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Author: Tracey Edwardes

Taking a bite out of summer


Snacking is so summer, as we amp up the socialising, dash to our outdoor passions and host pre-Christmas catch ups.

 

FROZEN IS COOL
Invent healthy homemade ice-blocks with yoghurt or blended or squeezed summer berries, mint, lime or ginger – not just for kids. Pieces of fruit, like watermelon and strawberries, quenches straight from the freezer. And ice-cream with a sugar-free base of blended banana is a sinless snack.

YUM ON THE RUN
Petite pieces of filo pie power-packed with greens, or French-style tarts, think asparagus with goat’s cheese, are delish room temperature. Tabbouleh is summer in a take-out container. Flexible recipe versions include bulgur wheat, lemon, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomato and
olive oil.

PRETTY PLATTER
Prepare a summer scene with fruit platters of eye-catching dragon fruit, mango, persimmons and medjool dates, with dipping-pots of Greek and coconut yoghurts with zest, mint, ginger and honey. Spike melons and pineapples with a favourite tipple and sprinkle pistachios and pomegranate seeds.

HYDRATING HANDFULS
Wheels of cucumbers are refreshing vessels under a herby cream-cheese with smoked salmon, or a juicy prawn. Fill crunchy celery pieces with nut butters and soft cheeses. Chickory and curvy lettuce leaves make boats for morsels of creamy-dressed cold meat, seafood, peppers and herbs.


 

Slip, slop, slap and reap the rewards


Modern day facial sunscreens are not only for avoiding sunburn and long term skin damage. They brighten and enhance complexion, nourish and protect against aging and melanoma, and give a gorgeous silky coverage – a priceless beauty package.

 

 

Facial sunscreens are not created equally to the potent-smelling, greasy sunscreen you may be used to lathering on at the beach.

These are non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and are designed specifically for face, neck and décolletage – which are all vulnerable to UV damage, even in winter.

Many modern formulas do more than just protect from those harmful rays. Some have brightness boosters, for the latest glow-on look, and some are even packed with antioxidants like plant extracts and vitamins to simultaneously nourish the skin.

Ranges without harsh chemical formulations are blossoming on the beauty shelves, too, using zinc or titanium oxide mineral bases.

Sinking in softly without residue, today’s skin protectors have a luscious scent – especially if you adore tropical or floral fragrances, or even fragrance-free.

We are over strong chemical whiffs of sunscreen of old.


 

Cocktails & canapes for race day


With a decadent tipple in one hand, and a mouth-watering titbit in the other, our taste buds are racing to celebrate Cup Week. Putting on a perfect soiree is all in the creativity, so here is Metropol’s inspiration for cocktails and canapes to carry you through pre- and post-races celebrations.

SEASONAL SUCCULENCE
Mini whitebait patties with a squeeze of lemon will barely last two minutes on the platter. Asparagus is spring in a spear. Serve into bite-sized sandwich rolls, adorn an aioli-smeared canapé, or bake into baby quiches.

FASCINATOR-STYLE GARNISH
Add colour, such as showy peppery nasturtium flowers and other edible petals. Microgreens are little health bombs that pile up in their greenest finery. Slithers of red pepper, threads of saffron, jewel-like pomegranate seeds, all flaunt finesse.

CLASSIC AND CLASSY
A cliché of posh nosh is smoked salmon, hot or cold smoked, it’s an intense little morsel. With capers, dill, wakame or wasabi aioli upon homemade blinis or pikelets, they send taste-buds to the finish line. Add caviar or truffle flakes to up the stakes.

VEGAN IN STYLE
From artisan vegan salamis to rich cashew nut patés, plant-world cuisine is glamming it. Splash out on lovingly crafted delicious vegan cheeses upon vegan crackers. Fill spring rolls with colours of the rainbow, and use rich mouth-filling aubergines in dips.

