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A Life in the Day … Steven Abramowitz – a renaissance man down-under.

Posted in Life & Love, Relationships, and Uncategorized

I love English newspaper magazines. I would buy all the rags and broadsheets on a Sat. and Sun., whip out the style/travel/food/magazine bits – and take them with me on the road to read over the next couple of weeks. Always gave me plenty to yammer on about at the awkward ‘local record co/artist’ dinners that inexorably followed on a day of endless dumb interviews and often dumber behaviour. The UK Sunday Times runs a weekly segment called “A Life in the Day ” and over the years some of the artists I worked with offered insight into their lives through this one pager.  Made the dinners easier to swallow. Plus the pieces were always great fun and thought-provoking.

campari&sofa have co-opted the idea – and, over the next few months, we will be introducing you to some of our favourite bloggers/writers and interesting people. I met Abo when we were at University. A group of us used to catch over Saturday Lunch at a local steakhouse and one day he showed up. And never left. Enriching our quality of life no-end. Upping the crazy quotient considerably. Here is his “Day in the Life”.

Steven Abramowitz aka Abo
Steven Abramowitz aka Abo

“The first I thing I do every morning is check my blood sugar; I have type two diabetes, the self-inflicted kind. I was only diagnosed about two years ago; Christ knows how long I had it before then. It could be the legacy of years of access to a big American advertising agency expense account. Maybe I would have just got it anyway. Either way, it’s a pain the arse. Some days I am terrified of losing my feet or eyesight. Other days I just say fuck it, and open a bottle of dessert wine to have with the cheese.

I turn on the 1960 Arrarax Caravelle espresso machine before going outside to feed the chickens and check for eggs and, if it’s a Saturday, I mix the sourdough starter with warm water and flour, because Saturday is when I bake. I made the starter myself, with grapes off the vine by the kitchen door, and it’s the only bread we’ve had in the house for almost three years now. It used to take me all day to bake it at first, but now it just seems to fit into our day, rather than us fitting into the baking.

"I don't understand men who get Harley Davidsons when these are around"
“I don’t understand men who get Harley Davidsons when these are around”

On Saturdays, my wife and I always go to the farmer’s market just down along the river to stock up on fresh vegetables and fruit, local cheeses, walnuts, juices, honey, bunches of fragrant roses – whatever’s good and in season. Gisborne, on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island and our home for the last almost eight years, has an abundance of wonderful produce and we make the very most of everything it has to offer.

I’ll always potter around in the vegetable garden and the compost heap on the weekends. I like the routine of sowing and growing, weeding and turning the soil, eating just picked salads and vegetables. We grow and eat all sorts of stuff on our little quarter-acre piece of paradise: apples, figs, feijoas, plums, lemons, limes, grapes, mandarins as well as loads of vegetables. Eggs of course, from the chooks, but not the chooks because a condition of my having them was that they got named and remained uneaten.

I spend the last few weeks of summer making things with whatever’s plentiful. Jars of pesto, char-grilled courgettes and peppers, preserved lemons, that sort of thing. There’s usually meat to do something with too; venison from a friend who hunts, a rabbit or two for pâté, hares to make ragout, hunks of free range pork, which I make into sausages and salamis, pancetta, lardo and whole legs of prosciutto. Another friend, who owns a boat, drops off hunks of fresh fish and crayfish. I confit duck to make cassoulet for the cold winter nights and this year I made a smoker out of an old wine barrel, so smoked chillies, fish and bacon have become larder staples too.

It’s a simple, rather small life really. The seasons dictate what we eat, but we eat sensationally well. We share what we have with friends, and they share what they have with us. I think it’s the way people should live. Respect for the land, respect for the seasons, respect for each other. I’m very lucky to be able to be part of it. But still pissed off that I have diabetes…”


A bit of background:

Sasha and Archie fireside
Sasha and Archie fireside

Mr Abramowitz has been around some – literally and figuratively;  having worked as an advertising creative director for much too long (as he puts it). No doubt inspiring the good people of South and North Africa, the Middle East, India and Eastern Europe, England, Australia and New Zealand to part with their ‘hard-earned’ in the most amusing way possible. He is married (in his words) to “the very gorgeous and incredibly patient freelance journalist Suzanne Winterflood” . They live in Gisborne with Cairn Terriers Dora and Archie, five chickens and a psychotic cat. He has an eleven year old daughter Jameson who lives with her mother in Auckland, but visits all the time. These days Abo runs a small marketing company which “is unfortunately getting bigger all the time”. He is a self-described “passionate cook, even more passionate drinker, a trout bum”, and writes, “clumsily, two blogs on a random basis”.

(To experience Abo’s misspent youth in pre-Mugabe Rhodesia, read: When I was a ‘when we‘.  And my favourite food blog ever, his Bloganocerus – is always cooking. All images courtesy Mr Abramowitz.)

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  1. La dolce vita! Sounds idyllic – and your Cairn Archie is the spitting image of my Cally (Caledonia) – they are the BEST dogs ever! BTW I am also a ‘When we..’ though I try not to be.

    June 20, 2013
  2. O, I love it! This is the nice simple home grown life I’m trying to build for myself too 🙂

    June 18, 2013

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