Enjolie Levengood - “In a world of pure imagination”

Enjolie Levengood

Enjolie is an American student of biology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. In her words, “I'm a complete nerd and I love to cook and eat”.

Saturday is one of my favorite days here in Dunedin. It's not just because it's the weekend, but it is also when the Farmer's Market is held. And two Saturdays ago in particular was extra special, because it was also the Cadbury Chocolate Carnival. Almost everything around me was edible, and there was so much chocolatey goodness!

The workers, dressed in bright purple and white jumpsuits were dishing out liquid chocolate from a big fountain (it was way too sweet for me), handing out full candy bars if you yo-yo-ed or hula-hooped, and had presentations of how to temper chocolate. It was an event mostly for children, but I loved watching the super enthusiastic guy play with melted chocolate. In case you didn't know, that's how you temper chocolate and make it shiny - pour the liquid chocolate out on some cold marble and spread/toss it around with two spatulas until the temperature has dropped some. At the end, a girl answered a question right and got a chance to try... I thought that was great!   

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“every week from 8-12 at the Dunedin Train Station, there is a big farmer's market, where you can buy cheap fruit & veg...”

At the end of the festival, I bought a giant Jaffa (a round Cadbury chocolate with a bright red candy coating) for the Cadbury Jaffa Race this coming Friday. Unfortunately, I am going to be away on a trip during the actual race. But, this is what happens: around midday all of the purchased Jaffas (around 25,000) are released down Baldwin Street (the steepest public street in the world) and the first five to cross the finish line win!

Check out the Cadbury Chocolate Carnival website for more info and photos

That was the exciting moment of that past Saturday, but every week from 8-12 at the Dunedin Train Station, there is a big farmer's market, where you can buy cheap fruit & veg, great breakfast, coffee, pastries, lunch, and much more. There's also different performers each week.

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“I wander around and listen to the great music being played, watch dancers performing, or stare in awe at jugglers performing in the street”

While shopping for ingredients for the upcoming week's lunch, I wander around and listen to the great music being played, watch dancers performing, or stare in awe at jugglers performing in the street. So many of the stands have great food to eat there: there are wonderful crêpe, dumpling, and pastry stands at the market. I just bought a giant almond and chocolate croissant this week. Just looking at it was mouth-watering. It tasted wonderful: the slightly sweet dough was flaky outside and soft inside, the dark chocolate complimented the sliced almonds perfectly.   

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“The slightly sweet dough was flaky outside and soft inside, the dark chocolate complimented the sliced almonds perfectly”

My favourite stand is completely free. It is straight ahead if you use the main entrance, hidden in a bit of an alcove of stands. But the smells emanating from the cooking stall draw people all morning.  

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“The smells emanating from the cooking stall draw people all morning”

Every week, the woman in this stand makes food only with ingredients from the market and gives out the recipes she uses. As she explains and cooks each of her creations, she hands out samples and any questions you may have about using any of the ingredients from the market. And, her recipes are delicious.

One of my flatmates used one of her recipes for our flat dinner, and it was absolutely delicious (and one of my favorite foods). Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try:

Twice-Baked Potatoes with Leeks:

Ingredients:

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 cup spring onion, diced

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Wash the potato and prick it multiple times with a fork (if you don't it will explode). Rub it with olive oil and either place it directly on the oven rack or on a baking sheet (preferably one with a slight rim to avoid them rolling off). Bake them for about 1 hour or until soft when poked with a fork.  
  2. When the potatoes are baking, fry the leeks in a pan with a little oil until soft. Add to a bowl.
  3. Once the potatoes are done and have cooled some, cut them in half (the longways) and scoop out the insides. (You can go however deep you want. My mom would take out most of it and leave about one centimetre or insides, but my flatmate went all the way to the skin.) Add the insides to the bowl with leeks, then add the butter, sour cream, spring onion, and milk. Mix and mash well.
  4. Re-stuff the potatoes and place in a baking dish. Bake in the oven (180°C or 350°F) until golden. Serve!

My flatmate adjusted the recipe a bit to make it vegetarian (there was originally bacon), but she also substituted the cheese and butter for olive oil and margarine to create vegan ones! And I bet she could have added a dash of soy/almond milk to lighten it up and substitute the milk/sour cream. I highly suggest using this recipe to experiment with different variations of twice-baked potatoes!

Have fun cooking, and if you ever go to Dunedin, visit the Train Station on a Saturday morning for lovely entertainment and food.

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