Kia ora. Welcome to virtual afternoon tea in Maori language week

Paramanawa o te Mahura; afternoon tea September 2020. Image: Su Leslie 2020

Nau mai. Welcome.

As it’s te wiki o te reo Māori (Māori language week) in Aotearoa New Zealand, I’m challenging myself to improve my te reo (language) skills wherever I can.

My first challenge was translating virtual afternoon tea!

This will probably have friends who are kaikōrero te reo (fluent speakers)  cracking up with laughter, but I think we may be partaking of tuihono paramanawa o te Mahuru —  online refreshments of September.

Whatever we call it though, there is ti in the pot; te mīhini kawhe (the coffee machine) is at the ready and although the kai (food) is simple, there’s plenty to fill your puku (stomach).

First of all, thank you everyone for your kind wishes last week when I mentioned my surgery. It seemed to go well (biopsy results pending) and I am incredibly grateful to the staff at Waitakere Hospital who treated me  with mānawanawa (patience),  atawhai (kindness), and great tautōhito (skill). I’m also grateful for my country’s (underfunded, yet still incredible) public health system.

After my initial bounce-back, I’ve been feeling a bit meh the last couple of days, so I really wasn’t joking about the simple kai.

The crunchy. Rosemary Parmesan crackers with some Whitestone aged cheddar on the side. Image; Su Leslie 2020

I think I may have stumbled upon the quickest ever way to make “crackers” —  assuming that, like me, you have a package of dumpling pastry tucked away in the freezer.

Because everyone intends to make that big batch of fiddly, time-consuming pot-stickers, right?

Anyway, it turns out that if you lay the pieces on some baking parchment, brush them with olive oil, chopped rosemary, sea salt and maybe some Parmesan, then bake them for about eight minutes in a fairly hot oven, they make really tasty, and very crunchy, crackers.

The gooey. Chocolate brownie and raspberries. Image; Su Leslie 2020

I’m not normally a big fan of chocolate in desserts and baking, but I do like brownie. This one is made with beetroot in place of most of the flour (the other dry ingredients are cocoa and coconut flour) and uses coconut oil instead of butter. It is delicious, especially if you like your brownie very chocolate-y and not very sweet.

I have cream and ice-cream if you’d like to add some to yours, but for me, just some raspberries are ka pai (good).

So pull up a tūru (chair) and let’s kōrero (talk).

Why a virtual tea party?

When Del (at CurlsnSkirls) and I started talking about a virtual tea party, we saw it as a fun way to share our love of kai and korero. It is that of course, but for me at least, it’s also an affirmation of how important you — my blogging whanau — are to me. Over the years you’ve shared your thoughts, stories, advice and support and I really would like to invite you all round to mine and cook for you.

But since that’s not going to happen anytime soon, I hope this will do instead.

The invitation

I’d love to hear from you. What are you doing/reading/making? Your thoughts on the food, the drinks, and whatever I’m rambling about. What’s making you happy or pissing you off?  Your comments make blogging so much more interesting.

And if you’d like to contribute a post of your own — even better. Maybe a shot of your cuppa and/or whatever you’re having with it. A recipe if you like.

I’ll update each of my posts with a ping-back to everyone’s in the same way as I do with The Changing Seasons.

#virtualteaparty2020 for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images (or video?)


Brian at Bushboy’s World has not only brought coffee and cake, but is joining in learning some te reo too. Ka pai.

My dear friend Sarah at Art Expedition has baked my absolute, all-time favourite cake — carrot. Perfect with a cup of Darjeeling from one of her beautiful blue and white cups.

Janet at This, that and the other thing  has baked a beautiful blueberry crisp to go with her High Grown Kenyan tea. Brewed in a beautiful pot and served in a matching cup — utterly lovely.

Irene at My Slice of Mexico has not only brought us some Camotes de Puebla — sweet potato treats from the Mexican state of Puebla, but she has shared her recipe too.

Aggie at Nomad joins us from London where she and her family are now living.

Ju-Lyn of All things bright and beautiful has put a new twist on a favourite dish and I can’t wait to try it. I’m not letting the cat out of the bag, so you’ll have to visit her post to see what I’m talking about.

A Wonderful Sheep has some of her aunt’s delicious cooking and a recipe for soy sauce eggs, which I absolutely have to try

Yvette at Priorhouse  has a selection of teas, and coffee — and some beautiful photos of the flowers in her garden

Ladyleemanila has brought some of my favourite British biscuits — Hobnobs anyone?

