Local Heart, Global Soul

July 27, 2012

Take-a-Way Tactics With Kids…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our children have a very particular habit… every time they see a MacDonald’s they start making big noises about wanting to eat there.  This doesn’t make sense on several levels; Firstly they know full well what their parents think of the quality of McDo… (we don’t call it “MacDon’t” for nothing! LOL)

The only time we consider eating there is when all other options look worse or, when there have been zero other food options in the vicinity (and that’s not very often, for which we are very thankful).

Secondly, on the very few occasions our offspring have eaten there they both confessed they didn’t actually like the food at all. Strangely enough the marketing seems to entrap them even though they know they don’t like the product.

Himself and I have just settled our things into the hotel for the night and Himself wants to go for a quick jog around the town and spy out what’s on offer on the take-a-way front, but a small battle of pester-power ensues because our children have spied a Mac’s just down the road.

Himself rolls his eyes as the kids plead and threaten not to eat anything else.  In the end I tell him to just leave me to talk sense into the kids and once he’s out the door I give them the bad news: Papa hates the stuff and won’t be buying it so instead the fish and chips we agreed on previously will be the only thing on offer.

There are two options available and you may pick either one of them but no whining will be tolerated. Option One: eat what is set before you and say Thank you. Option Two:  Go to bed hungry but do this in silence.

Both Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr. manage to squeeze in a few defiant protests and resolutions before Himself  gets back. He’s carrying fish ‘n chips wrapped in paper… funny how all  defiance utterly dissolved once it was unwrapped and the smell wafted out into the room.   Good old fish ‘n chips, the kids didn’t stand a chance!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 26, 2012

Palm Court Motel… Just the Ticket for a Tired Family.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are following the pages of our New Zealand tour, made in December 2011- January 2012. We have been visiting friends and family in the north of the North Island and are now slowly making our way south again, but this time via  the west coast of the North Island.

Himself and the kids managed to see the famous Waitomo glow-worm caves late this afternoon and now that we are heading for the hotel everyone is suddenly very tired and hungry.

It took quite a few phone calls at the visitor information centre at Waitomo to secure us a room that was suitable for our kids and for me on crutches, but this looks perfect.

We are staying the night in the Palm Court Motel  in Otorohanga which means a small back-track towards Hamilton but it looks well worth it. Himself and I bag the double bed in the living room and park both kids in the double in the side room.  There’s a microwave had we wanted to heat up a simple meal but we are opting for a take-a-way tonight as we haven’t bought any groceries with us.  This place would be ideal for a larger family too, and everything was clean and tidy so we are really happy with the place. Later we go over to the office to ask some questions and directions on how we think we want to proceed with our journey and the owners are really helpful with the information we need.

This is definitely somewhere we would be happy coming to again. The one and only downside was the noise of trucks passing on the nearby main road but  we were tired so after a short while we hardly noticed it and we slept soundly. Let’s have a look around.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 25, 2012

Flip-Flopping Around the Issue of Pavlova…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are always rivalries between neighbouring countries, and New Zealand and Australia are no exception.

For the majority of the population of course it’s an easy-going good natured thing… Kiwi’s have their fair share of jokes where the Auzzies are the butt of their humour and of course visa versa and it’s interesting that if a New Zealand sports team are paying Australia I’ll be cheering loudly for the Kiwi’s but I’m happy to switch allegiances and cheer for the Auzzies if for instance they are playing the Brits.

(Nations “down-under”should stick together after all LOL).

One area where Kiwis and their Australian friends are destined to never  agree however is whenever the topic of  the Pavlova dessert comes up. I did some research and Wikipedia (amongst other sites) tells me:

Professor Helen Leach, a culinary anthropologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand, has compiled a library of cookbooks containing 667 pavlova recipes from more than 300 sources. Her book, “The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand’s Culinary History”, states that the first Australian pavlova recipe was created in 1935 while an earlier version was penned in 1929 in the rural magazine.

The Aussies claim that  Bert Sachse created the dish at the Esplanade Hotel in Perth, Australia in 1935. In defence of his claim as inventor of the dish, a relative of Sachse’s wrote to Leach suggesting that Sachse may have accidentally dated the recipe incorrectly. 

Leach replied they would not find evidence for that “because it’s just not showing up in the cookbooks until really the 1940s in Australia.” (However, a 1937 issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly contains a “pavlova sweet cake” recipe.)

