This yr, Matariki took on a a lot deeper that means for us as Wanao. Whereas Matariki has all the time been a time for remembrance and honoring of those that handed from this world prior to now yr, we by no means anticipated our grandad, Koro Don, to be the individual we will likely be honoring this yr. Grandad, the central pou (pillar) of our whānau, handed away unexpectedly only a few brief weeks in the past.
We honored him in true ‘Grandad’ type throughout Tangi’s week-long keep at his residence – cooking all his favourite kai, feeding the crowds that got here in what we won’t assist however be a mirrored image of the fantastic and beneficiant manakitanga (hospitality) he and Nana have provided through the years , to many.
Boil cooked over a fireplace in outdated railroad irons by the Hanī pit, pots of meals simmered on the stomach range within the ranger’s truck within the yard—sure, he had a practice in his yard, and boy did we youngsters adore it. A number of loaves of ruina bread had been made day by day with a starter that he fondly referred to as Polly, after the late Nana.
Then there have been the massive bowls all of us made for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the beautiful ones that the cousins stored in a marquee, whare kai, for individuals who came to visit through the day for his or her cup of tea. The jar was all the time sizzling, and there was all the time a seat on the desk in our little Marai.
The final day was Kai Hakari – the feast of all holidays. Utilizing hanji stones, baskets and sacks with which he had been cooking for 60 years, the boys lit a fireplace simply after daybreak to start the hanji course of. After Grandad has been underneath the grasp hanji-maker for many years, it’s time to put into observe all they’ve realized, and the knowledge imparted from the “pit grasp” actually comes into play.
It was superb and fantastic to witness, as the new ash was dug up, the red-hot stones glowed within the morning mist, and the steam created when moist sacks slid over baskets of meals, erupted like a geyser. We knew on the time, that this Hanji, the primary one made with out our grandfather, would make him proud.
It appears acceptable, as we strategy Matariki season, that we honor our ancestors as Wano by sharing Kai and their tales. Matariki symbolizes a brand new starting, and this yr marks a brand new period in our household – the altering of the guard, the passing of the wand. A brand new era of hango makers and dough kneaders, prepared to hold on the legacy.
And with that, I wish to share with you two very particular recipes that you could make at residence, maybe as a strategy to bear in mind your family members, or to rejoice the approaching yr.
I walked again into the long run, my eyes centered on the previous.
(Transferring one’s previous into the long run implies that our ancestors are all the time current)
Oven cooked hanji with native herbs
This was Nana’s approach of constructing “hanji” within the consolation of her personal kitchen, particularly within the winter. No drilling wanted, no wooden to burn, no stones to warmth! It was mimicking the best way my grandfather places his hanju within the yard, with water being a vital issue for optimum steam, leading to essentially the most tender and succulent kai. And remember the salt as Grandad always reminds us. Seasoning the meat makes an enormous distinction to the style!
My variations through the years embody the unique rongoā, as a strategy to convey the earth aspect into hanji, and I’ve used a number of the commonest natives – tarata (lemonwood), kawakawa, and purple matipu. Tarata oozes spicy lemony taste all through because it steams, kawakawa peppery, minty aroma, and matibo purple a delicate apple perfume. You need to use any of those if you wish to improve the flavors of Hanji. You can too use any reduce of meat, however pork, lamb, and rooster are Hanju’s favorites.
Cooking it at 200°C for the primary hour causes the leafy greens and greens to brown on the bottom and sides of the dish, creating the delicate smoky taste that Hanji is understood for.
For the package deal:
Elective: just a few handfuls of purple Tarata, Kwakawa and Matipu leaves, nonetheless on the stems
1 massive outer leaf cabbage and/or a mix of inexperienced leafy greens,
For instance silver beets, watercress, kale, poha and spinach
4-6 pork chops, ideally the shoulder
4-6 items of lamb, ideally the shoulder
4-6 rooster thighs
2 pears, peeled and reduce into 3 cm items
4 potatoes, peeled and reduce into 3 cm items
Half a pumpkin, peeled and reduce into 3 cm items
Every other root vegetable of your alternative, eg. Yams, carrots and parsnips
A bunch of recent herbs nonetheless on the stems, for instance. Sage and thyme
1 cup of water
For the filling:
8 slices of bread
1 onion reduce into cubes
1 grated medium carrot
2 tablespoons of combined herbs
2 teaspoons of salt
100 grams of melted butter
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
1. To arrange the filling, chop the bread into small items by hand or in a meals processor. Mix all elements in a bowl, and put aside.
