Happy Days!

Well we have just returned home from a whirl-wind trip to Auckland for the inaugural Outstanding NZ Food Producers Awards.  This competition was the brain-child of Nicola and Kathie from Marvellous Marketing and sponsored by NZ Life and Leisure magazine.  The competition was designed to find food producers and craft makers New Zealand wide who are growing and making outstanding products that they are branding and selling.  Outstanding Food Producers judging panel tasted the products in March and Thursday’s awards were made based on taste and sustainability. 

I entered our Absolute Angus Porterhouse Steak in this competition and we were so fortunate to win! Not only did we win our category, OUTSTANDING PRODUCER PADDOCK PRIMARY, we were named SUPREME WINNER - NZ LIFE & LESURE OUTSTANDING NZ FOOD PRODUCER!

It has been an unbelievable weekend, full of congratulations and praise for our hard-work.  We are feeling so blessed.

After a long drive north with the family, a whirlwind time in Auckland, the return drive home and getting everyone ready for the first day of new school term, I’m starting to feel a little rundown and – I don’t want to tempt fate – but I feel a cold coming on.

With all this in mind, I was considering what to prepare to help me feel better. Then I remembered the luscious mutton leg bone in my freezer, which I removed for a stuffed roast.  I wondered what mutton broth would taste like?  Bone broths are renowned for their health benefits and improving immunity. Boiling bones releases the collagen, amino acids and other minerals, all which are useful for gut health and immunity. Surely a grass-fed biological mutton bone would be just as good as a more traditional beef and chicken bones for a broth?

To make a bone broth you simply put the bones, vegetables such as celery, onion, carrots (today I had no celery so used green beans that were hanging about at the bottom of the vege bin, but still looked plump and edible).  I like to add other great gut health foods such as; ginger, garlic and plenty of fresh herbs from our garden – today I added sage, mint and parsley.  I also had an organic lemon from my tree that was looking a bit lonely.

Roughly chop all the vegetables and herbs and add everything to the pot. Cover with water and gently boil for 90-120mins.  The stock should reduce significantly, this gives it a more intense flavour.

Once cooked Sean and I enjoyed a delcious warm  cup each. Then I oved to stage two, chopping up a butternut pumpkin into the remaining broth, removing the bunches of herbs and ginger while leaving in all the goodies like carrot, garlic and green beans. Once again I boiled the pot, this time until the pumpkin was tender.  I then whizzed the soup with a wand and added salt and Moroccan seasoning to taste.  It was a delicious, rich, meaty tasting pumpkin soup! Yum – that should keep the winter bugs away!