Of such arguments, Matthew Evans, a restaurant critic for The Sydney Morning Herald, said that it was unlikely that a definitive answer about the pavlova’s origins would ever be found.

“People have been doing meringue with cream for a long time, I don’t think Australia or New Zealand were the first to think of doing that.”   The first known recorded recipe named “pavlova” was published in the fifth Australian edition of Davis Dainty Dishes in 1926. However this “pavlova” recipe was not meringue based, but was instead a multi-coloured gelatine dish.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Meanwhile on the New Zealand side of the ditch… “Research shows the recipe originated in New Zealand. Keith Money, a biographer of Anna Pavlova, wrote that a hotel chef in Wellington, New Zealand, created the dish when Pavlova visited there in 1926 on her world tour.”

For me as a Kiwi, it’s simple: the Kiwi’s made it first… yes the Aussies might have had something they “called” Pavlova but since it was a cake or a gelatine dish then sorry it isn’t  the light and airy baked meringue treat covered in cream and fresh fruit that we know Pavlova as today…

…and as for the the argument  that the Auzzies “may have accidentally dated the recipe incorrectly”  ?  Sorry,  that’s totally implausible, and given that no Australian cookbooks carried the recipe until close to a decade  later, the well known Kiwi phrase “yeah right!” springs to mind.

I know there will be some Auzzies reading this, and I know you may well disagree…(you are most welcome to your own opinion, so we may agree to disagree) but for me this one is as clear cut as can be, since Anna Pavolova was actually visiting Wellington  in 1926 on her world tour.

The hotel chef invented  the dessert because  he was inspired by her tutu, draped in green silk cabbage roses.  The basic shape of the tutu was provided by a meringue case, while the froth of the skirt’s net was suggested by whipped cream.  To achieve the effect of the green roses the enterprising chef used slices of kiwifruit, then known as Chinese gooseberries.

Apparently it is also  mentioned in Anna Pavlova’s biography that she had the dessert made for her in Wellington… (but to be honest I haven’t read Pavlova’s biography so can’t verify that one myself). So there you have it … Pavlova… a very New Zealand  icon!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And now to the last New Zealand icon on the Kiwiana wall: the Jandal !

If you are not a Kiwi then your reaction to the word “jandal” is probably ” A What?”, accompanied by a puzzled expression.

Ok… let’s explain, you may know the Jandal well, but  in your neck of the woods it may well be called a “flip-flop“or a “thong” or “zōri“.

These articles of footwear  have been around since the times of the ancient Egyptians and some in various shapes and made from a variety of materials depending on the version of them that many cultures have.

One thing they have in common though is the strap that comes between the wearers big toe  and the other toes to hold them on, and the “flack, flack, flack” noise that they make when you walk in them.

Jandals are Kiwi summer-ware… what better shoes do you need in order to walk over hot beach stones or sand in the height of summer?  Great for getting changed in public swimming pool changing rooms, and easy to slip on when you need to walk down the drive to collect the morning newspaper or the post from the mailbox.

But…. many an Australian on holiday in New Zealand has come unstuck when trying to go shopping for jandals. In Oz they call these “thongs” so  invariably asking directions for these in a New Zealand shop has found them being led into the lingerie department and presented with a selection of  skimpy underwear.

My Dutch father has never lost the Dutch term (“Slippers”)  for these shoes either, and I can remember being embarrassed more than once as a teenager  as he called out to me  in front of my friends “remember to put your slippers on when you go outside“.  Of course now I know he was being cautious because I’m allergic to bees and I used to love walking barefoot on the grass, but my friends used to think it was hilarious and made plenty of jokes about it  that I didn’t quite appreciate being the butt of at the time.

July 24, 2012

This Kiwi is Polishing Up on Her Knowledge…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Lanolin  and tallow, necessary ingredients in shoe polish are  by-products of the wool and meat industries so neither New Zealand or Australia were ever  short of the stuff.

Dubbin was a waxy tallow based product that could soften and waterproof leather but didn’t leave a shine. In medieval times however shine wasn’t an issue, but by the 18th Century glossy shoes and boots became fashionable and so a variety of shoe polishes were developed, most of them using a base of  beeswax or lanolin, mixed with lampblack and were often called “blacking” or just went by the old name of dubbin.

