I got caught in the middle of the top-secret of all surprises, wearing a pink leopard print apron with a chocolate covered spatula in hand. There are surprises that if discovered before their time maybe bum the surprise-giver out for a split second, but really aren’t that big of a deal. Like when you plan a birthday breakfast in bed, but your spouse wakes up early and finds you mixing a bowlful of eggs in your jammies. You easily just snap with a smile, “get back to bed!” and continue whisking. Then there are those top-secret surprises that are a really really big deal and your brother would probably kill you if you spoiled it. Like when he plans a surprise proposal to his girlfriend (Alexis) of 5 years on a hike with her best friend, followed by a surprise engagement barbecue with family and close friends. And there you are, baking a two-tiered deep chocolate layer cake in your parents’ kitchen on a Friday night for the engagement barbecue the next afternoon when your mom texts you, “Alexis is bringing me home from dinner, HIDE ALL EVIDENCE!”
The Edmonds Cookery Book has been a New Zealand institution for four generations. My mother, my grandmother and my great grandmother before me all used this recipe book that has remained in New Zealand kitchens as a timeless classic and surely one of the most successful branding exercises in NZ history! (Edmonds, for those who are non-NewZealanders is a baking brand, originally comprising baking powder only but now a large number of baking products.) Gone are the days when a couple announcing their engagement received their free copy, but we still buy this cookbook in droves making it the best selling book ever published in New Zealand.