This week’s small pleasures #245

It seems winter has returned – at least for a couple of days. Sunday was bitterly cold and it rained nearly the whole day, and today, Monday, has also been very wintery. I spent Sunday morning baking for a bake sale at work, reading Six on Saturday gardening blogs and preparing lunches for Monday and Tuesday. I made a pasta bake from Julia Turshen’s Now & Again for dinner, lay on the sofa with tea and a good detective novel, and watched a great little documentary about the Swedish jazz musician, Esbjörn Svensson. A great way to spend a winter day!

Saturday, in contrast however, was mostly sunny, and I had a lovely walk through the Botanic Gardens to Pilates in the morning, stopping to admire these gorgeous magnolias. The pink tree in the distance in the second picture below is the one in the top picture. In the afternoon, I went to the cinema to see How to be a Good Wife, a French comedy set in 1968 starring Juliet Binoche. If you have seen it, let me know what you thought about the peculiar ending. A rather odd film all round on reflection.

And so to food…and there was lunch at Pickle & Pie on Wednesday and dinner at Field & Green on Thursday as I wrote about in previous posts. In the shopping basket this week there was some lovely looking kale, a kohlrabi (which seems to be everywhere at the moment), carrots, oranges, persimmons, pears and two sorts of mushrooms.

As I mentioned, Sunday seemed like a good day to bake, and I made a batch of biscuits in the shape of cats, which I felt somewhat appropriate given the sale is to raise funds for the SPCA. The recipe was so old it was still in ounces with oven temperatures in Fahrenheit. It is one I have used many times over the years as you can tell by the state of the pages of the book! Luckily, I still have a set of scales that measure in ounces, but had to do a quick convert for oven temperatures. I’m not sure how cat-like they turned out, but they taste good in any case (like a lemony shortbread).

I read a lot this week which was nice, got cuddles from Charlie (though I have to lie or sit in a position chosen by him….) and tried not to think about how we should have been in Sweden celebrating a family wedding, which obviously we were unable to do. Maybe next year we can go to Europe, but who knows. Anyway, it is something to look forward to doing again one day: in the meantime we can enjoy these wonderful flowers in the Botanic Gardens.

What were your small pleasures? Here are some other blog posts from fellow bloggers looking at the good things in life.

  • Carol Ann of Fashioned for Joy shares her delights of the week.
  • Laurie at Notes From The Hinterland shares her garden (and unfortunate pests).
  • Ju Lyn at Touring my Backyard shares some great looking food – in particular some heritage tomatoes.
  • Deb, shares one of my favourite baked goods, scones.
  • Natalie the Explorer gives us yet another wonderful tour of parts of Toronto (and enjoys pasta).
  • Anne at Something Over Tea shares pictures from a mountain drive.
  • Sanch Writes is still in lockdown in Sydney but still finds a lot to be thankful for including lots of good walks.
  • Jo at And Anyways shares so many lovely pictures…and enjoyed salmon too.
  • And over at Trent’s World, joins in the weekend coffee share  
  • Sammie at The Annoyed Thyroid provides a useful list of things to take if you are going into managed isolation.

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


  1. Your narrative of the week’s small treasures conjure up the coziness of the last weeks of winter along with the brightness of spring in the wings. You are kind to provide a link to my Mountain Drive 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The magnolia is an absolutely beautiful colour. I read a review of How to Be a Good Wife, and I thought it sounded like an odd movie, so I have not put that one on my list. Happy baking!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You seem to have struck a good balance of keeping busy, yet finding quiet time as well. Spring is almost there for you. We are still in a hot summer here in New York. Your cat cookies look amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the colour of those flowers and how cute are the cat biscuits?! It sounds like it was a very jolly weekend all things considered (especially compared to mine in lockdown!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m surprised the magnolia trees up here are in flower, normally they come out in September, kind of feels a bit like Spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love that shade of pink! When I first saw them, I thought them to be frangipani – but they are magnolias?

    How did you cook your kohlrabi? Such an interesting looking vegetable!

    A worthy cause – your bake sale – how did it all go?


      1. I follow Ottolenghi on IG – he makes such beautiful food … his salads are quite rather out of this world!

        Glad to hear the Bake Sale went well!

        Liked by 2 people

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