This week’s small pleasures #227

I wasn’t quite sure where to start this week. I’ve been on holiday which has been wonderful. I’ve been reading, done a tiny bit of tidying, gone to my usual Pilates classes, had a good ‘tune up’ from my chiropractor and had a lovely long call with one of my nieces in the US on Easter Sunday. However, on Saturday, I heard of the death in a motorbike accident of an old school friend. Such a tragic thing to happen. He was always a cheery soul, and am sure he will be greatly missed by his family and close friends.

It is hard to believe, but this time last year we were in Covid Alert Level 4 lockdown, with nothing open except supermarkets and pharmacies. Everything stopped at 1pm when we switched on our televisions to watch the day’s Covid update from Dr Ashley Bloomfield, the chief executive of the Ministry of Health here in New Zealand. The daily autumn walks in the Botanic Gardens were a lifesaver at the time. This “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” as Keats so famously said, is often one of beauty. The berries below were spotted on Saturday morning, in those gardens, and are such a gorgeous riot of red.

And so to food…as usual! On Wednesday, it was great to get to the wee market in town and pick up a seasonal pumpkin, some carrots, shallots and this beautiful purple cauliflower (which I roasted to make this salad). On Thursday, I enjoyed a slice of light and tasty banana bread topped with mascarpone at Pickle & Pie for an afternoon treat, and on Saturday a hot cross bun, because, well, it is the season.

On Easter Sunday, we had friends around for a long lunch, featuring three sorts of herring, meatballs, sausages, smoked salmon, devilled eggs, a potato gratin (for there were no ansjovis available to make Janssons frestelse), salads, and of course, snaps and beer. Yes – we had a Swedish table in celebration of Easter. There were crackers (served on a new plate) and cheese, breads, and I made Swedish apple cake. There was even chocolate. Phew!

Finally, a picture of Charlie, who came home from his stay at the cattery, told us and the neighbourhood in a very loud voice at 4am that he was home, and then became his usual bossy and sleepy self. It is of course a holiday here today, so I think I may take a leaf out of Charlie’s book and just curl up and relax.

What were your small pleasures this week?

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. Thank you for sharing your Easter table and for explaining what is there. I love the ‘farmhouse elegance’ of your table, and especially the pop of color from the napkins. The basket of bread is a standout photo for me. Thanks for the smiles today. visiting from #weekly smiles

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the look of your stash from the market – that purple cauli is particular enticing! Does it taste any different from white cauli?

    A very abundant and delectable Easter lunch spread!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.