In our home my parents  made a distinction between shoe polish and dubbin… we would polish our shoes with shoe polish (which usually added a brown or black colour as well) but when it came to waterproofing and softening our tramping (hiking) boots, we were always told to get the “dubbin”. From what I remember, there wasn’t any colour in dubbin but it had a very distinctive smell that was hard to get off your hands afterwards.

Wikipedia tells me:

The first shoe polish to resemble the modern varieties (aimed primarily at inducing shine) was Kiwi.

Scottish expatriates William Ramsay and Hamilton McKellan began making “boot polish” in a small factory in 1904 in Melbourne, Australia.

Their formula was a major improvement on previous brands. It preserved shoe leather, made it shine, and restored color. By the time Kiwi Dark Tan was released in 1908, it incorporated agents that added suppleness and water resistance.

Australian-made boot polish was then considered the world’s best. Black and a range of colors became available, and exports to Britain, continental Europe, and New Zealand began. Previously owned by the Sara Lee Corporation since 1984, Kiwi was sold in 2011 to SC Johnson.

Ramsay named the shoe polish after the kiwi, the national bird of New Zealand; Ramsay’s wife, Annie Elizabeth Meek Ramsay, was a native of Oamaru, New Zealand. It has been suggested that, at a time when several symbols were weakly associated with New Zealand, the eventual spread of Kiwi shoe polish around the world enhanced the Kiwi’s popular appeal and promoted it at the expense of the others.

So from this I learn the an Australian product became famous under a New Zealand symbol… should that maybe make it a national icon of both countries then?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Kiwi is the emblem of the famous shoe polish… this leads us nicely into discussion about New Zealand’s national bird,  an icon in it’s own right.

Wikipedia tells me:

Kiwi’s have the  genus name “Apteryx” which is derived from Ancient Greek meaning  without wings :(a-, “without” or “not” and pterux, “wing”)

Kiwi are flightless birds endemic to New Zealand, and are about the size of a domestic chicken. They are by far the smallest living ratites and lay the largest egg in relation to their body size of any species of bird in the world. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are five recognised species, two of which are currently vulnerable, one endangered, and one critically endangered. All species have been adversely affected by historic deforestation but currently large areas of their forest habitat are well protected in reserves and national parks. Kiwi are shy and usually nocturnal.  They prefer subtropical and temperate podocarp and beech forests, and have a highly developed sense of smell, unusual in a bird, and are the only birds with nostrils at the end of their long beaks.

Kiwi eat small invertebrates, seeds, grubs, and many varieties of worms. They also may eat fruit, small crayfish, eels and amphibians. Because their nostrils are located at the end of their long beaks, kiwi can locate insects and worms underground using their keen sense of smell, without actually seeing or feeling them. Once bonded, a male and female kiwi tend to live their entire lives as a monogamous couple.

During the mating season, June to March, the pair call to each other at night, and meet in the nesting burrow every three days. These relationships may last for up to 20 years. They are unique among other birds in that they have a functioning pair of ovaries. Kiwi eggs can weigh up to one quarter the weight of the female. Usually only one egg is laid per season. The kiwi lays the biggest egg in proportion to its size of any bird in the world. Eggs are smooth in texture, and are ivory or greenish white. The male incubates the egg, except for the Great Spotted Kiwi, A. haastii, in which both parents are involved.

The Māori language word kiwi (pronounced”kee-wee”) is generally accepted to be have originated from the sound of their call.
As a symbol the kiwi first appeared in the late 19th century in New Zealand regimental badges and during the First World War, the name “kiwi” for New Zealand soldiers came into general use, spread so that now all New Zealanders overseas and at home are commonly referred to as “kiwis”.
The New Zealand dollar is often referred to as “the kiwi dollar” and kiwi symbol is now famous around the world.

When I was looking for a pseudonym to blog under, it seemed logical to try and combine the New Zealand and Dutch sides of my life, Since “kiwi” is  totally recognisable as New Zealand side of me, the moniker “Kiwidutch” was an easy choice and one that fits perfectly!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 23, 2012

National Icons: I think Our Flag Should have a Silver Lining!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our visit to the small North Island town of Otorohanga,  known as the “Kiwiana”  town of New Zealand has prompted some delving into explanation and history of some of New Zealand’s best loved icons.

