The other week Auckland spent a week at Covid Alert Level 3 - which, from my point of view, mostly means no buses, infrequent grocery shopping (with everything getting washed or put in quarantine) and Martin and Sarah working from home. This time it also meant really not leaving the property for a couple of days, as I had a bit of a sniffle so had a Covid test on the Monday and we were told to not even go out for a walk till the result was back.
Still, I had quite a fun week.
A house on our street was knocked down that week to make way for 6 townhouses. On the weekend (before my sniffle) Martin and I went scavenging and came back with these glorious flowers.
As well as those, I was enjoying our own Jerusalem Artichokes, straight outside our bedroom window.
It felt like we went from summer to autumn that week: it's been distinctly cooler since. And we saw that in the garden, too - here are the last of the (extremely tiny) cherry tomatoes and the first of the autumn's figs.
A sign of lockdown: parcels in 'quarantine' for a few days before we bring them into the house. It was a wet week and the glasshouse was pretty empty, so that seemed like a decent place to stash them!
Whilst we were confined to the property for a few days, Martin got his exercise practising polo skills on the driveway.
Another thing we scavenged from the house up the road was banana flowers. They're something I've really enjoyed eating the few times we've tried them, but Martin hasn't been so keen. This time we tried a new recipe: a Sri Lankan-style stirfry with fried egg on the side that we both liked a lot.
Banana flowers, in my opinion, mostly have a texture rather than a flavour. The vegan community have decided that texture lends itself well to 'fish' and chips. We didn't have any spuds, but I set aside the 'hearts' of the flowers and marinated them, dredged them in seasoned flour (seasoned with seaweed, amongst other things) then battered and fried them.
On their own, despite the marinade and seasoned flour, they tasted of nothing much at all. Then I thought to add tomato sauce and suddenly, battered fish! They're not a nutritional substitute for fish (having no protein to speak of) but they have a flakiness that, combined with the 'cues' of batter and tomato sauce, was surprisingly reminiscent of the real thing.
Then, on the Saturday, Martin and I biked to Eric Armishaw Park, one of my favourite places, for a wander along the beach. The tide was way out so we walked for ages out along a shelly sandspit as far as we could go.
And by Sunday we were back at Level 2. I decided to play it cautious and not go to in-person church (as I still had a bit of a sore throat, plus I'm at higher risk than most from Covid) so I hosted a few ladies at our place and we had a wee 'watch party' of the service.