per kilo: $20.99

Monday 1 February 2016

There was no beer and sausages - Part Fourteen

There was no beer or sausages – Part Fourteen

Yesterday I completed the Jumbo-Holdsworth Trail Race. This is a 24km mountain run that I have completed eight or nine times previously. After having run the route in an anticlockwise direction in all the previous events, I decided to complete the race clockwise this year. The route is a short one k up the river valley before you turn left and ascend for about 7k to Powell Hut, you then continue to ascend to the summit of Mt Holdsworth at 1470m. There are a few k along the undulating ridge to Jumbo at 1405m. Then follows a descent to Jumbo Hut. There is a very steep descent down the Rain Gauge track to Atiwhakatu Hut, and then a gentle 7k down the river valley on a graded track. It all makes for an interesting Saturday morning.

For a variety of reasons it was not a good day. The weather was ideal for running in the hills, not too hot, minimal wind, low cloud cover, and an occasional bit of drizzle to keep you cool. The body never really got going, mid way through the event I concluded I was not going to run a great time, so I eased off and treated it as a training run for the Tararua Mountain Race in five weeks’ time. I took forty minutes longer than I should, however I felt could easily run another ten or so k at a similar pace when I finished. Going along the ridge over the tops the cloud parted to give views into the upper Waiohine Valley. This is impressive rugged bush country, it is what being in the hills is all about. It makes you feel great to be alive. The photos on this post are all taken from the net, the image of the cloud shot was similar to the cloud that hung from the top of the ridge and went deep into the Atiwhakatu Valley.

The organisers of this event do a really good job, the event has a very nice feel, it is organised by people who do it for the good the mountain running community, it is not a corporate money making event. They always put on a good feed, with a barbecue at the end. A great way to refuel the body. I had bought additional beer and sausages for the finish.

For the later section of the event I felt like was going to be sick. Any food I put into my stomach from the barbecue was going to grace the grass shortly afterwards. I realised that I should eat something, so I consumed two oranges. I had brought sausages – lamb merquez from Park Avenue Quality Meats and an IPA The Vandal from Panhead Brewery in Upper Hutt. These were not consumed and went home untouched.

So there was no beer or sausages. However in the circumstances this was the best for all concerned. I do know that at the next event, the Tararua Mountain Race, in five weeks’ time that beer and sausages will be present and they will be gratefully consumed at the end of a hard day in the hills.

For other parts of this series, click here.