Cyathea dealbata” is the botanical name for a much loved New Zealand native plant:  the silver tree fern or silver fern. It’s also well known by it’s Maori names, Kaponga or Ponga . It got it’s common name in English due to the distinctive silvery undersides of the fronds of the plants after they are several years old.

In 1888 the New Zealand Native Rugby Team visited England and had adopted the silver fern on a black background as part of their uniform, the tradition stuck and was in due course taken up by various sports teams. In 1900 the fern leaf became a widely used trademark within the meat and dairy export industries.

The Secretary of State for Colonies approved the New Zealand Government’s proposal to substitute a wreath of fern leaves for the laurel wreath on the Governor’s Ensign in May 1908 to mark the occasion of New Zealand obtaining Dominion status and this wreath was in regular use until about 1935.

In military circles it’s use has also been widespread,  having been used as a distinguishing badge for New Zealand military formations, particularly during the Second World War, and was also used to mark the graves of New Zealand servicemen in overseas countries.  It appears on the New Zealand one dollar coin,  is used both commercially and by Government and many New Zealand sporting teams have incorporated it into their sporting team logos and/or names.

Such is the strength of feeling for the silver fern logo and association, that New Zealand Sports teams that use the silver fern as their logo include: the All Blacks (Rugby Union), the Silver Ferns (Netball), All Whites (football) … note the All Whites play in white and not the New Zealand traditional black due to football rules that state that black is the colour reserved for the strip of International  referees. The silver fern is still however incorporated into their white uniform, The Tall Blacks (Basketball), The White Ferns (women’s cricket), the Black Caps (men’s cricket), the Black Ferns (women’s rugby), the Black Sox (softball).

As a Kiwi I love the humour in the semi harmonised names of the New Zealand national teams, that incorporate the black strip and the silver fern as much as possible into their teams to cement their inclusion in the national identity.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

With the present (official)  New Zealand flag looking very much similar to it’s Australian equivalent,  and debate that has raged for decades as to the relevance of having the UK’s union jack incorporated our flag when the days of empire have long since departed, campaigns to replace the current official flag with a more modern one relevant to New Zealand have come and gone.

Personally I’m an mega-ardent supporter of the Silver Fern flag with it’s black background becoming the national flag of New Zealand, but each time it’s come close to making it into reality, the argument that we can’t  forgo a flag that our ancestors so gallantly fought under has persuaded the powers that be that the old official flag should remain as the status-quo.

My reply to that argument is that the silver fern was already a well known and loved emblem when these ancestors fought and died for our country, our silver fern emblem is on their graves and they fought and died for the ideal of democracy and not just  for the preservation of the United Kingdom.

(Also compelling evidence  is the fact that the vast majority of  these  New Zealand war graves are not found in the United Kingdom but rather in places like the France, Turkey, North Africa, the Pacific,  and Asia.)

The British Empire is gone,  Britain transferred it’s economic allegiances from New Zealand to the EU long ago, it’s Royal Family do nothing for New Zealand except for running up vast bills for the Kiwi taxpayer whenever they visit, New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth, but what is that actually worth in this day and age? In reality it means precious little.

Naturally you can clearly see my republican leanings: New Zealand came of age decades ago, I sincerely believe that our flag should too.

July 22, 2012

Learning About the Butterflies and the Bees…

This is Kiwidutch explaining some of the iconic Kiwiana items as depicted on a beautiful mural in the small North Island town of Otorohanga.

It’s at this point that I realise that the sum total of my knowledge about Monarch Butterflies would fit on less space than a postage stamp and I’m not talking about a stamp like the butterfly one featured in this recent post: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/?s=stamp+quilt  (the Monarch Butterfly is featured near the bottom of that post)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Instead I will turn to Wikipedia, which tells me:

The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae), in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies. Since the 19th century, it has been found in New Zealand, and in Australia since 1871 where it is called the Wanderer.

It is resident in the Canary Islands, the Azores, and Madeira, and is found as an occasional migrant in Western Europe and a rare migrant in the United Kingdom. Its wings feature an easily recognizable orange and black pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 centimetres (3½–4 in).

(The Viceroy butterfly has a similar size, color, and pattern, but can be distinguished by an extra black stripe across the hind wing.)

It’s a mystery to me how this butterfly, seemingly not originally native to New Zealand has become one of the counties icons… mind you the Statue of Liberty hailed from France and there is an original on the Seine River in Paris, and that didn’t stop it from becoming an icon in America either so, hey in the best tradition of  the mystery of icons… why not? Let’s just celebrate that it now is.

