Sunday, October 17, 2010

Turoa week & weekend

Turoa is one on NZ's best skiing and snowboarding areas - the mountain has two sides, Turoa (Southern facing) and Whakapapa (Northern) and we all board and prefer the longer runs at Turoa.

I've spent a few years off the slopes with a bad knee but got back up this year and we are all fully kitted out, esp Eve who got a new board, binding and boots at the 50% off sale this morning. $855 worth on the till reciept so $1,710 off the floor in one small - short timeframe.

This time up we are staying at the Old Courthouse in nearby Raetihi ( ) which is just a stunning place, a well managed adaption of the actual courthouse used to pronounce sentence on the local baddies of the region in the years gone by. The kitchen is where the Judge sat and the lounge down below where the legal counsel and watching locals would have sat in wait.

There are two bedrooms and a bathroom downstairs and upstairs two more plus a second lounge area and second bathroom.

The two familesi are mostly Gluten Free and in some cases lactose intolerant as well so dancing through the meals has taken some planning and care.

First night we had chicken drumsticks coated in a herb and spice enhanced GF plan flour then baked alongside roasted potatoes and other vegetables. I cooked four kilos to go around 9 people and there were 3 drums left at the end.

Night two I started dinner just after cleaning up night one's dinner. A mix of rosemary, Maldon salt, lemon pepper, Ras el Hanout, garlic powder and Olive oil, rubbed into a full leg of lamb and sat in a covered roasting pan through the night and the next day. Then placed in the heated over at 250 degrees with the lid on for 75 minutes, then the lid removed and the heat dropped to 180 for the final 45 minutes and then left aside to rest for another 20 minutes before carving. Melt in the mouth meat and alongside the potatoes, kumara and courgettes, carrots etc. went down very well.

Tonight, pork ribs marinated in a mix of BBQ sauces, garlic powder, pepper and chilli sauces for 60 minutes, again in a covered roasting dish for an hour to cook through and then the lid off, the oven cranked up and fan bake on to crisp and caramelise the edges.

All involved have been very happy with the offerings so far, and at the end of three busy days, two up the mountain in great sunny conditions, then today when the winds blew and the rains fell a quieter day but two hours in the hot pools at Tokaanu caused as much tiredness as the first two days.

We have two more days and the weather forecast is horrible for the next three days, following that it looks great so Bryn and I will come up again next weekend to a shared lodge and hopefully get a long weekend in and all three days up the hill in good conditions.