Sunday, 8 July 2012

Flitty, Flirty and Some Fairies

It's a little bit chilly and a wee bit dismal here just now so I've been practicing making yummy picnic things in cute jars. In the waiting for sunny days I got to use up my Dewinkles close-to-date apricot yoghurt. I remember well a cheesecake that one of the Le Leche League mum's used to make back in Taranaki. It was so simple just a large pot of flavoured yoghurt set with gelatine & poured on to a normal biscuit base. All the kids loved it.
I found I had to have a couple of goes at this just to make sure I got the recipe right! I also had a few manky bananas so I mashed them & added vanilla & a little honey & set them with gelatine too for the bottom layer.
Next try, I used a combination of strawberry yoghurt, kefir & honey & tried out a base that I found on Pinterest..whiz 1 cup of ground almonds with 1/2 cup of sultanas, 1/4 cup of coconut, vanilla & a dsp of honey. Such a yummy combination & it's great rolled in to balls too. Perfect too for a cheesecake base. 
They were so delicious I think I might make some to take with us next time we go away.
Isn't this the most glorious cover for a winter issue of our Good magazine.
I had some visitors last Sunday, a wee African girl & here mum.
Talia spotted the dollies straight away, but oh dearie me, those dollies didn't have any spare clothes did they! I've been keeping a look out for dolly clothes this week & so far have come up with these darling red shoes for 50c. They don't actually fit the two dolls but there sure are cute. 
It's winter now so the veges from the Farmer's market have got kind of knobbly & ugly but they still taste good! I love celeriac! I like the flavour of Jerusalem artichokes too but they do have a nickname for a reason in our house, perhaps fartachokes should belong to the boys. 
I have got into the habit of making lots of broth this winter. It is so healing & very good for everyone!
It is also a really nice thing to add to veges & then cook in the oven rather than stir fry. 1/2 cup of stock a nob or two of butter & good salt...delicious! (Ok, help me it a nob or a knob??)
Is that you gasping?
Yes I have put lots of butter on the veges...coconut oil is marvelous too.
When I got really sick back in October last year I was catapulted in to a new intensive update course in nutrition. There is soooo much more information available since last time I looked. I am so grateful.
I have learnt some vitally life saving things this time round, that I may well never have stumbled upon or taken seriously if things hadn't unfolded as they did.
 I have noticed lately, around & about, that there are a huge number of woman on diets...more than ever & I've also noticed that many of those woman are following diets that strictly forbid any kind of fat. Of course this means that dieting mothers are not generally feeding their children good fats either.  How did we get to be so duped? The biggies that make all the difference vitamin A & D are FAT soluble which means that if you don't have good fats in your diet you are not going to be getting anywhere near enough of these vitamins pretty soon. 
In the time after WW11 we all got sold a lie about the evils of fat & how it causes heart disease & worse we bought the greatest con of all that we should all convert to vegetable oils & margarines...wrong!!! Having increased my own good fat intake over the last 9 months (& other things of course) I have stabilised my weight, lost fat over all & finally feel kindly towards my own body, for probably, the first time in my adult life. In focussing on nourishing foods I am no longer starving my body or my soul of the vital things that I have needed to be well & whole.
 If you are bored or offended (sorry) but if you would like to know more please do pop in here to Dr Dwight Lundell a leading heart surgeon who admits he got it so wrong for 25 years & now wants to make amends by telling the truth with medical & scientific fact or here to Ben Warren's blog where he also has a bit to say.
Last rainy day Monday Rob came up with a grand plan to use up the sourdough fruit & walnut bread that he didn't manage to eat before it got stale so we made a bread & butter pudding with raw milk, free range eggs, cinnamon & nutmeg & hardly any sugar. It was so delicious & yummy cold too!
I am loving my Cath Kidston tins in this corner.
Yesterday seemed like a blue kind of day & a chilly one so I got out my royal blue vintage velvet coat
and my ribbony scarf..the yarn came this way. Sometimes layers are nice to wear aren't they?
The fragile beauty of winter roses is so welcome through the winter months. The flowers aren't very good at standing on their own little stems..they seem to be better if floated in a vase.
I had a happy inspiration this week, originally I set out to find some pressed glass salt shakers & then found a whole little condiment set instead..all the lids come off, they have their own little tray & make a perfect flower holder for little winter blooms. These would be so sweet on wedding tables too don't you think?
Someone's been dropping Melia berries on the roof one at a time..I wonder who it could be?
Betty the Wood Fairy paints the most beautiful flowers on to silk.
Since I can't paint I have arranged my own water colours for the garden, painted by the Master.
I have acquired two new woodlandy friends..Flitty 
  & Flirty.
They are the sweetest back garden companions (they don't like the front). Every time I walk out the back door there they are, one or other, flitting & flirting around & sweeping so close I can just feel the breath of their passing like the the wings of an angel..then right in front of me on the grass, then woosh & away in to the tree. 
On & on they go rain or shine, chirruping & swooping all day long, like faithful tireless wee canines they ever patiently wait for my next appearance. Yesterday I sat under the feijoa tree trying vainly to capture their form..
& then, out of bushes, stretching & yawning along came Charlie.
Just as well my friends are quicker than the wind.
 Don't even think about it Charlie!!
Who me? Of course I wasn't!!
 See, I'm just lolling around minding my own business!
You know people often ponder the story behind a vintage find, an old time-worn object & it's journey through life, but sometimes there's even a secondhand story that can be uncovered too.
That's what I love about our "vintage currency" it brings such a richness to life.
Rob found this wonderfully soft & beautifully made lamb's leather coat in Connections a week or two ago. He has a fondness for fine leather that usually arrives in the form of bags, but this time he found himself a jacket. I don't like leather very much but this is the softest leather I have ever caressed..leather from New Zealand sent to India & crafted by skilled artisans in a special community support programme to provide employment for a whole village. 
Now the coat has been sold once more & the funds sent on to support our own Hospice here in Hastings & the work they do in the palliative care of cancer patients..isn't that a grand currency!
I found this little golden book for 20c the other day. 
This sounds like the perfect party to me...would you like to come along?
So many old children's books seemed to have Kings & Queens & fairies, have you noticed?
The book finished with this little poem..
Thank you so much for coming to see me.
Hope you that you find some time for reading or writing this week.
Perhaps you might like to write some fairy poetry along with Pom Pom at her Ponderings?