RACE DAY DELICACIES
An aesthetically pleasing platter is never out of place – and often disappears at race pace. Combine seasonal fruits and veges, with your favourite cheeses, olives, dips, crackers and fresh bread to create a Pinterest-worthy spread.

MOCKTAIL MOJO
Go mad with frivolously fruity concoctions – just omit the alcohol for a virgin variety of the spiked alternative. For a virgin mojito, muddle sparkling water, lime juice, sugar or honey syrup, and dress up with fresh mint and cucumber.

BOUTIQUE SPIRITS
Buy a bottle of hand-crafted gin to show off a classic cocktail. Try a French 75, martini, or a sloe gin fizz and decide a winner. Support the spirit of locally made tipples from vodkas to whiskys and dress them up cocktail style, with a glamorous garnish.

FANCY PANTS CHAMPAGNE
Pretty and effervescent best-dressed ladies, get creative with easy cocktails of the bubbly kind. Enhance the elegance of fine fizz with springtime splashes such as elderflower liquor, or for a classic Champagne Royale add crème de cassis.


 

All a-skew


Colourful, sizzling, tasty skewers. As the weather warms up, so do our backyard barbecues. These simple and fun crowd pleasers set the chef’s creativity on fire – and everyone can pitch in with the preparation.

 

MEATY MOUTHFULS: Pairing up bite-sized morsels with their likely partners always wins. Chicken and red pepper, lamb and onion, pork and pineapple, beef and mushroom. However, marinades are the success secret, helping meat char less, tenderise, and doubling as basters for a gorgeous glaze. To sizzle up this timeless trend, plate up with a flurry of fresh herbs or microgreens, and dollops of artisan dipping sauces.

A STRING OF SEAFOOD: The smoky flavour achieved when barbecuing kaimoana is a warm weather favourite, and seafood addicts will appreciate the simplicity of four fat, juicy scallops in a row on a bamboo or metal skewer, or garlic butterflied tiger prawns – perfect with a glaze and lively salad. To stretch out these delicacies, thread skewers with pineapple, peppers and red onions and pop a cherry tomato on each end.

GIVE VEGES A GRILLING: Add crunchy rainbows of veges to your repertoire. From red, green, orange and yellow capsicums to cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, corn and onions. Top with tasty sauces like a lemon herb drizzle or tzatziki. Firm tofu packs a protein punch, soaking up seasonings and marinades. Try different mushroom varieties, such as oyster, for textured intensity, or the mouth-filling decadence of halloumi.

SWEET STICKS: The BBQ needn’t power down at dessert time. Firm fruits caramelise beautifully on the grill, from peaches, apricots and nectarines to exotic mango. Decorated with edible flowers, and pots of melted chocolate, yoghurt or whipped cream for dunking, or drizzle a lime and ginger marinade for a piquant zing. Add some sticky marshmallows for the kids, or, pair with a balsamic drizzle to keep things interesting.

She had a dream


Sometimes all it takes is perfect timing to bring your best achievement into the limelight.

 

 

When she was 20, local Christchurch musician Steffany Beck won a grant with the foundation Rise NZ, to record her song I Have a Dream. Now at 30 she has just commercially released her favourite original to the world.

“The lyrics are about what the world would look and feel like if everyone accepted each other for who they are, allowing people to just follow and live their dreams,” she says.

At the time, the inspiring indie pop-rock song was recorded professionally with a full band, released on the Rise website and showcased on the Erin Simpson Show, but that was the limits to the song’s publicity.

“Only my friends and family really knew it existed back then – there was no opportunity for it to go anywhere,” Steffany explains.

“However, a teenager did recognise me in the mall and said it completely inspired her. That really meant a lot; creating your community and connecting with them is what inspires me the most. It’s who you do it for.”

The song title was inspired by Martin Luther King’s famous 1963 quote when he called to end racism in the United States.

It was watching videos of his speeches that the American-born songstress got inspiration to write and headline the song.

“Coincidentally this even has relevance with what’s been going on recently,” she says of the lyrics which she hopes will inspire others to be more accepting.

