This week’s small pleasures #250

So we stay ‘Level 2 Delta’ here in New Zealand for another week, while Auckland remains tightly locked down at Level 4. This has come as nor surprise, but a little disappointing of course. Still, vaccination take-up is still on the rise, though a whole lot more people need to get along and get ‘jabbed’. Anyway, we moved from Level 3 to Level 2 on Wednesday, and this meant that I could keep my chiropractor and dental hygienist appointments, as well as go back to Pilates in the studio. While a visit to the dental hygienist is not necessarily a small pleasure, being able to go was – I am sure you all know what I mean! I went back to the office today, but was delighted to come home and find not only a cat happy to see me but a new supply of posh chocolate from The Chocolate Bar. We’ve still got a bar and a couple of bits left from my last order to enjoy as well – and isn’t the note that came with the chocolate just so nice?

Spring can be seen all around us (as seen in Saturday’s post). The tulips are beginning to look good in the Botanic Gardens and as for the magnolia – well there are some magnificent specimens to be seen such as this one below. The pictures aren’t the best, but I am sure you get the idea.

And so to food….lunches at home have included sardines on toast, something I hadn’t had for ages, and I toasted the seeded apple bread I made on Wednesday and topped it with cheese, pickle and chives for Friday’s lunch, which I have to say worked well.

On Thursday, we had dinner at perennial favourite, Field and Green. After a small hiatus due to Covid lockdown restrictions, Wellington on a Plate is back, so we headed along to try the burger, having enjoyed the meze style food at the beginning of August. The “Ottoman Empire burger’ has elements of Spanish, Greek, Turkish and Jewish cooking, and consisted of a lamb patty, with Greek yoghurt, grilled onions, pea shoots, Kosher dill pickles, roasted red pepper and harissa mayonnaise all sitting on a sesame seed milk bun, and served with potato and cheese croquette. It was absolutely gorgeous, very meaty and full of flavour. You can see a not very good photo of the burger below.

It was also a small pleasure to go food shopping on Saturday morning, There was this gorgeous looking half cabbage, some silver beet, stem broccoli, tangelos for the lunch box and a lovely fennel bulb, which I turned into a fennel, apple and mint salad inspired by Zimmerbitch‘s suggestion. There was pasta, feta, halloumi to use in halloumi mushroom burgers, black truffle brie because it is so good, harissa for lamb burgers and this wonderful kraut from The Wild Fermentary.

My favourite podcast of the week was an interview with Kylee Newton, author of The Modern Preserver Cooking the Books with Gilly Smith. She has a new book coming out which sounds good. I also enjoyed the interviews with Sophie Grigson and Zuza Zak (author of the recently purchased cookbook Amber and Rye) on the same podcast. I’ve subscribed to The Drop Out about the Elizabeth Holmes trial to follow how this unfolds.

I wish I could write like MFK Fisher in this article here Notes on Cravings first published in 1968 and brought to my attention by Sophie Hansen in this week’s 5 things to be cheerful about newsletter. Well worth a read as it will bring a smile to your face.

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

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. South Africa moved to Level 2 today – the number of active cases are down, yet the deaths remain a concern. It is good to read that you have been able to get out and about again – delicious food (yummy chocolate) and pretty flowers. I am glad you enjoyed my sunset. Winter is visiting us this week after Summer poked its nose in over the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those magnolia trees look absolutely stunning! I think it is very good to be on such good terms with your chocolate supplier…we give our adult kids vouchers for KoKo Black chocolate every Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Howdy friend. Our lock down was eased recently it was a very odd the feeling of being allowed to visit one of my bestest friends who lives next door. The Magnolia photos they are just gorgeously stunning. The chocolate & meals too yum.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Being able to get an errand done cannot be taken for granted anymore. To get it safely done, with the least amount of stress is also not to be taken lightly. At least it is for me. So, I am glad you were able to keep your appointments.

    And go food shopping. It must have been a relief to be able to pick things you could see & touch.

    Liked by 1 person

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