Friday, 25 January 2013

Blazingly Summer

I suspect that this cake stand may well be used for many more tea parties yet.
I am so glad that I came across it recently.
I'm not quite sure how old it is...the paint is quite chippy.
The plates are all matching & definitely vintage.
It's lovely on a dressing table in between recitals, although I think I might paint the leaves a better green, what do you think? They seem a bit dull & gray to me, presently.
I am trying really hard to enjoy every moment I can of our's a real one. A long, hot & sunny summer that makes you sweat...a lot, dries out all the land, ripens all the crops magnificently & makes you sleep with just a sheet on. It would be quite easy to complain that it was too hot, but then I stop & think of all the delightful moments that I am loving, like sharing these delicious drinking coconuts straight out of the fridge with Rob. We've never had them before in New Zealand..the water tastes so delicious & the flesh is so queer...kind of like lightly toasted coconut jelly (jello) & we love them!!
Pomegranates whisper of far off hot & steamy lands & somehow a few of these amazing fruits have made their way to us for the summer. They utterly fascinate me..look at all those facets to every little seed. I have also been making the juice (bought separately) into jellies...little pretty bowls full, eaten with thick, creamy Greek yoghurt & so simple to make. 
All the vibrant colours are calling to me in the heat.
 I adore this little double calibrachoa... like a kind of miniature petunia.
It looks so lovely in a terracotta pot.
As it turns out, my passionfruit experiment was entirely successful.
Whole passionfruit thrown into the freezer, emerge months later, just fine & tasting like mini sorbets.
Sweetcorn is in full swing & ever so useful for summer meals.
It's most delicious just like it is really...don't you think?
These little peppers from the market are so colourful & very sweet.
Roasted with various coloured beetroots in a good dollop of coconut oil the flavours concentrate down & it all keeps so well in the fridge. I added corn cut off the cob, crumbled feta & basil & it was heavenly!
I just had to make some more the following week so that I could use some of the peppers to make these Book Shop Savoury Muffins. It was one of those recipes that was floating around the kitchen for months on a squitty bit of paper cut out of a newspaper. I am amazed it didn't get itself lost & so that it doesn't, I have posted the recipe here, so that it can be readily found again because they are so good.
There are so many birds in the garden through the summer & they all seem to adore fruit.
 Plums are a particular I don't leave any sitting on the back porch or peck, peck, peck!
The plums are closely rivaled by cat biscuits.
I came across this truly remarkable video this week.
It's very short & absolutely worth the watch.
A large group of starlings are called a "murmuration"....

These summer berries from the Famers' Market are so magnificent I wanted just to look at them for as long as currants & boysenberries,
worcester berries, black raspberries, blueberries & gooseberries.
These are black raspberries...quite a blackberry flavour to them & very yummy.
It's quite handy having an orchardy sort of person popping in from time to time.
This week he brought us some coconut ice white peaches.
 They're a bit different to regular peaches as you eat them while still crisp.
By the end of the week we had some glowingly beautiful yellow nectarines too.
The vintage basket I found at a market recently & I just love it to bits.
These dwarf zinnias have been fabulous in a large pot beside the pathway in the front garden.
And I am so enchanted by this most unusual hydrangea.
I think I'll have to pot up all the prunings later in the year & grow as many more as I can find spaces for.
I do hope that if you're from the chilly hemisphere you have been reinvigorated for a few moments while you visit.
 I am so glad that you came to see me, all of you!!
Thank you so much for your chats, emails & are truly wonderful!
 Have a lovely week!!


  1. What a beautiful, summery, colourful post. Just right to brighten up a dull Scottish morning. Love the cakestand too.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

    1. Thanks LIz, glad that you popped in. Hope you're having a lovely weekend. Love Catherine x0x0x

  2. What a delight post; makes me long for summer and I love winter, although, at the moment, p'raps not so much -smile-. Poms are such a difficult fruit for me...too much work but, if you've a mind, I'd love the jelly recipe.
    I remember those dishes from my childhood and love the cake plate. Try using a bit of olive or veg oil on the leaves, p'raps that will spruce them up a tad.
    Yes, I eat corn on the cob without salt or butter...if it's good corn on the cob, it doesn't need dressing.