I grew up seeing these butterfly’s regularly in our garden, in My Grandparents garden and well… all over the place. They’ve been featured on postage stamps and I even (incorrectly) assumed that since they were a New Zealand icon that they must be native to New Zealand.  See?  in researching something for you, I even educated myself!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then on to the  Buzzy Bee…  it’s everywhere,  and everyone I know knows and loves it,  but funnily enough no one I know knew the history of it and since I didn’t either I didn’t feel too bad.  Wanting to know more I went in search of someone on the internet who did…

http://www.buzzybee.co.nz/celeb_history.htm

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“The Buzzy Bee  is New Zealand’s most famous children’s toy. This brightly coloured, wooden pull-along toy has been handed down from generation to generation and is now regarded as a major New Zealand icon. There would be few New Zealanders that don’t remember playing with this charming little toy in their youth.

The exact origins of Buzzy Bee remain a little unclear and several versions of its history exist. Our best research thus far finds the origination of the toy in the very late 1930’s in a small workshop in St Benedicts Street in Newton, Auckland. Toy and wood craftsman Maurice Scheslinger, via his company Playcraft Products fashioned the very first Buzzy Bee, which is similar in most respects to the Buzzy Bee children enjoy today.

Mr. Scheslinger used a local tradesman in Erin Street in Epsom who had a wood lathe to turn the bodies and acquired the lead free paint from a paint shop at the top of Aye Street in Parnell. He sold his Buzzy Bee (and Mary Lou dolls) to Stan Challenor of C L Stevensons located in Anzac Avenue who in turn sold them to lots of small retailers and shops throughout New Zealand.

In the early 1940’s Mr. Scheslinger became very ill with spinal meningitis and was forced to close his workshop. However such was the appeal of the Buzzy Bee as a toy that Hec Ramsey, a traveling sales man who was an agent for C L Stevensons took the Buzzy Bee to his brother’s wood turning business in New Lynn. 

The postwar baby boom and import restrictions saw yearly sales of Buzzy Bee™ increase rapidly. However following a fire at the New Lynn factory in the late 1970’s, the Buzzy Bee™ operation was sold into a number of different hands before the trade mark and device was sold to Lion Rock Ventures Limited, its current owner in 2004.

One such account of the history of Buzzy Bee claims a similar toy was bought from the USA to New Zealand by the US troops in 1941 and was then modified to the New Zealand version of Buzzy Bee.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following exhaustive research this story has produced very little evidence to substantiate it and also relies on the implausible notion that young US soldiers would take an infant toy as an essential item to war.

What seems much more probable is that the troops took our toy back to the US for their sweethearts and children (as Fisher Price released a similar toy in the mid 1950’s).

Such is New Zealand’s love affair with Buzzy Bee™ that it has appeared as the subject of paintings, sculptures, television advertisements, postal stamps (twice), magazine covers, school murals and parades. Buzzy Bee™ is now often presented by New Zealand dignitaries to VIP’s with children who are visiting New Zealand. Notable recipients include the future King of England, Prince William, Princess Aiko from Japan and the Spanish Royal family.

Lion Rock Ventures has now brought these wonderful wooden characters to life in a major TV series and in new books that follow the inaugural Buzzy Bee stage production presented in 2007. The company is focused on launching the brand into other countries and making our famous toy world famous…and not just in New Zealand.

Yes… I had one of these toys as a child too… such was their popularity that I think every Kiwi kid did!
Himself and I bought back a small version in the form of  a mobile for our kids but sadly it met  sticky end because Little Mr discovered that the proper toy in New Zealand had wings that turned around  and attempted to do the same on ours which was hung at a height his hands could just reach, but not low enough for him to get tangled in. On the small version the wings weren’t meant to move,  so by standing on his tip-toes he systematically broke all the wings off as he tried to “get them to work”.  Lesson to us as parents: just get the real thing.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 21, 2012

Whoa! An Entire Wall of Classic Kiwiana!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are looking though the pages of my travel journal and making a virtual tour that follows our New Zealand trip of December 2011- January 2012.

In this post we are in the small town of Otorohanga, situated between Hamilton and the Waitomo Caves. Yesterday I posted a few photos of a mural that’s just down the street,  and whilst it’s fun and eye catching, this is the mural a little distance further on that makes you stop in your tracks, do a U-turn and go back for photographs.