“Helping people is all I have ever wanted to do.”

When it comes to inspiration, it was in fact her own song that inspired Steffany to write and record her EP Blue Eyed Girl last year.

“This February I realised this song (I Have a Dream) was actually the prologue to my EP – the reason. My gut instinct told me I had to now share it with the world.”

When the original was released, Steffany was a budding artist but decided to learn the marketing side of things and be her own manager to get her music out there.

“That’s what many musicians are doing now,” she says. “There are so many platforms you can put your music on that weren’t there 10 years ago.”

Instead, Steffany arranged interviews on radio stations, TV segments, even for a music magazine in India! “The whole world is my platform,” she says.

Over the last decade the songstress has been reinventing herself and counts being chosen for a song-writing workshop weekend with Kiwi icon Bic Runga as one of her professional highlights.

The brunette Stephanie from the original YouTube video of I Have a Dream has now become a more talented and very blonde, Steffany.

“I changed my name spelling as there were so many other Stephanie Becks. You need to be easy to find,” she says.

Steffany’s working week is busy as a full-time Health and Safety Manager at Contract Construction, a career she adores.

Lockdown gave her the chance to let herself relax a little and get the re-release of her original I Have a Dream organised.

“I really want to inspire people. Especially now with everything in crazy chaos, you still owe it to yourself to live your own dream.”

Her original song is now up on Spotify, iTunes, apple music, Sound Cloud and Facebook and the latest video went live on YouTube on 15 July.

 

Song Spotify/ iTunes/ Apple Music

smarturl.it/SteffanyBeck

Music video

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq_x6Xi4buA

Social media

www.facebook.com/steffanybeckmusic/


 

Tapped out


From dark and moody to bright and playful, this season’s best bathroom looks have us tapping into some serious style. So we’ve got some tap lessons just for you.

 

MEIR MATTE BLACK SQUARE FLEXIBLE MIXER TAP

 

Who would have thought our functional faucets would set the trend in the busiest little room of the house? Tapware is the new bathroom bling.

And brass is the much-loved baby in the bathroom this year – whether in a high-polished, soft brushed or a more antiqued patina, this metal excludes a certain elegance and richness.

Plush set against porcelain white, both brass and gold are also a warm flattering tone with blues and greens.

Against marble-effect tiling and stone, it is pure European opulence that blends with the latest brass-framed mirrors and accessories, and gilt-marbling seen in the new wet-room wallpapers.

MEIR MATTE BLACK ROUND FREESTANDING BATH SPOUT AND HAND SHOWER

Black dramatically graced the faucet fashion pages a few years ago, and is now upstaging grey as the dashingly dark choice in bathrooms.

The practical matte-black is the tapware we’re turning towards this time. Classic chrome is still with us – but in shapes and styles that will stand out

Industrial is the practical style of the year – with the edgy, chunky function in substantial-sized separate taps and out-there spouting.

MEIR CHAMPAGNE ROUND KITCHEN MIXER TAP CURVED

Deep plunge baths lend the opportunity to showcase free-standing tapware as a feature; an elegant swan neck or an industrial focal piece.

Especially imperative if the bath is freestanding away from the wall.

Now that variety in tapware styles and finishes expand the decades – it is easy to create any theme, from an ancient Turkish spa or Victorian villa to a contemporary Italian or New York apartment.

New tapware is an affordable alternative to transform a bathroom without a complete new fit-out.

Let tapware tell the tale.

MEIR ROUND BLACK WALL MIXER

 


 

Redcliffs School’s Rebirth


A welcoming icon of community resilience stands proud in Redcliffs – a victorious beginning after a school’s endurance of a long, patient journey home.

 

PHOTOS LILLY TURNER

 

On June 22 Te Raekura Redcliffs School opened its doors and the community can now celebrate and enjoy the everchanging estuary views from the picture windows.|

Three days later, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke at the official opening day and Kiwi icon Dave Dobbyn entertained, singing a poignant Welcome Home to a group of around 600, with the school’s new haka, gifted by school parent Quentin Hoera also contributing to the emotionally moving week of events.