    1. Hello Sandra..well you certainly have your work cut out just now on the farm of course. I can't imagine keeping things going like you do in heavy snow. I can entirely understand that pomegranates aren't for everyone. I'll share about the jelly thing in my next post, although it's super easy...just the juice, sweetened a little & set with the standard amount of gelatine. We're eating plenty of jellies in summer & lots of bone broths in winter. Good thought on the olive oil but the colour really is too faded. I have a little brush & a small pottle of a nice green so think i will give it a spruce up. Our corn is fabulous but is even yummier with butter & good butter is so good for us (according to Sally Fallon) so that's a win win! Much love Catherine x0x0x

  3. Such a lot of lovely stuff in this post! black raspberries - I have never seen or tasted. The murmuration is spectactular and goes to the top of my list of amazing things for 2013. Your Summer looks so nice I wish I could be there too amongst all the colours and heat. Betty

    1. Hello Betty...I am so glad that you watched the murmuration...I thought you might like it. What an amazing occurrence to capture..I bet the girls won't forget that day in a very long time. I cooked a few of the black raspberries with some boysenberries & we ate them with thick, creamy yoghurt & they were just spectacular in flavour. The same lady also grows gold raspberries...weird eh. You have some great hedgerow gleanings of course, as I recall. Much love to you my friend x0x

  4. Yes, I'm from the cold hemisphere & what a fun visit you've shared!
    1 - I love the cake stand! It would be so pretty displaying some favorite tea cups & saucers when not serving treats. I also love the tricycle in your garden.
    2. I've never seen drinking coconuts. I'd love to try one.
    3. Please share your pomegranate juice jelly recipe. :o)
    4.Did you buy the passion fruit or grow them yourself? I've never seen any that look like that.
    5. the video is amazing! I've seen this before but never such a large group with such amazing movement.
    6. I'll be trying these muffins. :o) Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    7. What are the small red berries in the first berry pic? All the fruit makes me long for summer - makes my mouth water.

    I hope you don't mind long comments. So much today that I enjoyed & I had to let you know. From the mid west US!

    1. Hello dear Jenny out there in the mid west US! Of course I don't mind long're fabulous!! Yes, of course, thanks I'll have a fiddle with some cups & saucers arranged on the cake stand..great idea. I'll share about the jelly very soon. It is incredibly simple & so delicious. I did buy the passionfruit locally...that's how all our passionfruit look. Kind of an old Kiwi standard like having a lemon tree in the garden & passionfruit vine on the wall of the garage or the fence. I am so glad to have come across the video..such a great event for the girls to capture! Hope you love the muffins...I'm sure they'll take a little tweaking, according to what you have on hand & your preferences. The small red berries are red currants...very tangy! Red & black currants grow well here. Thanks so much for your enthusiastic response. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  5. Beautiful and MUCH appreciated! Everything here is brown.

    1. Oh dear, Pom...brown is very drab!! No wonder you're having to wear red high heels ; ) x

  6. Hello Catherine,

    Another stunning post. Love the Summer fruits that are available. The zinnias are lovely and bright, especially loved the photo of the trike in the garden.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  7. Hello dear Catherine, What a beautiful and colourful post - yes it is a real summer. I think I am trying to enjoy it but I remember I used to love it before I became a "gardener" and after that . . . it was hard to keep everything alive. but at least it has made me appreciate rain :-)
    I adore your plate stand just as it is actually. Your food & flower pictures are just AMAZING & I keep looking at them over & over but by far, my absolute favourite is the pic of the bird on your trike !!! :-) it makes me smile a whole lot !!!'
    I am keen to try the passionfruit in the freezer trick also as I didnt know you could do this. Hope both our gardens get some rain soon though - happy weekend my friend, love & hugs, Julie Xox
    P.s we are loving our sweetcorn also :-)

  8. I need the summer right now! :) All these colors and flowers and fruits... :)))) Today I can just put some summer photos on my blog, but outside is minus 13 ° C (at night).

    1. Oh Ania that is SO cold!! Summer photos are a very good idea! x0x

  9. What a lovely blog you have. Especially the fruit photos are sooo wonderful. I want to eat them right now. They look so colourful and delicious. Zinnias are some of my favourite flowers ever. Maybe because you can get them in the most vibrant colours. They have such an old-fashioned charm. In Germany they belong to the "Bauerngartenblumen". That means flowers in a farmer's garden. Everything's so nice and romantic here: the china with flowers on it, the pretty pictures,...

    1. So glad that you came to visit. Thank you so much for your lovely reflections! I love the German zinnia name! Lots of vibrant colour & old fashioned charm make such a difference don't they. I've already popped in to visit you & I'll be back again very soon x

  10. So much yummy food!!! I love the bowl your passionfruit are in and I adore the cake stand too. Great find.
    Cheers, Anita.

  11. Lovely to "see" you Anita..thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Yes, that bowl has such lovely texture to it. I have a feeling that I am going to make great use of that cake stand. Doesn't really have to be all that much on it to make everything feel special. Love Catherine x

  12. I do love your words and I hope you know how much I love your words- but oh my, this is all about your colour! This makes me feel many degrees warmer already xxxx


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