What you are looking at here are a selection of items that could be termed “classic Kiwiana”… they are instantly recognisable to New Zealanders and this mural is sure to bring a “whoa! wow, look at THAT!” reaction, probably followed by a big smile  from all who pass by here and spot it whilst waiting at the traffic lights like we did.

Let’s take a look at some classic iconic New Zealand things and acquaint yourself with items that are known and loved by Kiwi’s everywhere.

Gumboots: They might be known as “Wellington’s” in  the United Kingdom, but Kiwi’s know them as Gumboots, or “gummies”.  Gumboots  for farm work are generally black, but butchers,  lab staff, freezing workers and fisherman are often found in the white variety. Of course children’s gummies come in an arrangement of colours and are a standard edition to every New Zealand back porch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia tells me:  “The term “gum boot” in New Zealand is thought to derive from the 19th-century kauri-gum diggers, who wore this footwear, or perhaps because the boots were made from gum rubber.”

There’s even a 1970’s song about Gumboots by Kiwi comedy character Fred Dagg  which most New Zealand kids at the time knew at least the first lines of.

Pāua is known to a lot of Kiwi’s as the edible seafood found as Patties in many a fish and chip shop, and by mostly tourists as the colourful shells that are turned into various souvenirs.  It’s the Maori name of the molluscs from the Haliodae family which are also known in other parts of the world as abalone or ormer shells.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You know all about the Edmonds Cookbook from this post: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/?s=edmonds+cookbook

Thomas John Edmonds opened a small grocery shop in the suburb of Linwood in Christchurch New Zealand, and after hearing  customer complaints about the quality of the baking powder available on sale at the time, he started making his own out the back of the shop.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When one lady expressed doubt on the supposed improvement on the old products available, Thomas apparently replied “it is sure to rise Madam” and from this comment the iconic “Sure to Rise” trademark and logo were born,  both of which are still in use on  the Edmonds Baking Powder  product today.

The Edmonds company website tells me:

Thomas spent 3 years perfecting his baking powder but demand for Edmonds Baking Powder was initially low so Edmonds travelled the Canterbury region leaving free samples with almost every household, promising to take it back on his next visit if anyone was unsatisfied.

No tins were returned and the householders asked for more. Demand slowly grew until its popularity spread from the housewives of Canterbury to span the whole of New Zealand.

Edmonds Baking powder also won a prize at the Dunedin Exhibition in 1890. As the 19th century drew to a close Edmonds moved to Ferry Rd, Christchurch and in the expanded premises increased production of Edmonds products.

Edmonds Baking Powder went from strength to strength and by 1912 one million tins had been sold.

Thomas Edmonds was not only a successful businessman but a pioneer in industrial policies, during the Depression the company was the first to introduce a five day, 40 hour week which enabled redundancies to be avoided. 

When the Edmonds company turned 50 in 1929 Thomas Edmonds generously gifted the city of Christchurch with a clock tower and band rotunda.

Today the Edmonds range of products has grown to include not only baking ingredients but flour, cake mixes, pastry, mayonnaises and salad dressings and the Edmonds brand still stands for Kiwi home-style cooking and baking.

Today Edmonds baking powder mostly comes in cardboard box or plastic packages but I have fond memories of the old tin canister that was ever present on the shelf in my New Zealand Grandma’s kitchen. It was the type that had a press lid with a lip that you put the edge of a spoon under to prise open again.  How many times did my little childish hand hold a wavering teaspoon over that can, whilst I carefully levelled the teaspoon with the back of a knife ready to be added to a baking mix for scones, biscuits (cookies) or cakes?   I long ago lost count.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 20, 2012

Colouring In Blank Spaces Brings and Instant Smile…

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

On our way to the Waitomo Caves  we passed through a small town called Otorohanga. It’s about 20 minutes  back-tracking from the caves in the direction of Hamilton  and it’s where we have found suitable accommodation for the night. But first before we find our beds we stop to look at some of the more decorative elements in the town.  I am always beyond delighted to find colourful murals on what would have been boring blank grey concrete walls in any urban environment so this discovery immediately brings a smile to my face. The only annoying thing was that I was too tired at this point of the day to walk the distance down the road to photograph it closer up.  I therefore took the lazy route and used the zoom lens on my camera to capture as much of the detail as I possibly could.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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