My lovely co-host Del at CurlsnSkirls has baked some digestive biscuits (she knows I love them too) and a yummy cake with fresh berries.

53 thoughts on “Kia ora. Welcome to virtual afternoon tea in Maori language week

  1. Having lived in Hawaii, I’m a little surprised at the lack of similarity of the language between Hawaiian and Maori — there are so many other similarities that I would have thought they’d be more parallel. I have to laugh, though, about the idea of virtual South Pacific languages!

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. What a game soldier you are! I haven’t had time to make a contribution and I’m having my muesli and yogurt breakfast before I gallop out of the door. Some things don’t change, Su! 🙂 🙂 Very, very happy with crackers and cheese. Hope you feel more lively soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Kia ora toku hoa – kua kī taku puku. (Okay, I hope that translates to: Thank you my friend, my stomach is full) 😁
    Your crackers look absolutely amazing, Su!! As does the gooey brownie – there’s no such thing as too much chocolatey. 😉
    Hope you’re feeling better!
    Love that you chose to use this opportunity to practice your language skills, I don’t know if I’m pronouncing the words correctly in my head but I like the sound of it anyway. 😄
    As to the raspberries- you know they’re not safe around me, don’t you? 😉 💕💕

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Hello Su, what a lovely tea you have organised for us. It all looks so good. I’m going to stick with coffee (but only one 😦 ) today as I am in the middle of doing a 24 hour urine test. It’s a repeat effort as I stuffed up the last try because I forgot to collect!
    I did bake something for today but I ran out of time to write the post I planned so I’ve reluctantly decided to hold it over for next month.
    I’m sorry you are not feeling so good after your op. I hope you are back to your normal self and in the kitchen again soon. That doesn’t sound right, but you know what I mean. Take care and get better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. He reka katoa te ahua, Su. Google Translate promises me I just said “It all looks delicious”, so I hope I didn’t just insult someone’s mothers! Those crackers look lovely as does the cheese and I’m a big fan of savory, although I’ll take a small piece of brownie with raspberries if you don’t mind. I do love raspberries and chocolate, separately or together.

    Anyway, I’m off to pour the tea at my place and here’s the magic carpet to get there:


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Su, I am glad that all went well with you surgery!! I was just speaking with my family doctor this morning – more telephone and on-line calls coming in our new reality. We are learning to communicate in new ways. I share your gratitude for having health care!

    He kupu whakamiharo te powhiri i roto i te reo. Koina taku e mohio ana ka peka atu au ki te tii i to kaainga. Kei te tuhi ahau i tenei ma te awhina a tetahi kaiwhakamaori, e whakamaumahara mai ana ka taea e taatau te hono i nga huarahi hou mo mua.

    Welcome is a wonderful word in any language. That is what I feel when I stop by for a tea at your place. I am writing this with the help of a translator, which reminds me that we will be able to connect in new ways going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for joining us Rebecca. And you are right; welcome is a wonderful word however we say it.

      It’s interesting that Google chose “te powhiri”, which (in my understanding) is the act of welcoming rather than the words one uses. I’m not sure that is deliberate, but I really like the connotation; the human agency involved in when that phrase is invoked.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh Su, I’m sorry, I must havve missed several posts. I’m only glad to hear that for the time being, all went well – and I hope the biopsy results are good ones too.
    I haven’t prepared for the virtual tea but since I had 2 guests today, I made a large bowl of fresh fruit salad, consisting of chunks of watermelon, white and blue grapes, apples, one large peach, chopped cashews and pistazios and a seed & nuts mixture, I poured some Swiss Kirsch over it, added cinnamon, let it ‘stew’ in the fridge for a few hours and we ‘crowned’ it with Greek Yoghurt instead of any whipped cream for lightness. If you’d like me to bring this over, I’ll do that gladly….

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. Hello, the rosemary crackers look SO good 🙂
    and glad you were up to hosting after the recent surgery

    okay – so I am joining in and here is my attempt to use the language
    ~ there is ti in the cup
    ~ te mīhini kawhe (the coffee machine) is not ready but I have a press pot
    ~ and no kai (food) for the puku (stomach)
    ~ but I DO have flowers (how do you say flowers??)


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