My Dunedin Itinerary

Elderflower cordial

In the North Island, elderflower is less common in the wild, whereas here the south you should find all you need by driving around rural areas.

The elderflower is known for its delicate, almost floral vanilla taste. This time of year, you'll recognise it by its clumps of tiny white flowers and light perfume. Pick your own, taking care to remove only the flower heads and not the stalks as they are poisonous. The whole head should snap off at the point it connects to the branch so it isn't difficult to ensure you're getting the right part of the plant.

“This famous cordial has a unique, almost ethereal quality, suggestive of some mysterious fruit with hints of hay and summer meadows.”

25 elderflower heads
zest and juice of 2 lemons and 1 orange
1.5 litres boiling water 
1kg sugar
1 heaped teaspoon citric acid

Inspect the elderflower heads carefully and remove any insects. Put the flower heads in a large bowl with the orange and lemon zest.

Bring the water to the boil and pour it over the elderflowers and  zest. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.

Strain the liquid through a scalded jelly bag or piece of muslin and pour into a saucepan. Add the sugar, the lemon and orange juice and the citric acid.

Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.

Use a funnel to pour the hot syrup into sterilised bottles. Seal the bottles with swing-top lids, sterilised screw-tops or corks.

* For a summer cocktail, add a dash of cordial to a glass of bubbly.

Cath tries fried rice

I haven’t had much time to get to the supermarket this week and the cupboard was looking a bit bare. I’m lucky enough to have chooks at home so with fresh eggs in hand so I found a fried rice recipe. I didn’t have all of the ingredients but was able to substitute using what I had in the fridge, adding red pepper and bacon for a fast and yummy meal.

Get the recipe here.

Taste: 5 / 5 stars

This was a tasty and filling meal, bound to be a winner for the whole family.

Time: 5 / 5 stars

This took 25 minutes to make. Perfect if you’re in a hurry.

Difficulty: 5 / 5 stars

This was so easy, you can’t go wrong.

Love Food Hate WasteLove Food Hate Waste

New Zealanders throw away 122,547 tonnes of food a year. That’s enough to feed everyone in Dunedin for two years.

Along with the Solid Waste team, we’re testing ways to reduce waste and save money by putting leftovers to use. We’re testing leftover recipes from Love Food Hate Waste, and sharing our experiences here. You can share your own leftover tips and recipes by sending us an email

Cath tries chicken croquettes Cath tries chicken croquettes

Yesterday, I challenged myself to make our evening meal using only leftovers and the food we had in the fridge and cupboards.

We’d had roast chicken for dinner the previous evening, and chicken sandwiches for lunch but there was still more chicken to finish. With leftover vegetables and half a packet of bacon in the fridge I decided to make chicken croquettes. They were so easy and delicious. A great dish served with salad. Get the recipe here.

Taste: 4 / 5 stars

Delicious! It was hard to stop eating these, they were so good!

Time: 3 / 5 stars

It took about an hour to make these. Definitely worth it for the result but best to make these when you have lots of time.

Difficulty: 4 / 5 stars

These were easy to make but they were a bit fiddly, which meant it took a while to make them.