Oh, Auckland, you’re weather sucks right .
It was really my fault for not checking the forecast, considering it’s at the same level with the often rainy and gross Melbourne.
So skydiving didn’t happen – pretty much the most upsetting part of spring break.
Which means I absolutely must come back. But when I do, it’ll be for at least two weeks [10 days], which is the time frame I keep hearing anyways.
I guess you could say I’m domesticated because one of the best parts was cooking… after Kyle buys the ingredients and before Flo washes the dishes. Kind of the perfect setup, I would say.
Asian Market next door and rather expensive restaurants/cafes around the city meant eating out was not really a good option anyways.
Well, not counting the NZ$2.50 burger from a small café on the road to Bay of Islands. Not the best burger, but I was still surprised by what they could do with $2.50 for a burger.
Also not counting the mini super rice (lamb, chicken, falafel with rice) from kebab stand in mall found whilst exploring Auckland after getting off the 9 hour flight that refuses to serve food (damn, Jetstar). It was quite an adjustment to see a NZ$7 meal that was the same size as a S$4 meal.
“Spicy” Korean rice cakes. I only put “spicy” in quotation marks because I thought it was perfect, but Kyle and Flo needed milk to wash it down with milk. Randomly threw in glass noodles (not made of glass, as I made someone believe) because we decided on dessert spring rolls instead of savoury ones.
With edamame. It’s been so long since I’ve had edamame, which is funny because I have a bag in the freezer.
Apple, brie, and cinnamon brown sugar spring rolls with 16.2% mango dipping sauce [not pictured]. Learning to fold a good one was quite a process, and there were some pretty ugly looking ones [reason why they're not pictured] (reminder: look up what the I Love Ugly store actually sells). The dipping sauce was just because the guys had many boxes of rather questionable (but free) mango juices that they asked me use up. I really couldn’t place the taste of it; it was definitely not mango.
And the night ended in an ultimate fatass sesh, during which we ate the spring rolls with peanut butter, nutella, peanut butter and nutella, and disgustingly bright orange caramel sauce. When we ran out of apples, we filled one with all the aforementioned toppings plus one awfully sweet marshmallow (not my favourite) and another with a Babe Ruth (also not my favourite…would’ve been better with a Snickers or Twix).
The next round of “spicy” Korean rice cakes involved a reduction of the chili paste from ~5 tablespoons to ~1.5 tablespoons and the addition of ~5 tablespoons of this interesting coconut jam (not the same as kaya). After my kaya was taken away and just as the depression was setting in, I saw it on the bottom shelf near the checkout counter… unfortunately it was more expensive than the neighbouring product – coconut jam – so went with that. Was better, I am told.
Ultimate goal was to use that Duty Free whiskey in some sort of dessert after finding a recipe for apple cinnamon scrolls (replay goodness in Sydney) with Jack Daniels cream cheese frosting, which would’ve required too much planning around time as most yeast products do.
So banana bread it was.
More like a gooey banana chocolate chip cake (because the damn thing just wouldn’t bake all the way through and apparently I didn’t know how to use the oven) with whiskey peanut butter icing improvised after failing to find either powdered sugar or cream cheese…and refusing to use too much butter.
Not the best thing to consume before going out – gives me a false sense of how much alcohol I can handle. Apologies for ruining the night.
Never got around to experimenting with the coconut jam and mango juice together, but throw in some pineapple or banana [flavouring?] and that could be something potentially delicious.
Fake chicken Pad Thai [not pictured]. Fake because the 2 for $7 bags of prewashed salad seemed more useful/appealing than the old-looking bean sprouts. And fake because I went for pre-made Pad Thai sauce in a bag because Kyle wouldn’t ever use fish sauce or tamarind juice again.
But add random assortment of sauces...and peanut butter, and it makes for a decent dinner.
So fancy. [Almost as fancy as those microwave udon noodle bowls which begged for peanut butter and the Korean chili sauce. Peanut butter is kind of the greatest thing ever.]
Red wine and garlic marinated lamb (cut unknown) with lasagne noodles and spinach [not pictured because I look stupid in the picture]. Hastily put together at the hostel in Bay of Islands because we thought we could go night kayaking. Had to steal two dollops of butter from a random container by the stove and tossed the noodles in the pan drippings to simultaneously add flavour and clean up the pan a bit. [I don’t think I’ve ever seen a town so dead, so void of people…and bars so full of preteen boys. Sat in the hot tub in the drizzling rain, instead, because night kayaking doesn’t happen until October.] With tropical juice + vanilla Absolut = yummmm. Forgot to mention how I got three boxes of juice because I had a pretty lengthy dream about apple juice... from Mackers.
And too many peanut butter and nutella sandwiches to count.
Last meal of pork, salad lettuce, and glass noodles (“I thought these were worms”) spring rolls that were too ugly to photograph yet again. They basically all exploded, oops. Made “chips” with cut up spring roll wrappers.
But again, add random assortment of sauces (plum and sweet soy), and everything in the world is okay again.
I still smell and feel like oil.
Tagline of the week:
“It could be worse.”
Being in nature always makes things better.
Though I didn’t see much of New Zealand, I’ve decided that it seems like one giant playground. This is probably solely based off seeing the hills of grazing sheep near a school and a giant crater in the middle of the city. I quite miss having that soccer field across from my street in Los Alamos.
I really don’t want to resume class [not happy about resuming class].