Welcome back to the first 2013 Blossom Cottage Newsflash! I hope that you have all had a wonderful
Christmas and New Year and have enjoyed your holidays with special friends and family. Kallista and Nando are back at highschool and Rene, who is a Physical Education teacher, is back at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua.
I am holding the fort at home and love spoiling our interesting guests from an assortment of countries, who are enjoying the comfort, relaxing hot tub, outdoor shower and privacy of Blossom Cottage, with all its excellent amenities and stunning views. Even though guests arrive as strangers, they often leave as friends. Of course, their privacy is paramount, but we are always there to attend to any problem or query.
Our guests are thoroughly enjoying the variety of activities in and near Rotorua, including the Maori concerts, the thermal beauty and our glistening lakes. As Rotorua is very central, there are also many cities you can visit for the day. You can be back at Blossom Cottage in time for your barbeque dinner and a soak in the secluded hot tub. These places include Hobbiton, Waiotapu, Maketu, where they sell the best-tasting pies and have a cafe over looking the sea. Or, what about Wairere Falls near Te Aroha?
We had heard about, but never been to the Wairere Falls and, as it is only a 60 minute drive, decided to take the family and children's grandmother there for the day. We took a picnic basket of deliciousness with us and enjoyed a leisurely lunch before we set off on our tramp. Now, this is not a walk for the faint-hearted and we did have to guide my 81 year old mother through some steep, pot-holed, slippery bits but, luckily, there are two stages to this walk and you can choose to do either or both. (By the way, my 81 year old mum is as fit as a fiddle, goes to aerobics every day and plays a mean game of tennis and squash, often beating her much younger opponents!) The first stage of the tramp takes you about an hour to reach the viewing platform, where you can take a breather and enjoy views of the spectacular 153 metre waterfall. The second stage of the track continues for another hour until you reach the lookout platform at the top of the Wairere Falls. The magnificent views overlook the valley and Waikato Plains. The whole tramp will take you 3-4 hours, depending on your level of fitness, but if you start early when the day is cool and take your time, anyone with an average level of fitness should be able to complete the walk. Well worth the experience!
As for the animals at Blossom Cottage: where do I start, as they have kept us entertained and infuriated as usual! The donkeys have been unusually well-behaved, but the hens have been up to no good! At a recent farm show in Rotorua, we decided to buy a couple of guinea pigs and named one Stewart, or Stewie, aptly named after Rod Stewart, a well-known pop star, because of his wild-looking hair style!! We also bought two, young white ducks.
Anyway, one morning, our two ducks, named Macaroni and Cheese by Kallista, but these names not agreed upon by Nando, were enjoying a morning nap next to their bath behind a small shed on our property, when I heard a lot of loud quacking and clucking. I went out to investigate, thinking that the hens had once again been picking on the unsuspecting ducks. Apparently, two hens had seen the ducks, made a run for them but, not realizing that the bath was full of water, had fallen in, belly flop and all! I had to laugh out loud, as the bath is very slippery and the bedraggled, soggy, shame-faced hens had to wait for me to retrieve them! Oh, the humiliation!
We had another incident recently when four young Japanese guests opened the run and realeased all the bunnies into the paddock. Treacle, our suave, sophisticated, male lop-eared bunny took advantage of this fortunate moment and flirted with the girls. His rendezvous with Holly, our female bunny, resulted in the birth of two young bunnies, now 14 days old. As you can imagine, Holly is now enjoying a well-deserved rest!
There is plenty to discover and experience in and around Rotorua and at Blossom Cottage. Many guests only stay for a day or two and, on their departure, admit that they regret not having spent more time in Rotorua, enjoying the relaxing, adventurous, stunning and historical attractions that our city and nearby places have to offer. As it is so central, why not spend more time in Rotorua and take day trips to other cities? You avoid having to continually move on and unpack your belongings, which is exhausting and time consuming.
That is food for thought and, on that note, here is another delicious recipe:
Chicken Coriander Dish
Cut 500g chicken thigh or breast into chunks, put in a large oven dish. Add 200g cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes, 100g green or black pitted olives and a big bunch of chopped coriander. Add 250ml olive oil and some garlic salt and mix all the ingredients well. Cover the oven dish with tinfoil and wrap tightly.
Put in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 30-45 minutes, stirring the ingredients once or twice, making sure that you don't overcook the chicken. To brown, uncover for the last 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with couscous or rice and a crisp salad with feta and red peppers.
Note: you can add more or less of the each ingredient if you like.
I hope you have enjoyed the first Blossom Cottage Newsflash for 2013 and I will be bringing you lots more humorous, quirky and interesting bits and pieces over the next few months!
All the best,