Who would have thought it? Not me!
A combination of an Achilles injury, Waiheke's unrelenting hills and the effortless form of Mike Moore during last year's Basque tour persuaded me to buy a mountain bike with a little 'je ne sais quoi' and full suspension. Highly recommended - see below, left. Electric bikes will soon be available on The Active Gourmet tours in France for those looking for a more leisurely journey. A bottle of St Emilion wine for everyone signing up this month for a tour.
Who would have thought it? Part two
Congratulations to Maurice Trapp, lanterne rouge (tail end Charlie and picture above right) on so many of our escorted tours, who was recently appointed president of Auckland Rugby.
A Cooks Tour starting Rome, 4 September has just two places left. A mixed case of Bordeaux wine for the two lucky people who sign up this month.
An inspiration from Tuscany via the kitchen of Beryl Appleby (thank you) the world's best amaretti (in Italian amaretti means "a tiny bit bitter").
180g ground almonds
120g castor sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
3 drops of natural almond extract
60g Otago dried apricots
2 free-range egg whites
2 tsp honey (Otago wild honey)
Plenty of icing sugar for rolling
Preheat oven to 170°C. Put the ground almonds, sugar, lemon zest, almond extract in a large bowl, and rub with your fingers to evenly disperse zest and essence.
Add the apricots and set aside.
Beat the egg whites and honey until they reach a soft meringue consistency. Gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture. At this stage you should have a soft, malleable paste.
With your hands, form the mixture into small irregular shapes (approx. tsp size). Roll them in plenty of icing sugar, then arrange on a tray lined with baking paper. Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes. The biscuits should have taken on some colour but remain relatively pale and chewy in the centre. Leave to cool completely before indulging, or store in a sealed jar.
Bon voyage intrepid travellers!
This month we are sending off travellers clutching our Active Gourmet personalised itineraries for Sicily, Northern Italy, France, UK and Turkey. We know you will have a great time! (Thanks to Lizzie, currently in Sicily, for sharing her meal with us below!)
Hubert's Wine Circle
Our thirsty mascot, Hubert, is about to take delivery of another two pallets of wine. He and the cyclists on the Gironde tour savoured the excellent wines of Chateau Travis two years ago. If you are interested in flavoursome, well-made, (almost healthy wines) at a very good price, send an email to be added to the Circle.
Rugby: The Defence 2015
Dozens have signed up for this huge event next year. If you are not yet on the list, contact us or see the website for an explanation of the various packages available to you.
RIP Mother - Edna Trapp (1917-2014)
With great sadness we report the passing in the UK this week of Maurice and Colette's mother Edna. She certainly packed a lot of living into her 96.5 years! Many of you will have met Mother in Mt Eden or enjoying the beach at Waiheke, or helping with the picnics during our Irish tour in 2001. She will be remembered for her sense of fun, her dignity, her ability to relate to all ages and for her style.
A typical below pose showing Mother with George and her favourite tipple, The Famous Grouse
Enjoy winter everyone. Only seven weeks until the shortest day...
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