Zin is not just an abbreviation for David’s famous Zinfandel, in Dutch it also means Appetite; Desire; Intent.
Many of you will know that there’s been a bit of drama in and around The House during recent times. Happily community and human spirit overcame evil intent and we’re working towards just getting on with what we do best here, full of Zin.
During the peak of ‘the crisis’ I made a number of promises to myself, the usual stuff when life throws a massive curve ball full throttle at you. Live in the moment, appreciate and spend more time with friends and loved ones, absorb and be aware of the beauty of where we live. And another big one for me, remember that I love what I do for a living.
Of course cooking and Zin is not about ‘a living’, it is simply how I live. So when somewhat out of the blue that was threatened there were occasions when I had to think, what else would I do and where would I do it?
I tried to imagine myself in a little French village, strolling to the markets each day from our stone pension, returning to cook ad hoc for the days guests.
I conjured up a rough black sand east coast fishing village in New Zealand where I met the fishing boats before trecking back up the bush to my white weatherboard pub and making scones and paua fritters.
Yet whatever scenario I created I just couldn’t remove myself, even in my imagination, from Tinja. It wasn’t just bloody mindedness nor age or being set in my ways. It was simply the realisation that we are attached to this place in a way that goes beyond the physical. It is simply love.
You can go anywhere and buy great food, you can live anywhere and make fancy dishes. But it is only when you grow, cook and connect with the land and its community that you imprint it with the energy of care.
So here I am in the kitchen at Zin, on the farm at Tinja, cooking from our garden. And all because enough people had enough Zin.
Thomas’s Lemon Curd Tart
Zest of four lemons and juice of 5
250 grams sugar
Whisk together in a pan over gentle heat until it thickens, add 60 grams of butter and remove from heat.
Put in a blind baked pastry shell and cook at 130 degrees c for 15 minutes.
Optionally top with Italian meringue, brown with a blow torch or pop under the grill.
Serve with rhubarb sauce to make it even better.