Sun, sea and good food a great mix
If just three things can be gleaned from spending time with Bev Doole, it's that she is a talented journalist, a great cook and a wonderful conversationalist.
A born and bred Marlburian, Bev grew up in the tight-knit community of Tua Marina before going to Wellington where she studied journalism.
Her first job was in radio, but after just two years she moved into print - a medium in which she would remain - at the Marlborough Express.
Just a year later she landed a job back in Wellington as a sub-editor at the Evening Post, eventually rising to the rank of chief sub-editor.
"I got a scholarship to the UK for six weeks and did a short trip to Paris on the way back.
"It was then that I realised I hadn't seen enough of the world," Bev said.
At the age of 31 it may have taken her a bit longer than most Kiwis to do her overseas experience year.
Her travels saw her land a job at the Financial Times in London as a sub-editor, where she stayed for 10 years.
"It was tough starting a new life in an overseas city by myself, but I really enjoyed the style of the newspaper and their old old-fashioned, traditional way of reporting the news. I knew nothing about finance, so I learned a lot," Bev said.
Her work ethic and talent saw her become chief sub-editor of the lifestyle orientated Saturday magazine that the Financial Times produced.
Though the long hours at work and often dreary weather were a challenge, the city of London did offer many perks.
"Our offices were right next to the River Thames so I would walk along it to work. There was also this amazing food market, Borough Market, which I loved going too - you could get the best fresh produce from around Europe."
It was at the market where she first had chorizo sausages, which form the base of the dish she prepared for the this week's community cook column.
Marlborough had given Bev a great love of sun, sea and good food, so when she travelled to Europe she made sure to visit countries rich in these qualities. France, Spain, Italy and Greece were her favourites, with her travels being more on the side of food tourism. Her return to New Zealand came in 2008 when her sister fell ill. The move from London to Rarangi, where Bev now lives, served as a stark contrast, but living so close to the sea, in the sun and with friends and family around have meant she has no regrets.
She now busies herself as a freelance journalist and is heavily involved as the co-ordinator of the Marlborough Environment Awards, which are being judged over the coming months. She has also tried her hand with some animal husbandry, raising two Berkshire pigs on a friend's property in Spring Creek.
The pigs were fed the very best and humanely dispatched, with one of the products being four fine hams. Being particularly partial to pork Bev had gone to great lengths to cure one particular ham with a recipe she learned from no less than a chef who prepares food for the Queen.
Bev was infuriated however, just after it was hung to cure in her shed it was stolen. If anyone ever hears what happened to that ham, Bev would love to hear about it.
Chorizo and bean stew
Chorizo sausage approx 250g
1 tbsp olive oil
3 large banana shallots, cut in rings
1 chilli finely chopped or 2 tsp chilli paste
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 red and yellow capsicum, sliced
Juice of two limes
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tins chopped plum tomatoes
2 tins of butter beans
1 tin of cannellini beans
1 cup chicken stock
1 handful chopped coriander
Salt and pepper
Slice the chorizo into rounds and gently fry in olive oil.
They should release their own spicy red fat.
When lightly browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In the same pan gently sweat the shallots then add the chilli, cumin and coriander and fry for a couple of minutes.
Keep stirring so the spices don't catch.
Add the garlic and peppers and fry gently until the peppers are just soft.
Stir in the lime juice and brown sugar, tomatoes, drained beans and chicken stock.
Let it bubble away for 20 minutes.
Add the chorizo for another 10 minutes then the chopped coriander.
Turn off the heat and let it sit overnight.
If it's a bit sloppy turn up the heat to reduce.
Serve in a bowl with a squeeze of lime, some sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped coriander.
Goes well with corn chips.
Herb and mustard lamb cutlets
Combine the fresh herbs with equal amounts of fresh breadcrumbs to create a flavour-packed, crisp crust. Serve the cutlets with homemade mint sauce and a simple potato gratin for a memorable meal.
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, parsley and mint
2 eggs, beaten
2 T English mustard
2 T wholegrain mustard
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 French trimmed lamb racks
2 T olive oil
1. Pre-heat oven to 220C. Prepare pane coating: in three dishes, mix breadcrumbs and herbs in the first, eggs and mustard in the second and flour, salt and pepper in the third.
2. Dip skin side of racks in pane coatings in following order: flour, egg, crumbs.
3. Rest for a minimum of 20 minutes to allow crust to set.
4. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in a hot oven for 12-15 minutes.
5. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving into cutlets and serve with potato gratin.XXX: