Saturday, 1 February 2014

Coming Up Roses

 Isn't it funny how one little thing,
can so often lead to another..
in life?
A few weeks ago, I had enquiry on one of my Cath Kidston wallpaper auctions on Trade Me..."That's it!! That's what I'm after said the enquiree..I've seen it in the Six Sisters Cafe on The Marine Parade in Napier & I'd love 4 rolls to do a feature wall. Where did you get it from?" Well I could only send her in the right direction on that one: to the UK, but meantime, I was able to seek out the cafe with Cath Kidston wallpaper, that she mentioned.
Six Sisters Coffee House.
 Why Six Sisters you may ask? (I did). Apparently a certain Dutch Port Master arrived to live in Napier in the late 1800's & with him came six sisters, his daughters. In time, he gave them each a house of their own. Six identical houses all in a row!
An interesting combination of sweet, 
 funky & contemporary. The Cath Kidston Antique Rose paper is on one wall down the other end.
Tili jars on the mantelpiece you'll notice Julie.
Really great coffee.
 Nice customers too.
 Some of whom, have upsticks & come to live in our garden.
 Well just for a while.
 We've been making plenty of summer salads. These "Indigo Rose" tomatoes have been fascinating. Apparently the worlds first commercially available tomatoes containing high levels of anthocyanin..which just means that they are really good for you.
 There's been so much going on for us through January. I am starting to figure that a little pruning seems to have been required in order to stimulate the blooming process. But one things for sure, being pruned is not comfy. There are those changes in life that make things interesting & keep you growing & then there are others, that just seem to chop off your bits & pulverise you.
The challenges have been thoroughly destabilizing & overwhelming, yet I am encouraged to find that my intuition is a real ally & highly functional. I was so pleased that we decided one night to keep the bones from chicken (even though it's summer) & make a large pot of chicken broth.
  I don't think that Rob & I ate much else for days & days as we journeyed the hard stuff of upheaval with Rob's work.  Dear boy, even said.."right I want to learn how to make this stuff" and he did.
 When the big (really big) waves come they bring with them new opportunities to see where our wounds are & where we still need to be healed; revise what really matters to us & determine whether we have gathered around us enough tools & skills to work it all through. And then we have a choice...will we really, really be there for each other? YES!
I am working with a lot of fear & anxiety & knowing that it stems from early childhood & on going life long family disruption. I am choosing every day to heal from the traumatic wounds of narcissistic's going to be a very long journey, but one I must make. I am so grateful to the "girls" who have been brave enough to leave comments on my page here. I wasn't sure that I should write about it (at all) but now I know that I had to.
In stressy times simple food is important. I have been making these simple fruit sauces a lot lately. This one was made to use up the apricots that were starting to go off. A little honey & a little lemon juice & a zap with the whizz stick & viola apricots redeemed.
 I am intrigued to find that any fruit puree made like this will last for days & days in the fridge. The strawberry one (with a little honey & a drop of rosewater) made a great dipping sauce for rockmelon & Coconut Ice peaches.
 I have been drying some summer herbs to make Julie's wonderful sachets to keep the moths at bay in the linen cupboard. The top leaves are marshmallow..great for adding to bath bags along with oatmeal.
 You can find the recipe just here. I've added these star anise into the mix. Aren't they beautiful things!
We accidentally found a large elder bush hanging over the footpath recently, so we gathered as many ripe elderberries as we could & I found a really nice, simple recipe for an elderberry mother immune elixir just here
I added these ground rosehips & some ginger to the tonic mixture.
It's tasting delicious, I must say. I will strain out the berries in a month or so & bottle it up in readiness for any feeling-a-little-under-the-weather days to come.
The other tonic that I would not want to be with out is our funky, kombucha tea.
"Kombucha is an antioxidant rich immune boosting beverage coined the “Immortal Health Elixir”. It's a rich source of antioxidants, B vitamins, glucaric acids and probiotics which aid in digestion, gut health, joint care and detoxification. Like all fermented foods, it is extraordinarily rich in enzymes and beneficial bacteria and therefore a dream come true for your gastrointestinal function. It re-establishes the natural ecology of the intestinal flora, which in turn boosts immunity and allows the body to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste with ease."
You can read more (& how to make it) here at Petite Kitchen
If you live in New Zealand & you'd fancy having your own "scoby" I'd be very happy to post you one..just let me know.
 I'm really enjoying this pink hebe just now. It's great for picking too.
 Wednesday was a birthday day..don't know about that goose on the left but isn't Sarah just the sweetest girl. Not fair to catch them out first thing in the morning eh.
 Rob & I spent a little time in Napier, walking near the beach & heading back to Six Sisters for a coffee.
This month is the month of that sounds like a great idea.
And a really good focus, don't you agree?!
Have a gentle week dear friends.
Thanks so much for your visit.


