An old fashioned lemonade stand is about as American as you can get says Jean Murray. Originally from Virginia, south of Washington DC, when her sons needed to fundraise for their Kura Kaupapa Māori she saw it as a chance to connect New Zealanders with American culture. So she created Atticus Old Fashioned Lemonade.
Jean followed her now-husband Dave Murray from America to New Zealand nine years ago. He had been playing in a band at various American music festivals and a mutual friend introduced them.
“I always intended to come for an OE as I had friends from New Zealand. After Dave and I met we started to think longer term. I really liked it so we decided to stay here.”
Since then, the couple have welcomed sons Felix, four and-a-half, Atticus, six and Indigo, one.
“In America for a kid growing up it sometimes feels like everything has to be a huge event. Everything is just bigger. You go from Halloween to Thanksgiving and then you’re into Christmas.”
“I like how laid back New Zealanders are.”
“We do still make a fuss here on birthdays and Halloween. I still want the boys to connect with where they are from.”
With a background in linguistics and preserving languages, Jean is also keen for her children to connect with their New Zealand culture. The boys attend Te Kura Amorangi o Whakawātea, a total immersion full primary school and early childhood centre, as Jean believes learning Te Reo is a big part of creating the New Zealand connection for them.
“My kids are Kiwi, absolutely. Am I? Kind of. On the census form I tick pākehā. If that’s not an option I tick other. I’m not European. My family have 400 years of history in America.”
“Food is like language to me. It’s who you are, you might not necessarily think about it but it is. My mum always made everything from scratch. One of my memories is spending time in a supermarket with her showing me how to pick the best fruit and vegetables. How to know what was in season or not. When I left home she gave me lists of foods or dishes to pair together.”
“She made Christmas cookies every year and gave them to all our friends and family. We all had a job at Thanksgiving, preparing the family meal. Mine were making the stuffing and banana cream pie.”
“America is a country of immigrants so there’s a lot of dishes we make that have influences from other countries.”
Jean says America is a country of immigrants and its food is a reflection of its many cultures. Soft pretzels can be found sold on the streets of just about any American city, she says. This soft pretzel recipe from Jean also makes amazing bagels. Just roll them into a bagel shape and bake the same.
PREP: 1.5 HOURS COOK: 10 MINUTES
4 teaspoons of dry active yeast 1 teaspoon of sugar 1 ¼ cups of warm water 5 cups of flour ½ cup of white sugar 1 ½ teaspoons of salt 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil ½ cup of baking soda 4 cups of boiling water Sea salt for sprinkling
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar and set aside until mixture is nice and frothy. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the middle and add oil and yeast mixture. If it’s too dry add 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water. Knead mixture until smooth and elastic. Place mixture in a well-oiled bowl, cover and put in a warm place to allow to double in size. Approximately 1 hour. Preheat oven to 180°C. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface and cut into 12 pieces. Roll into 2cm thick ropes.
Shape ropes into circles with the ends of the rope crossed at the top of the circle. Fold the circle up, on top of the crossed ends, to shape each pretzel. One-by-one, plunge into the boiling water mixture and then place on a baking try. Sprinkle with sea salt before baking for 8 – 10 minutes, until golden brown.