Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A pukeko in a ponga tree! - Kiwicakes advent calendar - day 1

I decided it would be fun (after Mum planted the seed in my head), to give you all 25 Kiwi days of Christmas (well at least what Christmas means to me, as a Kiwi here at Kiwicakes living in New Zealand). One new sweet treat each day for the 25 days of December leading up to Christmas. And what better place to start than a tribute to the song "A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree - The Twelve Days of Christmas by Kingi Ihaka 1981"
Today we have "A pukeko in a ponga tree!" cupcake.

This cupcake was created using a brown foil cupcake paper to represent the tree trunk. The pukeko is made from fondant icing. The ponga tree fronds are made using the fern cutter & veiner (some tweaking of the fern leaves was done to cut slits in the leaves and point the ends of fronds)
For the rest of my 24 blog posts, I'll endeavour to mix it up a little - to ensure many types of sweet treats get covered. I'll showcase not only ideas, but local produce & ingredients. Posts will range from basic to advanced skill levels, I'll have some sweet treats which can be achieved quickly and others that will take longer. Hopefully given the wide range there'll be something to appeal to everyones tastes

Special thanks goes out to Lisa from The Whole Cake & Caboodle who helped me with some of the creations. Without her, these 25 posts would have been alot harder to create.

Now I know all of you that went to primary school in New Zealand from 1981 onwards (or had children or grandchildren that did) know this song. But just to refresh your memory, the words go like this:

On the first day of Christmas My true love gave to me A pukeko in a ponga tree
On the second day of Christmas My true love gave to me two kumera And a pukeko in a ponga tree
On the third day of Christmas ....and so on, until...
On the twelfth day of Christmas My true love gave to me

Twelve piupius swinging

Eleven haka lessons

Ten juicy fish heads

Nine sacks of pipis

Eight plants of puha

Seven eels a swimming

Six pois a twirling

Five - big - fat - pigs !

Four huhu grubs

Three flax kits

Two kumera

And a pukeko in a ponga tree!

Sung to the usual tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Remember to slow down the line " Five - big - fat - pigs ! "

Publication History (you can buy it here)1st edition 1981
A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree, paperback Adapted by Kingi M. Ihaka, Illustrated by Dick Frizzell, Heinemann Publishers ISBN: 0 86863 785 8, Reprinted 1987
Cassette Recording
A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree, Details and availability unknown.
2nd edition 1991
A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree, paperback, Author: Kingi M. Ihaka, Illustrator: Dick Frizzell Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, Fully illustrated in colour ISBN: 1869480600

For my overseas readers - Wikipedia's (the free encyclopedia) definition of a Pukeko & Ponga tree.

Pūkeko is the common name, derived from the Māori language, for the Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) in New Zealand.

Cyathea dealbata, or the silver tree fern or silver fern (kaponga or ponga in the Māori language), is a species of medium-sized tree fern, endemic to New Zealand.[1]
This fern is known to grow to heights of 10 m or more (though it occasionally takes a rare creeping form). The crown is dense, and the fronds tend to be about 4 m long and have a silver-white colouration on the undersides. This distinctive silver colouration has made them useful for laying along tracks for night walking. The scales are a dark brown and are often twisted and glossy.
Arriving relatively late in New Zealand's history during the Pliocene epoch[2] (around 5 - 1.8 million years ago), the silver fern occurs on the main islands of New Zealand and on the Chatham Islands to the east, mostly in the subcanopy areas of drier forests and in open scrub. It is known to grow well in well-drained humus, and once established, it will tolerate drier conditions. It does best when sheltered from winds and should be protected from frost. It does not grow under the dense canopy of mature forests.

Silver fern in cultureThe silver fern has long been used on dairy products and was trademarked as early as 1885.
It is a logo for many other organisations, such as (heavily stylised) the rail infrastructure owner OnTrack and the Silver Fern is also the name of a class of rail carriage.
The koru symbol found in Māori art is inspired by the shape of a young ponga frond.
Silver fern leaves appear on the Coat of arms of New Zealand.
Many New Zealanders get a tattoo of a Silver Fern, as a statement of being from New Zealand.
Some alternative flags for New Zealand, such as the silver fern flag, use the Silver fern.

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