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RAGLAN Chronicle 9 phone: 825 7076 email: firstname.lastname@example.org When I laid my hands on the smooth matte cover of this book, I have to say that I felt the inner book nerd within me stir. Packed with glossy pages full of photos and entertaining banter, this book provides an in-depth guide to the coastline of New Zealand’s North Island. The information presented in this guide is broad, going beyond the beach and writing about the local culture from friendly cafe recommendations, accommodation suggestions and even detailed weather maps. But what really differentiates this book from any other coffee-table photo book is it’s underlying message that some of the coastal gems we love so much are under threat. While the beauty of our coastline is evident, Tim also highlights that we have to take an ethical approach to environmental management in order to preserve the beauty of our beloved beaches. And his message couldn’t come at a better time as recent environmental catastrophes like the RENA oil spill have shown how vulnerable our coastlines can be. Head to Raglan Net to read about Tim’s journey in writing the NZ Good Beach Guide and the involvement of some of the local Raglanders. An interesting read and great gift idea, this book is a must-have if you love a great Kiwi summer by the beach! The Raglan Chronicle has one copy of the NZ Good Beach Guide to give away this month. Head to www.raglan.net.nz and follow the instructions to be in to win! Winner will be drawn December 21st 2011. Good luck! One of the upsides of a kiwi Christmas is the long days and warm summer sunshine that provide the perfect backdrop for a get-together or a barbeque. Raglan’s own celebrity food blogger Emma Galloway gave us this recipe as a great drink alternative that uses natural ingredients. Great for kids, even with the pepper tang, and could also work as a mixer for a fruity summer cocktail. Because the resulting product is a syrup, you can even drizzle over ice cream or pancakes for a twist of strawberry flavour! Currently living in Australia, Emma’s blog features a selection of recipes centered around gluten and dairy-free eating as well as tips on organic vegetable gardening. Don’t forget to check out Emma’s blog at www.mydarlinglemonthyme.com for more great recipes! Cordial Recipe: Using this amount of black pepper makes an ever so slight tingle in the back of your throat, which is really nice and not hot in any way. My kids happily drank it, just so you know. Soda water can be used in place of sparkling mineral water if preferred. Makes 3 1/2 cups of syrup enough to make 8-12 diluted drinks 500g fresh strawberries, washed & hulled 1 cup unrefined raw sugar 1 cup filtered water 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper small handful of fresh thyme sprigs 1 tsp pure vanilla essence sparkling mineral water (or soda water), to serve Blend strawberries in a food processor until smooth. Combine sugar, water, ground black pepper and thyme in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to infuse and cool for 10 minutes. Strain mixture to remove thyme and most of the black pepper, add to the strawberry puree along with the vanilla essence and pulse to combine. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove most of the seeds, place into a glass jar and chill until required. To serve spoon a little of the strawberry mixture, to taste, into glasses and top up with sparkling mineral water. Any left over syrup will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Image: mydarlinglemonthyme/Emma Galloway Strawberry, black pepper and thyme cordial recipe Win a copy of the New Zealand Good Beach Guide by Tim Rainger!