  1. I'm so glad that you had a happy birthday! I love your outfit!

  2. Thank You for the photos and love that coffee shop. I am enjoying all that sunshine - we have had cold cold days here in the Midwest USA.

  3. A lovely post to browse through, many thanks!
    I enjoyed the links (again thank you!) and will look into the tomatoes.
    February reminds us of love but is also a hint of the upcoming Spring (so ready for it!!)
    All the best,

  4. What a pretty post, but one that you are sharing some tough times. The Six Sisters looks beautiful. I haven't been to Napier for many many years, must get back for a visit.
    lovely to see those Tili jars, Julie will love them!

  5. Lovely photos,i chose that exact cath kidson wallpaper for my kitchen! Catherine, please keep writing about your journey, there are so many of us out there that need to know we are not alone. You have done amazing to suffer this type of abuse and become such a warm and talented lady, my best wishes to you x

    1. Thank you so much for your comment (& your kind reflections) has caused me a good deal of pondering...what to do...what to do?! I have subsequently set up a new blog that you can find here:
      Somehow the raw honesty & content required to navigate the hard stuff doesn't quite work with the gentle beauty of An Angel in the Garden. I'd love you to come & visit us. See you soon. Much love catherine x0x0x

  6. The new kind of tomato is interesting and I have made a note of the elderberry recipe as the one I make is just fruit and sugar and this looks even better! I had skimmed over your post about narccissistic parent, I couldn't remember seeing it at first then remembered I had chosen not to read it! I had one too you see and the definition of narcissistic parent fits although I had not heard the phrase before or analysed it - people like us tend to blame themselves because they have been conditioned to do so. Personally I have not dealt with it and never will, it's in a box locked away - you are very brave to address your past and deal with it, my attempts have been like opening a can of worms that I couldn't control! so I feel best leaving it behind me and not dealing with it although it's a part of my life and often surfaces. My oldest brother has done the same, the youngest chose counselling but it went on for 4 yrs so not sure how good it is for him. Having your own family brings home to you what 'normal' is! and it's a pleasant surprise. Just wanted to acknowledge as we have this in common, but different ways of dealing with it no doubt. Blessings to you as you go through your renewal. Betty

    1. Thank you Betty for writing this response xx

  7. Hello Catherine - thankyou for taking us on a tour of Six Sisters - how lovely & my heart skipped when I saw the Tilli Jars lined up. Those 6 buildings look to be in remarkably good condition & well preserved. Happy belated birthday - what a lovely photo of you with your son & Sarah. Yes she does look a lovely girl. I hope your tonics you are concocting help you & Rob through this very difficult time. Thinking of you & sending positive wishes your way. x0x0x

  8. Your remedies are looking so inviting. The idea of elderberries, hose hips and those wonderful looking herbs is making me feel healthy just by looking at them :). I also love to grow heirloom tomatoes and have been trying out some interesting varieties but this is a new one to me! Looks incredible-are you interested in swapping some seeds ready for next year? Lisa x

  9. Dear Catherine, you manage to make everything look so inviting! Your ‘photos are all beautiful. I loved the story of the six sisters, the strange looking tomatoes, the fruit sauces and the herbs. Your posts always bring sunshine into my life, thank you! Barbara xxx


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