Over the last few weeks, I’ve been writing a lot about my travels around Thailand in their sequence of events, but it’s time to mix things up! Since this blog is all about deviating the norm I thought I’d deviate my blogging norm for a moment to wish everyone a...

Merry X-Mas!!!!

I am writing from a house-sit in New Zealand. A lovely family is away for the holidays and they are allowing me the opportunity to take care of their adorable dog and look after their home for the week.


It was a little difficult getting this puppy to sit still for a "family photo." ;)

I am especially appreciative of this house-sit at the moment because I've been camping around the North Island for the last month. The comfy bed and consistent WiFi is doing me (and this blog!) some good.

I also get to Skype with my family back home and do one of my favorite holiday activities…


When I arrived here in Kiwi-land a bunch of folks told me about New Zealand/Australian foods I “had to try.” One of these was Pavlova—a delicious meringue and fruit pie. A Kiwi father and daughter I met during a hike on the Coromandel encouraged me to make my own. I’ve never made meringue before but I knew I’d be up for a baking challenge during the holidays.

This morning, I found a recipe online for a 3-tiered Pavlova. I got to work while I watched my family over Skype open the presents I had sent them from Thailand. The first task was figuring out the oven. Using an oven in Celsius rather than Fahrenheit was a new experience.

I also had access to a Kitchen Aid mixer which surprisingly had a US plug—huh? I guess Kitchen Aid doesn’t make New Zealand appliances (or they ordered it on accident). I had to use my converter to plug it in!

Since you can go to the recipe link to learn exactly how it’s made, I’ll just share some progress photos without the boring instructions…

Here’s the final product:

Strawberries, bananas, and blueberries were used in the example recipe. To make this NZ/Aussie dish even more New Zealandy, I decided I had to include kiwi fruit, too! I also felt like the added green made it more festive.

Well, I had a ton of fun making Pavlova for the first time and in the comfort of a Kiwi home. The only thing left to do now is eat! Happy X-Mas from New Zealand!