Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why can't all children's meals be like this?

We are on holiday and went to an incredibly family friendly country cafe about eight kilometres out of Timaru.

They do not serve chips!

You could have a hot or cold kid's meal. The cold included: ham and cheese muffin (with a small piece of real ham in the middle), sliced apple, a pack of raisins and some crackers with cheese on them.  A watered down juice box comes with it - a fairly decent children's meal option.  The meals are served on small, strong ceramic bowls.  They have clearly thought about a sensible meal for children and arranged one.  Fantastic!

What is particularly nice about the Shearer's Quarters is that there is a huge play ground out the front, and out the back there is mini golf, a driving range and a mini-farm.  For $1 you can buy a small bag of pellets and go out to feed the animals.  My daughter loved the donkey and pigs best.  There is a famously naughty goat who will even eat the paper bags that the pellets come in!  I was a bit sceptical about this and decided to test out the paper eating theory with my EFTPOS receipt from the amazing gift shop (there is basically an entire house attached to the Shearer's Quarters selling beautiful gifts, locally produced art and craft and lots of jewellery - I had good reason to want to destroy my receipt)!  The goat declined to eat the receipt, and therefore was not complicit in hiding evidence of spending.

My Timaru based family go there every Sunday morning with my niece.  She has also celebrated a couple of birthdays out there - it has been declared my daughter's favourite restaurant!

The baby fell asleep on the way back into town so we turned around and drove out to Geraldine.  Geraldine was a poky little country 'town' when I grew up.  It has since become a tourist destination with a number of high quality tourist/ gift shops to show for it.  My planned destination was the Barker's store.  Barker's produce quite delicious jams and preserves and the outlet store is normally good for some specials.  I got quite excited about the 'seconds' as they really demonstrated to me the difficulties of consistent process in making preserves.  I bought some mint and apple jelly deemed to be low on mint; you could also buy cheap peanut curry sauce that was 'too dark.'  I was glad to see that they also sold jam that hadn't set.  It really does make me feel better about some of my worst jam days!

We spent a not to be disclosed sum at a decadent chocolate shop, Choco.  They also sold strange soda drinks so we got a couple.  We arranged a tasting of this drinks during my Mum's birthday dinner.  The dandelion and burdock was considered too sweet, the Mello Yello additionally too sweet (although highly commended for the childhood memories) and the Tango orange was the favourite as a less sweet version of Fanta.  I think I will probably avoid impulse buy soda cans from here on.

Strange soda from Geraldine - the Mello Yello was a surprise find!

Famous fudge from Christchurch Art Centre.

 The Fudge Cottage was a favourite stop during past visits to the Christchurch Arts' Centre.  You could taste samples of their very wide range and view fudge making in progress.  They are trying to get another viewable kitchen set up, and it is good to hear that they are still in production.
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1 comment:

  1. The last time I bought my kids a children's snack pack thing was when we were waiting for the urgent doctor, my ear infection was killing me, and I'd temporarily lost all concern for nutritional sanity. The snack packs were variants on biscuits and chips, with some ultra-sugary juice in there. The silly thing is that the presentation of the food often appeals as much to kids as the food itself - put a bit of thought into how you present the kai, and you'll often find the kids are quite happy to eat healthy.