The smokey smell of hangi was strong and we sniffed the air in delightful anticipation coming home from work. We were not disappointed.
The girls had decided to do a hangi fundraiser to raise enough for the trip South to our Whanau Wananga at Parihaka. A learning weekend about family’s history, in this case, their Dads side of the family. We’d done a few hangi in our time. We fed around 240 for Chee’s wedding a few years ago, but for the two girls with six little ones between them under 8, this was an ambitious idea they grasped with both hands. They delivered a first class meal to about 80 in total and it was delicious!
A Hangi is normally done underground but these were cooked in old kegs turned into Kai cookers with the distinctive Manuka chips smoked for taste and the food steamed to perfection, so very similar to the traditional in ground version. They had done chicken, lamb, potato, pumpkin, kumara, cabbage and stuffing. It was perfect in every way and hard to stop eating!
Each meal packed in aluminum dishes before steaming made the tidy up a bit easier and prep taking place the night before and early morning was a bit easier with the kids too, who for the most part were running wild and loving every minute of it with their cousins. Sometimes helping, sometimes looking after the smaller ones and sometimes just playing. I will enjoy hearing in years to come, “Remember the time they did a hangi fundraiser and we just ran around, jumped on the tramp and made beds of soft leaves and lavender. What about when we filled buckets with the hose and tipped it all over ourselves and got told off for wasting water?”
The girls waited patiently for feedback and it came thick and fast by all the usual medium…and it was all good. Except some were disappointed they had missed out. It was just twenty four hours before they decided to have another round in three weeks time. This would give them majority of funds they needed and they had it all pretty sussed now too!
During planning we had thought about different options so we could be as waste free as possible. The bags from chicken pieces were soft recycling as was the bread bags used for stuffing. Tara took the herb containers back for playcentre play. Cabbage leaves and Pumpkin peel went into the compost. I have since learn’t I could have also composted the butter paper which I have never done. We just washed potato and kumeras so just the bags to recycle there too. I thought we did pretty good.
Hopefully people will wash the aluminum wrappings and recycle into their metal bin…but I won’t hold my breath on that. I can’t believe peoples attitude to rubbish. Many seem to think that they can produce as much rubbish as they like and its Councils or someone else’s responsibility to get rid of it.
There seems to be an acceptance that digging a massive hole in the ground and bulldozing it all in, is somehow OK? As long as its out of sight, mostly their sight, then its not a problem. Not sure if people appreciate the amount of massive holes or the effect of leaching and the time it takes for all this disgustingness to break down. In our area the bags have been reduced to around two thirds of their original size and as recycle options are changing there is a general uproar. People are saying…” they would like to recycle but its getting hard and they won’t fit everything into their rubbish bags, especially if they include what they might have recycled as the bag size has been reduced. Council needs to do something.”
Ummm, it’s your rubbish people. I can’t imagine my Nanas generation having an attitude of ‘will someone please take care of my rubbish?’ Maybe it’s because we have grown up rurally where families take responsibility for themselves? Self responsibility and self motivation is a gift we need to give to our children. Someone told Tara she was mean making her kids do the dishes. Apart from the fact that most kids love it and its not a chore at all, over time it is acknowledged as a part of your contribution to the household. You share responsibilities in the household, or the group, or the Whanau. With this understanding you are less likely to walk past something and say ‘that’s not my problem’.
I was so incensed after reading these letters I sat and wrote a letter to the editor. Don’t think she would have published that one, but at least I got it off my chest! Next version was far more likely to be accepted. I reread and pushed send. We’ll see.