TOPPT TWINS’ NEWN PATCH!
There’seven moreto loveabout ourKiwi treasures
The Topp Twins have never been ones for carefully planning out their lives. Spontaneity has always been their thing – in real-life as well as on stage – and they’re all about making the most of opportunities as they come along. It’s an attitude that has taken them to interesting places, particularly this year.
Not only are the pair entertainers and political activists, but now – move over, Annabel Langbein – Dames Jools and Lynda Topp are becoming Kiwi food icons too!
This month, they are excited to be launching a gorgeous new cookbook, ToppCountry:ACulinary
withtheToppTwins. Plus they’re also serving up good Kiwi tucker in a café they have opened in Methven near Lynda’s South Island home.
Food has long been important to the Topps. As kids growing up on a Waikato farm, their mum Jean was the cook of the household, dishing up home-grown meat and veges every night.
“She’s always been a great baker and cook, very simple, nothing spicy, and lots of sweet food,” explains Jools. “She’d make Anzac biscuits, shortbread, yo-yos and gingernuts.
“Nana’s gingernuts – they’re in the book,” adds Lynda. “We ummed and aahed about giving away the recipe, but they’re the best, so everybody has got to try one.”
The twins’ lovingly packed lunches were the envy of their schoolmates. “Mum used to bake these individual apricot pies we’d take to school,” recalls Jools. “We had to hide those pies because kids would try to trade their Vegemite sandwiches for one.
“And she did this other thing that was amazing. She’d get a little Agee jar with a screw lid, and put in fresh stewed tamarillos with crushed Weet-Bix and cream straight from the shed, so it was almost like a crumble. It was supposed to be for lunch, but it never made it to then. We’d eat it on the bus or for morning tea.”
While there are a handful of family favourites in the new book, it is mostly based on food the Topps tasted while filming hit TV series
ToppCountry. They were disappointed when the show was cancelled after three series, so a book seemed an ideal way to celebrate the passionate food producers and home cooks featured by sharing their recipes. There’s classics such as Lynda’s favourite barbecued venison backstraps to Jools’ vegetarian Delhi dahl and more exotic dishes like fried grasshoppers with satay sauce (delicious, they promise).
“It’s not just recipes,” says Lynda. “The book is filled with stories of the people we met and beautiful pictures of the places we visited. Ken and