Principal Rose McInerney who remained head of the school since its closure in 2016, says the mood from the whole community was of both excitement and relief.

The new school has been built for a roll of 300, with 210 children enrolled on opening week. The build has future capacity for the school’s masterplan of up to 400 pupils.

“When we first moved to our temporary Sumner home back in 2011, none of us could have possibly imagined the road that lay ahead,” Rose says.

“It is with immense relief that we now put that journey behind us, moving into our wonderful new school with a renewed sense of energy and encouraged by the enormous support of our community.”

The 2011 earthquakes saw the much loved Redcliffs school move from their original home, after it was deemed unsafe from cliff fall in June of that year.

The roll then stood at 400. The school was going to close forever in 2016 – but the community fought with passion to keep their primary school that had shaped generations of young lives. For the last nine years, Redcliffs School has been operating at Sumner’s van Asch Deaf Education Centre.

The school’s new name for a new era, Te Raekura Redcliffs School, translates to The Red Cliffs.

The name, along with other te reo names used throughout the campus, was gifted by Mātauraka Mahaanui, an organisation established to include Māori and Ngāi Tahu content in the city’s rebuilt post-earthquake schools.

“Our return has been down to the tenacity and doggedness of many, many wonderful people, volunteering their time and playing an integral part,” Rose says.

The $16 million rebuild by Naylor Love Construction resides on the original Redcliffs Park site, it is now a local landmark from Main Road and Beachville Road.

Striking coloured precast panels blend into the environment, giving ode to the red cliffs towering above the original site which will now become the local park.

LBL timber was incorporated, as well as structural steel with sliding plates, for seismic resistance. Built with ample ground clearance and a large decked outdoor area, mitigating the possibility of tidal flooding in the future.

Naylor Love Construction Project Manager Darryl Grobler says the play netting above a hexagonal garden area incorporated into the decking was his favourite part of the project.
Murals from the original school were given new life, as well as some original stone, now incorporated into the landscaping.

The original 107-year-old school bell, was also rung by the Prime Minister – announcing a rock-solid community has finally come home.

Upcoming Te Raekura Redcliffs School open days will be held at 2pm on 19 and 31 July, and 2 August.


 

Kiwi icon of comedy


It’s all about hearty belly laughs – even in times of adversity – for this Kiwi icon of comedy.

 

 

Peter Rowley is an actor well-loved by those who were glued to the telly in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

He was the straight guy in many a Kiwiana satirical series, such as McPhail and Gatsby, and most notoriously, the Billy T James Show, of which Peter also wrote the scripts with his late, great best-bud Billy. More recently he stared in 2018’s Mortal Engines.

This eternal funny guy still rocks the enthusiastic energy he’s infamous for, even at the suave age of 68.

During Stage 4 lockdown he got up-close and personal with his ‘lockdown comedy’ on Facebook every single day.

The rendition of traditional funny-bone ticklers, showcased his repertoire of impersonations, accents and elastic expressions – adding the odd sound effect with a click of a talented tongue.

He does a Billy Conolly arguably as good as the Scotsman himself. Being too PC or polite doesn’t feature in a Rowley script. It’s comedy in its riotous raw. A

“I resonate with today’s straight-shooting comedians like Ricky Jervis and I admire Spike Milligan for introducing absurdity into comedy.”

Being exceptionally observant is his recipe for creating good comedy.

At this year’s World Buskers Festival, he took to the Spiegeltent stage for the Palaver Grand show. “My happy place is stand-up comedy, so I’m all for its resurgence.”

Born in Timaru and Christ College schooled, he became the “funny boy” so people would like him – and his grandmother was also a comedian.

Peter’s been ensconced back in Christchurch where he grew up, since 2018, after a stint as a Central Otago radio jock.

