The Edmonds Challenge

This blog is all about expanding my horizons and pushing myself just that little bit further to get where I want to be. But it’s not just on this big things. I want to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and do just a little bit more.

_MG_0099So I’m starting with baking. This is my number one hobby and go to for everything in life from comfort and stress relief to creativity and expression. Not a weekend goes by where I’m not whipping something up for some reason or another. But what I have realised recently is that the ‘something’ I’m making is usually one of two things, banana loaf or Afghans. It is time to branch out and that’s what my Edmonds Challenge is about. I want to bake at least two new things from the Edmonds cook book  per month. Sort of like Julia and Julia with a lot less time pressure.

_MG_0094I’ve chosen the Edmonds book as it is a bit of a New Zealand institution. I learned to cook through my copy of The Edmonds Junior Cook Book, which had step by step pictures and warnings on every page ‘Careful, the pan is hot’. It is a New Zealand tradition to receive a copy of The Edmonds Cookery Book from your Mum when you first leave home, the copy I am using was my boyfriends departing gift when he moved to Wellington to study. It’s a book that has been around for ever, first published in 1907 and the biggest selling book ever published in New Zealand. It’s a staple in every NZ home so it’s not a fad to pass like cronuts and cake pops. It’s simple, plain and hopefully delicious cooking. Also, if my two signature bakes come from it, surely there are more to be discovered.

So, what’s your favourite Edmonds recipe? What should I try out first?

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Tall Poppy

Last weekend I had the pleasure of planting poppies in the moat of the Tower of London. To mark the 100 year anniversary of the First World War, 888,246 ceramic poppies designed by artist Paul Cummins are being planted, one to represent each British soldier who lost their life.

Planting started on the 5th of August and there is already a striking sea of red in the moat.

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I got a lovely sunny morning to volunteer; the rain had cleared during the night and left the ground soft and easy for my feeble arms to drive the stems into. The poppies are planted so close together at varying heights to look like waves and every so often we were asked to plant a tall poppy within the cluster.

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The ceramic work was beautiful; every poppy was unique and natural looking.

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I’m so glad I got the chance to do this volunteering, and I’m planning on doing much more of it as a way of gaining insights, experiences and skills in areas that I want to develop career wise. These include communication, teaching and writing experience. So if you know of anything going, let me know.

Do you volunteer? And if so how much time do you spend volunteering? I know I would need something relatively flexible to work around all the Europe trips I’m planning.