Saturday, February 9, 2013

Meals in New Zealand

BeachLunch
This is a typical lunch in New Zealand (or anywhere that sells peanut butter, for that matter).  The view wasn’t always a beach, but it was almost always gorgeous.  Generally there would also be an apple or yogurt, and some kind of cold drink, which are not completely visible here.  Simple, cheap, and reasonably healthy.  Also, very flexible—we didn’t have to plan our day around being somewhere we could buy lunch.  When we started to get hungry, we’d keep our eye out for a pretty spot.  When we found one we liked, we’d pull off, make our peanut butter (and Jelly too, for David) sandwiches, munching away while watching the scenery and reading.  

If you think that would get old, keep in mind that this is the same lunch that David had packed in his bike bag to work for the last 15 years, for similar reasons: cheap, healthy, and practical (for a bike commute).  This trip involved a lot of big changes, but it wasn’t about change for change sake (which is the philosophy of a cancer cell, after all).  Where old routines made sense, we had no objection to falling back on them.  Sometimes we’d have cheese instead of yogurt or fruit.  We know—wild and crazy, huh?  Actually, we pretty regularly diverged; any time there was a market, we’d make a picnic lunch from whatever looked good there.  The meal below started around some Prima Donna cheese we saw, and after getting components from four additional vendors, we had a fantastic lunch ready to assemble. 
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Also, when we're based in a larger city and have a kitchen, we will eat lunch at a restaurant while we're out sightseeing and later, when we’re footsore and ready to be “home” after walking all day, we make our own dinner in our hotel kitchenette.  Lunch is usually cheaper at restaurants than dinner is, and it’s pretty easy to cook a healthy and cheap dinner at home.  Below, we had a tomato and avocado salad, and pasta with crushed tomatoes and goat cheese, and toast.  Simple but delicious.
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A few times, we even made dessert, like this apple cinnamon crumble, served with ice cream.  Okay, so much for healthy, but it was really good. Also, Lana gets a little nutty if she never gets a chance to flex her baking muscles. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s fun and so tasty it’s worth it.
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If we could just come up with an easy dessert made with peanut butter (and limited to only a couple other ingredients) we’d be in heaven.