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Monday, March 05, 2007

Mellow In The Bottle

Start to finish time

A whole day. Eh, who cares what time it is? Just relax and enjoy the whole process.


5 good friends
1 arts, crafts & food festival in wine country
1 concert with Bic Runga and her sister Boh at a winery estate
1 blanket large enough to hold 5 friends comfortably and safely off the grass
1 designated driver
1 set of benevolent parents to mind the kids for the day
1 random veterinary client (Ubiquitous. No substitutions.)
3 large pizzas with a variety of toppings on each
2 friendly, bubbly next-door neighbours to liven up the evening
1 extra concert ticket, to be given away impulsively


Preheat outdoor temperature to a cozy 22 degrees Celsius. Scatter clouds across the sky - liberally at first, but not too thick so that they may separate nicely later on, allowing the afternoon sun to peek through at random intervals. For best results, use the Wairarapa Valley.

Absolutely no rain. Excess moisture of any kind will ruin the concert portion of this recipe badly.

Have two friends arrange to pick up the designated driver en route to the destination. Can be a little late, but that's all right - especially if said tardiness is to help a new flatmate move in. Besides, you have the whole day ahead of you so what's the rush?

Remaining two friends should arrange to have children taken in by kindly, angelic parents. Reserve some time for chatter with the two friendly neighbours, who may or may not appear unexpectedly.

Blend friends together once they are all arrived, preferably at a house in Greytown that has enough room to accommodate everyone later. Drive together in one vehicle over to neighbouring town of Martinborough. Place smallest of friends in middle of back seat for best results, but don't sit on the seatbelt. Mind the empty bottles of "V" in the front seat.

Park anywhere in Martinborough for the festival. Outdoors should be pleasantly heated to proper temperature at this stage so extra walking is just fine. Disperse friends at will throughout festival, sampling the assortment of arts, crafts and food along the way. Be sure to take in a good mix of each or optimal results cannot be guaranteed.

Be pleasantly surprised to run into a favourite client of the vet hospital. Day should be a little brighter but try not to linger.

After all five friends are sated on crafts and food, transfer them to Alana Estate, site of the day's main course. Timing is everything, so do not try to walk all the way there but also do not rush. Designated driver can be used or saved for later in the recipe.

A steady accumulation of pictures and movies is encouraged throughout the creation of this dish. If camera has not been broken out already, do so now, but try hard not to look too much like a tourist. Kiwi crowd may be amused at overly-American displays of accent and/or enthusiasm with the camera.

And remember the sunblock. Those clouds offer no protection and there is a hole in the ozone layer. This means you, designated driver!

At entrance to winery estate (Alana Estate is best), hand extra concert ticket to security guard. Instruct guard to hand out free ticket to anyone he wishes, to serve as good deed for day. This sweetens recipe to some degree, but also adds a dash of bitterness. Best not to use this ingredient again, as will not work as well for Night At The Opera! recipe, to be created later in the year.

Find suitable location from which to view Bic and Boh Runga concert. Ideally close to stage but not too far from the beer & wine stall, the food stall, the port-a-loos, and most importantly - the coffee stall. Maintain temperature at steady 22-24 degrees Celsius. Spread large blanket out evenly and scatter friends onto it for finest level of comfort and sunbathing. "Annexing of territory", or keeping ingredients distinctly separated on the blanket, may occur but only in good fun.

Friends should sip wine and coffee casually and enjoy the soothing melodies of the Runga sisters. Mellowing should peak at this phase, in spite of occasional ill-suited placement of lawn chairs in front of blankets by other careless ingredients. Mellowness enhanced by alcohol, to a point. Whole process of concert should run 3-4 hours. Any ingredients with children should silently thank saintly parents for fifth time today for watching the kids.

Corral friend ingredients after show and attempt to proceed to vehicle in orderly fashion. Designated driver can prove useful here. Leakage from some ingredients along way may occur.

Transfer friends via vehicle back to initial cooking surface of Greytown. Park in town and lift inredients from vehicle and into nearest pub. Watch the rugby but ONLY if results will be good; otherwise ingredients may become depressed and flatten. Should this occur, sprinkle alcohol liberally over ingredients for lightening.

Before completing the course at the house in Greytown, send 1-3 friends to obtain the pizzas. Variety is encouraged, and allow time for proper preparation of pizzas. More time may be necessary if diverse number of ingredients chosen for pizzas.

Designated driver should transport remaining friends and pizzas safely back to the house. The host ingredients should make coffees available, if properly mellowed. Otherwise, remaining ingredients may be 'buggered'. If bubbly neighbours have not yet appeared, invite them over. Chances of invite being turned down by neighbours close to nil.

Enjoy company of neighbours and friends into the night. Mellowing may continue or turn into effervescent, lively feeling. Or a combination of both. Immersing ingredients in neighbours' spa later on is recommended, but optional.

Leave friends in house overnight, savour results of Mellow on following day. Make plans for repeat in future, allowing for minor or major variations. Tramping On Ice and Jamming To Fat Freddy's Drop both popular choices, but nearly infinite possibilities exist.

Serves 5-7.


Blogger Beechball said...

hahaha, you just kill me with your theme posts all the time, I loved it. As much as that wasn't a recipe, you did such a great job at making it sound like one, god, you're really good at that! It sounds like you had a wonderful time and now, I must leave you and go snoop through all your pictures you crazy tourist you! :P

8:20 AM  
Blogger Brooksie said...

Glad you enjoyed that one, Lyndsay! I was hoping it wouldn't be too 'recipe-ish' to not get what I was describing. Your enthusiasm only encourages me to do more theme posts! Hope ya liked the pictures, too!

10:13 PM  

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