  1. Lovely post as always Catherine.

    I am a butter lover also. I year or so ago I stopped buying margarine as really who wants to eat all those artificial colours and flavours when natural amazing butter is available?
    Im going for natural over "low fat" etc.

    Love those tins.

    And those books are very cute. I love a good golden book.

  2. I love your posts Catherine. This one in particular has cheered up my soul immensely. It is so full of beauty. Thank you.
    If you have time to spare one day, would you be kind enough to share some of the dietry changes you have made since you were ill. I'm always wanting to learn about what else we can do to look after ourselves. My email address can be found on my blog.
    Thank you so much and have a lovely week,
    Anne xx

  3. I love this post, the little birds in your garden, the healthy food you make, you may not paint flowers but you paint the most beautiful picture of your home and lifestyle with words. The pictures are so homely and make me want to make jam, feed the birds and, yes, paint - inspirational, thanks, Bettyx

  4. What a great idea, when it is chilly I think it makes us want to nest more. Your post made me hungry! I love your photos, such beautiful little birds and Charlie is adorable. Your blue velvet coat is lovely with that scarf too! A visual feast. x

  5. I agree with the nice comments above! I wake up Sunday mornings thinking, "I hope Gathering Katie posted last night so I can read her words and enjoy her lovely pictures!"
    That fairy book is delightful! I love it! I have the yellow fairy story you recommended a while ago. How the fairy got her wings . . . so cute!
    I quite agree about good fats and bad fats and all the silly hoopla over it. Thank you for the recommendations and information, smart friend!
    Rob's leather jacket is very nice.
    Oh, I'd like to fly to New Zealand and spend a week in your company. We'd have so much fun!
    Take care, dearest. Thank you for sharing your good thoughts and your smart cheer.

  6. Bread pudding and a white cat...this is a perfect post!

  7. Hello there Catherine - oh how I do so find myself looking foward to your posts on a Sunday now :-)
    I read with interest the articles on the heart disease & our diet - how we have all been mislead so often. I just love little flitty & flirty - & of course, Charlie.
    Your coat & scarf are amazing! ! Yes it has been the weather for those sorts of atire. Rob had a great thrift find with his leather jacket too. It was minus 2 degrees here this morning! !
    Have a warm, happy week dear friend - you make me want to cook veges that look like yours ! ! :-) Love & hugs & warm wishes, Julie X x x

  8. Marvellous! I feel as if I have returned home. I love this place of yours, Catherine. You grabbed my attention with your food facts. I am pretty passionate about nutrition and when I was expecting my last little angel/terror I would get a kick out of reading up which vitamins/minerals I was absorbing this each vegetable and fruit I consumed. I recall you writing a few weeks ago how you like the idea of cakes and tea parties but you don't like the effect sugar has on you. I kind of nodded with you whe reading those words but I must confess to 'needing' a bit of sweet stuff here and there. I blame it on being a mother to young children.

    I could ramble on but you'd have to invite me for tea to discuss this further!

    Warmest wishes to a lovely lady.



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