This week’s small pleasures #175

One of life’s small pleasures is the Monday holiday. That extra day that means a long weekend, and a shorter working week, is surely something to savour. Today is the Wellington Anniversary holiday, and I spent the day on domestic things – making pickles, a little clutter clearing, a little gardening, some reading – those simple things that add up to a nice day.

Wellington skies

Being back at work has meant that I am back to walking through the Botanic Gardens in the early morning. I might stop and say hello to the ducks, I always look to see what flowers are out. It makes the re-entry to office life so much easier.

Walking to work

No small pleasures post would be complete without featuring food. I spotted these scallopini (patty pan squash) on Saturday, and just had to buy them as they look so lovely. I picked up some ordinary courgettes (zucchini) as well, so may well mix them together and roast them. Sweet corn is so good and reasonably priced right now, just waiting to be added to salads or just eaten with lots of butter. There are green beans aplenty (oh how I wish I had space to grow my own!), and of course peaches, nectarines and plums, as well as berries of all sorts. I found some small Lebanese cucumbers in Commonsense Organics, which I thought perfect for a bread and butter pickle (recipe to come in a later post).

Vegetables and fruits of the season

Now that the normal routines are slowly re-establishing themselves, my Saturday mornings are also returning to their regular patterns, with toast at Squirrel before Pilates. This week I had their new toast, ricotta on sourdough with peaches, popped quinoa, pecans and drizzled honey. Yes – as good as it sounds. I made a quiche with courgettes and ham, which turned out well, if not the most pretty, and a lemon, blueberry and rosemary cake from Sophie Hansen’s A Basket by the Door. I made it in a bundt pan then filled the middle with blueberries and topped it with a nasturtium for a bit of colour. It was quite lovely, topped with a dollop of yoghurt.

Saturday feasting

As I am writing this on Monday morning, I am listening to a wonderful episode of Radio Cherry Bomb, featuring an interview with the food stylist Christine Tobin who has recently worked on Little Women. It is a real little gem of an interview, and well worth catching if you enjoyed the film, like food or are interested in what goes on behind the scenes. I also learned a new word – tablescape – which I hope one day to find an excuse to use.

Finally, the bee balm bergamot is flowering. Such a pretty colour and shape, and I can see there are more to come.

A new flower

What were your small pleasures this week? 

Thanks to Mani over at A New Life Wandering for the original idea.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


  1. Oh, my mouth is watering! I will have to make some ricotta toast at home. That bee balm is such a delicate shade of purple (lilac?). I have never seen one that color.


  2. I agree re the toast – I have some nice peaches at the moment so a good excuse for breakfast! The flowers were not quite the colour I expected either, but so delicate and lovely.


    1. I used Rachel Khoo’s basic quiche recipe from The Little Paris Kitchen, using ham (that had to be used up), courgettes and Cheddar cheese this time with creme fraiche rather than cream. I’ll try and find a link or put the recipe up.


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