Prior to that, Peter lived in Melbourne, acting in shows such as Underbelly and Neighbours… and even a Viagra commercial!

“I was pretty much an unknown over there, until I walked into a pub and mentioned I was the voice of Dog in the movie Footrot Flats: A Dog’s Tale. It was all matey hugs and beers after that! The Aussie’s love it.”

Son of a wartime fighter pilot, Peter’s other passion is flying and he’s also enjoyed MCing and livening up many a corporate event.

A voluminous CV of screen and stage stints has led to opportune moments, like having a cuppa with Joan Collins and smoking a cigar with Tommy Lee Jones and Dudley Moore.

This comedic character once owned a Russian Vodka bar.

And recently he conjured up the recipe to his own gin label.

Unsurprisingly christened Laughing Club Gin, the tasteful tipple of London Dry style botanicals, has a beguiling backstory involving Singapore’s Raffles Hotel, sea voyages and British Kings – well matched to its rather glam Art Deco logo.

And why gin? “Because you can always have a great laugh with friends over a really good gin – responsibly of course!”

A boutique Marlborough distillery is preparing for production. “We’ll use a traditional copper still to produce a top-quality mellifluous mouthfeel, which will be PH perfect.”

Peter, who bounced back from a heart attack in 2005, is even more in tune with his creative life mission.

His advice to artists and entrepreneurs?

“It’s courage. When you don’t have fear, then you can allow yourself to be brilliant.

Take your life and make it into the best story in the world!”


 

Every drop counts


Every 18 minutes someone in New Zealand needs blood or plasma. Whether it be during a national tragedy or for a sick child, every single drop counts.

 

Over a 15-month period, New Zealand firstly endured the Christchurch Mosque attacks, where 520 units of red cells, platelets, cryoprecipitate and fresh frozen plasma from the New Zealand Blood Service went directly to help save lives.

Then it was Whakaari/White Island eruption with multiple casualties, followed by COVID-19. Our blood donors ensured blood and blood products were available to help save lives throughout the lock-down. Donor centres remained full and 15,300 Kiwis ensured blood was always available.

On 14 June, New Zealand celebrates World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) to increase awareness of this life-saving essential service, and to acknowledge and thank our blood donor heroes; 14 June also marks the birth-date of Karl Landsteiner, who discovered the universal ABO blood group system.

For one little boy, Seb Turner, his life was saved.

Although a common A+ blood type, he was diagnosed with a one-in-a-million autoimmune disease, Aplastic Anaemia; a rare disease that also killed Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie.

Seb had bone marrow failure and his own immune system was attacking his stem cells, making him highly vulnerable to infections.

When Seb was two, his mum Caroline noticed some unusual bruising.”

On 7 February 2019, he was referred to Christchurch hospital and by the end of that night, had a blood transfusion. “It only took half an hour for the blood to arrive,” Caroline says.

“A week later, after a bone marrow biopsy, he was diagnosed. There were no matches to get a bone marrow transplant, so Seb had his platelets replaced every week and red blood cells every 10 days for six months, as his body was unable to produce them. “

Last November Seb’s Hickman line was removed and he has been transfusion-free for six months.

The lively little boy from Lincoln is otherwise a normal healthy three-year-old who is crazy about dinosaurs, diggers and dogs.

“He’s a little firecracker. Even in the recovery ward at Christchurch Hospital, he just wanted to get up and play. We’re now heading towards remission as his bloods are really good. He’s starting to ask questions now. We tell him his blood is sick – he’s not sick.”

The New Zealand blood service is a not-for-profit Crown entity responsible for collection, processing, testing, storage and distribution of all blood and blood products nationwide.

There are currently 110,000 wonderful unremunerated volunteer blood donors in New Zealand, of which 11,000 are plasma donors.

To keep up with demand, NZBS needs to double the plasma-donor registry. Currently less than four percent of eligible Kiwis are registered to donate.

