Real Community Dinner

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In association with Kai Auckland my partner and I organised a ‘Zero Waste Ancestral Dinner’ for my community group Tãmaki WRAP (Waste Reduction Action Project).
Kai Auckland is an initiative lead by the Auckland City Council that encourages communities and people to come together with food and work towards a more resilient food culture.

We chose to have a ‘Zero Waste Ancestral Dinner’ with emphasis on nutritious, economical, real food for the following reasons:

    • Real food aligns with WRAP’s waste reduction philosophy
    • If you take a real food approach you literally and figuratively cut out the junk, not only is it healthier for you but you cut out the excessive packaging of processed food
    • We acknowledged our Mãori and Pacific ancestors through ingredients such as puha, taro, kaimoana and coconut
    • Our meal referenced food from a few generations ago that was humble but nutritious

Our Menu

Starter:
Mussel fritters with puha and rewena bread
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Main:
Roast chicken, taro, sautéed silverbeet, carrot, ginger, and onion in coconut cream
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Dessert:
Coconut and banana sago pudding
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Everyone either helped with the food preparation, cooking, or set up of the dinner. Recipes were swapped, and food insight and knowledge was shared and discussed.

We also did a ‘real food vs fast food’ cost comparison of our main meal that nearly halved the cost of it’s fast food rival.

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Despite taking our eye off the sago for a minute which led to a slightly burnt taste everyone raved about it so here’s the recipe:

Coconut  and Banana Sago Pudding 

(Makes about 4 generous servings)

Ingredients:

1 cup sago

Sugar to taste – approx 1/4 of a cup

1 x 400 ml can coconut cream

2  bananas

Directions:

Cover and soak sago in cold water for an hour, then drain.

Add sago to a saucepan with enough water to cover and simmer until pearls become translucent (water may need to be topped up a bit and watch it doesn’t catch, stirring as required) approx 20 minutes.

Chop bananas and add them to sago with the coconut cream and sugar

Cook for a few more minutes until banana begins to soften.

Serve!

Special thanks to the Glen Innes Mad Butcher for providing our chicken for the night and Huckleberry Farms Glen Innes for supplying our tapioca flour. 🙂

Real Rewena Bread

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(Rewena is a Mãori transliteration of the English word leaven.)

Rewena bread is made from a starter of boiled potatoes, sugar and flour that is left to ferment for two days before baking. This was my first attempt in which a few lessons were learned;

• I probably shouldn’t have oiled the baking tins as it made the crust very hard

• The temperature may have been a bit hot (200°) will try 180° next time

• I will cover the loaves with baking paper next time, at least for the first half of cooking time

• Will try shaping into loaves next time and bake on a sheet

Despite the hard crust the bread was delicious and I think I have a new obsession. I fed my starter some sugar this morning and I will be boiling some potatoes tomorrow for its potato water feed. Bless its warm, vinegary smelling, pasty fermented heart.

Recipe:

Boil two potatoes in unsalted water to mashing consistency. Leave the potatoes in the water to cool until lukewarm. Mash the potatoes in the water, add a teaspoon of sugar and two cups of plain flour. Mix together and knead into a firm dough. Put in a bowl and cover for at least 24 hours.

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After 24 hours add 1 1/2 cups warm water and roughly 5 cups of flour to get to a soft dough consistency.

Knead for around 10 minutes. Put aside a small amount of dough to save as your starter for next time.

Divide into two loaves and press down into greased or lined tins, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for a further 24 hours to roughly double in size.

The recipe I loosely followed suggests to bake the bread at 200° for 1 1/2 hours. I initially put my loaves in at 200° but turned down to about 180° as they were looking on the dark side and then took them out after an hour.

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To look after your starter, feed a teaspoon of sugar alternating with boiled potato water on a daily basis, and keep in a warm place.