2. Salt the meat effectively on either side. Line a big, deep roasting dish with purple tarata, kawakawa, and matipu leaves, simply to cowl the bottom. Add a few layers of cabbage leaves and/or different leafy greens to set the bottom and sides, then add the meat evenly everywhere in the roasting dish. Add the reduce greens over the meat, in any indentations, and place a handful of the filling on high. Place just a few bundles of herbs on high of the plate.
3. Pour water evenly over the entire plate, and canopy with two extra layers of leafy greens, adopted by a layer of tarata, kawakawa and matibu purple. Cowl tightly with two layers of aluminum foil.
4. Cook dinner for 1 hour at 200°C, then decrease the temperature to 150°C and prepare dinner for one more 2 hours.
5. Take away from oven and punctiliously take away foil, high layers of herbs and leafy greens. Serve instantly whereas steaming sizzling, and benefit from the genuine aroma of Ronghua that Hanji has infused.
Apple pie pudding with manuka honey cream
This scrumptious, heat dessert has all of the hallmarks of a comforting midwinter pudding with a pinch of nostalgia—the dumpling topping is rather like Nana’s making—not like a sponge, however extra like a steamed pudding lined in golden sugar.
And there is a particular ingredient right here that makes this pudding a lot extra…. ginger beer. Merely pour ginger beer over the entire pudding earlier than you pop it within the oven and you will have a scrumptious caramel sauce that coats the apples. Served with cream with manuka honey and vanilla, it looks like pure consolation.
Serves 6 to eight
For the apple filling:
6 Granny Smith apples (or a mix of Granny Smith and Gala)
Half a cup of white sugar
⅓ brown sugar (tightly packed)
2 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon floor cinnamon
50 grams of butter, reduce into small cubes
1 cup ginger beer
To arrange the dumplings:
1 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Half a teaspoon of salt
Half a cup of white sugar
100 grams of chilly butter, cubed
2 tablespoons of uncooked sugar
To arrange the manuka honey cream:
1 cup of cream
1 tablespoon of sentimental Manuka honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Preheat the oven to 180ºC, grease a medium baking dish (roughly 23 x 30 cm) with butter and put aside.
Peel and core the apples and reduce into slices lower than 1 cm thick. In a big bowl, combine apples, white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Stir till apples are evenly coated and switch combination to ready baking dish, spreading evenly. Lay the butter cubes evenly over the apple combination.
To arrange the dumplings, add the vinegar to the cup of milk and depart it for five minutes till it dissolves. In a medium bowl, whisk collectively the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add the butter cubes and rub them into the flour combination together with your fingers till they resemble coarse crumbs and there are nonetheless pea-sized clumps of butter all through. Add the “bitter” milk and stir simply till mixed – do not over combine, it is okay if there are lumps.
Utilizing a small spoonful, spoon dumpling combination over apples, leaving gaps between them as they’ll unfold out throughout cooking.
Pour ginger beer over the entire dish, together with the dumplings. Sprinkle the dumplings with uncooked sugar and bake for 35-45 minutes, till the fruit has burst and the dumpling layer is golden brown. Depart to chill for quarter-hour earlier than serving, and serve with manuka honey cream or vanilla ice cream.
To make the manuka honey cream:
Beat cream, manuka honey, and vanilla with an electrical mixer or a rotating egg beater till smooth peaks type. Do not overbeat or the cream will crack – you need cream, not butter!
Crystal Lowe is a author and meals photographer primarily based in Manawatu. Her e book Kai: Meals Tales and Recipes from My Household Desk gained the Judith Penny Award for Greatest Image Non-Fiction Guide on the 2023 Ockham New Zealand Guide Awards.