Caffeine in a vacuum

Last weekend’s adventure involved friends introducing Betty and the HP to siphon coffee.

This is the closest Betty has come to hard drugs, and to be honest it was intensely appealing.

The siphon paraphernalia draws water from a bulb into a chamber, brews the coffee, and then sends it back into the bulb in a rather rarefied form, with depths and intricacies of flavour that espresso doesn’t quite capture.

The only place we’ve found in Auckland so far that serves siphons is Espresso Workshop, in Britomart – they’re brilliant.

Check the domesticity

Had to whip up dessert for fifteen the other day. Made individual Eton messes with boysenberry and fig chum, was runaway hit at lunch.



Forgot to photograph the bashing-in of meringues’ heads, addition of whipped cream, and desecration with boysenberries and figs; isn’t that mixer a beauty, though?

Adventures all round

To kick off this Thursday’s mandatory adventure, Betty had her hair cut. Viz:


Bob’s your uncle! And then Betty and the husband person went off to Vinyl in the Eden Quarter and had a spot of lunch, with curly fries. Betty has developed a sudden sensitivity to coffee and is going cold turkey this week to avoid bouts of dizziness, so she also had a lemon toddy. It was very nice, Vinyl being quite the thing: it’s also next to the sweetest old-school dancewear shop that sells superhero costumes.




All in all, a most excellent adventure.

A happy milestone

The other day the husband person introduced Betty to a favourite fish and chip shop (just down from Karangahape Road, and with an excellent hygiene rating), and Betty had her first hot dog. New Zealanders, when they say hot dog, generally mean a battered sausage on a stick, rather than a frank in a bun with mustard. It was quite exciting for Betty to find a vegetarian one on the menu, and so she bought one with sauce, and ate it in the v. lovely park underneath the harbor bridge.


It was everything she’d hoped for. And the view was rather magnificent:


The chips were also good. Simple pleasures.

Practically perfect in every way

Betty and the husband person ventured out this fine Saturday afternoon – a rare enough occurrence, since once Betty has tottered home from work on a Saturday she seldom feels like going out again until Sunday morning – and it was a lovely day: first Betty went to a dance class, in the faint hope of meeting an old friend there, but she wasn’t. After that, Betty and the husband person went for a long-awaited lunch at Cosset in Mount Albert.


Betty had an excellent soy mocha and a filo spiral filled with spinach, walnuts and caramelised onion, which was lovely; the husband person had homestyle beans and hash browns with avocado and grilled tomato. Take that, Pythagoras.


And after that, they had a very quick sortie through Ponsonby and watched the sun set from one of their favourite miniature beaches. Isn’t it sweet?


Soup at Tasca


Today’s lunch was from Tasca in Vulcan Lane, on a drizzly afternoon.


The husband person had a BLT, and Betty had carrot and coriander soup. The food was yummy, the decor quirky and delightful, and there was peppermint tea. Betty should remember to have peppermint tea more often: it’s really good. It’s also good to know there’s another nice place to hide away from the rain on Vulcan Lane!


RIP, Sentinel Kitchen

The Sentinel Kitchen, like the Sentinel Diner before it, is no more. Betty is greatly disappointed, because the Kitchen is about forty seconds’ walk from work, open early, run by two lovely chaps who are happy to whip up a mushroom salad wrap or a lemon toddy by request any time. Also it has booths. Word is that it will reopen soon: here’s hoping…



20110407-104107.jpg Betty’s new favourite cafe is Hum – in a near-derelict house at the hospital end of the Grafton bridge, shared by an artists’ collective, and with plans to include a deli and food in the future. Just now Hum serves excellent Kokako organic coffee, and keeps oat milk on hand as well as soy. Proceeds from the coffee go to restoring the house, which is beautiful and cosy, and in the meantime there is always a spot on one of the sofas whenever Betty wants to have a post-lecture mocha or shelter from the rain.

Betty especially likes the coloured lanterns that hang everywhere – along the verandah, in the fireplace, from the ceiling – and the genial, friendly staff.