Red blood cells only have a 35 day shelf life and platelets need to be transfused within seven days.

To keep up with essential demand, the NZBS needs to collect more than 3,500 donations every week. There is no substitute for blood.

“We are so lucky,” Caroline says. “Many third-world countries, where he wouldn’t have survived, don’t have a blood donor system.

“I am beyond grateful. They have kept Seb alive. He would not be here today without our donor service. It is all because of complete strangers, who have been so incredibly selfless.”

Some of Caroline’s friends donated blood when Seb got sick and now Caroline has become a donor for the first time.

“I was too scared of needles 20 years ago, so I was surprised it was really quick and easy, only taking five to 10 minutes. It really didn’t feel like anything… and I got a Kit Kat at the end!”

The NZBS relies on Kiwis across the country to volunteer to donate, ensuring a continual supply of precious blood and blood products to help health services save thousands of lives.

To become a blood donor, download the app, visit nzblood.co.nz, or phone 0800 448 325 (0800 GIVE BLOOD) and book an appointment to donate.


 

Cream of the crop


Beer aficionados are salivating – the winning brews for the New World Beer and Cider Awards 2020 are out now

 

An independent panel of 24 judges assembled in March, chosen for their astute and discerning palates.

Well deserving of the role was Christchurch’s brewing legend Ralph Bungard, founder and operator of Three Boys Brewery in Ferry Road.

In March, Ralph sat at a table of three judges and an associate, critiquing around 45 beers over two days with the aim of finding the cream of the crop; the top 30 tipples out of 600 entries from 100 breweries and cider makers worldwide. No judge tasted their own, with brands under secrecy.

“It was a bit stressful waiting to see if the others agreed when you picked a fantastic beer, but rewarding when everyone thought the same!” Ralph says. “There were definitely a few standouts.”

The 30 winners were assessed on technical excellence, balance, mouthfeel and drinkability.

“New World has as a staple of individual beers on the shelves, so you can try out a new beer or cider. It’s then something to really enjoy and taste, rather than just grabbing a slab of beer.”

Ralph developed a fascination for the centuries-old liquid amber when working in beer paradise, Northern England, as a biochemist.

On returning home, he blended skill with passion and became a master of his craft.

“I compare it to cooking – boiling it up and adding in the herbs.

There’s hundreds of varieties of hops with identifiable flavours like passionfruit and pineapple, and many malts – from chocolatey to caramels, and even hundreds of yeasts; so many combinations!”

Ralph and Brigid Bungard started Three Boys in Garlands Road behind The Tannery 15 years ago.

“It was pretty rough and ready, he says, although he sometimes misses the “smallness” of the original brewery.

He reflects on retro Kiwi days of the 6’oclock swill when microbreweries were few.

“But you can now have a sophisticated treat, and a beer!” he says of the rise of the craft beer industry.

Ralph keeps seven staples in a good core range, naming them simply what they are.

Popular Three Boys Wheat made the final cut, being ranked in the coveted ‘Top 30’ brews.

The hazy wheat beer, a long-standing staple in the Three Boys range, impressed the judges’ taste buds with its alchemy of spices, coriander and zest, brewed with an authentic Belgium yeast.

Three Boys produce a range of beers from their Ferry Road site from the more familiar lagers and pilsners, through to rich dark beers and the ultra-modern, hop-forward styles of pale ales and hazy beers. And there are his quirkier concoctions, such as the barrel-aged Prunus Stave and the infamous Oyster Stout.

Yes, it really is made with Bluff oysters, to give a subtle brininess and a little seaside smell.”

Ralph doesn’t have a favourite beer.

“That’s like asking what is your favourite child,” he laughs. The name Three Boys aptly refers to the entrepreneurial dad and his two sons.

“Aside from a cup of tea, you can’t beat a beer when you’re thirsty.”

A full list of the Top 30 winning beers and ciders, as well as the 70 Highly Commended brews, can be found on the New World website at newworld.co.nz/Top30.