What I’m cooking: Genie De Wit

Genie De Wit is a graphic designer, food blogger, food stylist and food photographer now based in Whanganui. Growing up alongside her family’s takeaway businesses, she has a deep respect for small local operators. Her blog, Bunny Eats Design, is celebrating its first decade this year.

My husband and I, and our rabbits, moved from Auckland to Whanganui into our first home a few days before lockdown. Our new kitchen has been given a good workout. Unlike many others, we didn’t have a pantry or freezer to clear out. We moved no food with us. A clean slate.

I was gifted a mini mushroom farm at the start of lockdown and watching fresh oyster mushrooms grow has been a delight. I’ve had five flushes so far, all inspiring to cook with. Being resourceful and limiting my movement meant supermarket visits once a fortnight. The last few days before the next shop is often where magic happens. I’m a big fan of raid the fridge/pantry/freezer meals.

Mine have included:

  • Everything vegetable soup
  • Chicken tenders and fish finger tacos
  • Pizza using a two mushrooms and a lonely sausage

During lockdown I craved fried chicken, sashimi, and poké. In Auckland, Lowbrow serves my favourite fried chicken. I haven’t found anything locally that comes close so I took it upon myself to master fried chicken. Thanks to a combination of Kyle Street’s fried chicken tips he shared on Instagram and a tweaked version of THE 11 herbs and spices recipe floating around, I am satisfied. 

Perfecting my fried chicken technique took many attempts over two weeks. Luckily, I mixed up the presentations so there was a bit of variety. There were fried chicken burgers, other times with mash and peas, or with salad. We’ve invited friends this weekend, I’ll be whipping up fried chicken to have with sriracha mayo and steamed bao. I will also be making homemade dumplings as they’re hard to find here.

Since Level 3 and then Level 2, I have enjoyed takeout, dining out and sharing dinner at home with friends. Moving to a new city includes exploring where to shop and where to eat. I’ve found good sushi here which saves me from making my own. I’ve found a few Asian grocers, nothing on Auckland’s selection, but I think I can get by. I haven’t found a poké shop here though, so a quick trip to the supermarket for screaming fresh Bluff salmon and that craving was satisfied.

For more on what I’m cooking check out my Instagram.

Photos: Genie de Wit

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