Prison Gate to Plate

Rimutaka-3If you were given the opportunity to eat a meal prepared by inmates in a prison,would you do it?

We did, and it was fantastic.

“Members of the community are invited to enjoy a meal prepared and served by prisoners who have been under the tutelage of the award-winning chef [Martin Bosley] since November. This is your chance to see and participate in the rehabilitation of offenders by their instructors whilst learning more about the reality of life behind prison gates.”

As part of the Wellington on a Plate food festival – and wider rehabilitation activities at Rimutaka Prison6 inmates, with the help of a local celebrity chef, put on two really entertaining nights at the prison.

Both sold out in a matter of minutes, apparently surprising almost everyone involved.  But not the ticket-buyers; it was hands down the most interesting event on the (tasty, tasty) list!

I’d never been in a prison until last night (one of the benefits of being a goody-good).   Before we got there, I had mental images of sitting in a cold mess hall, eating food clearly made in bulk by amateur cooks.  It wasn’t like that at all.

After leaving everything but our tickets and our IDs in the car (so no photos, team!), and getting an initial security briefing, we were shepherded through the security checkpoint and into the visitor centre.  We all mingled in there, checking out various displays and filling up on the canapés

… cedar planked ora king salmon with chive butter emulsion…
… savoury tuile with a sundried tomato pesto…
… fancy-pants spicy falafel and aioli…
… more salmon…

So tasty.  So good.  So full before dinner.
So worth it.

The canapés alone made the drive out to the prison worthwhile (in my book anyway).

To make it even better – there were trainee drug-dogs (so cute!) and a drug-dog demonstration (so clever!).  Did you know they can train dogs to sniff out cellphones, too?  Try teaching that to your cat.

For dinner, we walked over to the training college restaurant (“Doing Thyme“) and proceed to eat more.

Savannah grass-fed beef fillet, mustard, duck liver parfait, blackcurrants, salt-roasted potato, spiced heritage carrots, watercress and oxtail sauce…

Yes.

Whittaker’s dark chocolate terrine, milk chocolate mousse, with a little popcorn for crunch…

Yum!

The whole night was really interesting, and the food was really good.  We were served both staff and inmates, and were given a small insight into the things being done to help these guys back on track.

If you ever get the opportunity to attend something like this, I highly recommend it.  Yes, you’re getting well-fed and it’s a story to tell others the next day.  But you’re helping these guys who have honed all that energy into two special nights for the public.   Constructive use of their energy.

They’ve built on skills they didn’t know they had.  Confidence is boosted, and as a result of the hard work, they have options that weren’t previously available.

It’s a pretty sweet deal all-round.

Roses Are Red

To keep us Wellingtonians from throwing things at the media for making the whole situation sound worse than it actually is, the Internet has a wonderful range of distractions.

This one is a personal favourite;

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Ahhhh, young love.
Humorous, humorous young love.

All Shook Up

Our part of the country’s been doing a bit of moving today.  A movin’ and a shakin’.  Earthquakes galore.

Nothing big enough to hurt anyone (thankfully!), but enough to make my grocery shopping unpleasant.

So what do we need?  Distraction!
Distraction in the form of online shopping, of course!

So I give to you, additions to my workout gear wishlist:

    

This website is awesome.  It’s also probably just as well that it’s not clear whether they deliver to NZ – I could send a lot of money there…

Anyone know of any places to get awesome workout gear that’s delivered worldwide (and cheap)?

Where do you get your gear?

New Haircut, New Look

After the alopecia update earlier in the month, I made an appointment with my hairdresser and knocked a couple of inches off the length. New cut, new look, and I love it.

Went in with long, lifeless hair, and this photo…

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…and came out smiling, with hair like this:

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Then promptly brought a ghd to try and replicate the look at home.

A very expensive experiment?
Perhaps.
But it is so very shiny.

Wellington Round The Bays – 2013 – 7km

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Wow. First race run and it feels good.

The weather wasn’t as sunny and clear as it was forecasted to be – but the cloud cover and light rain actually made it a more comfortable run. And no sunburn!

Round the Bays was a sell out this year – 13,700 participants in a city of only 200,000 people (500,000 if you count the satellite towns). It was busy.
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We started somewhere in the middle (or, the back of the runners). For those of you who ran too, we were between Spider-Man and Batman. Wonder Woman was a little too ambitious.

The 7km went surprisingly quickly – with plenty to motivate us along the way. There were locals with sprinklers, a jazz band, this guy and Dominion Post posters along the way.
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Some of the corporate-sponsored t-shirts were pretty funny, too.

We crossed the finish line with the clock showing 54 minutes. Since we were so far back, I would estimate it closer to 52 minutes. But we won’t know the official time for a couple if days. Either way, it was under an hour and we walked a fair bit. I’m happy with that.

And, next year we’ll smash it.