If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…

If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…we would be sitting outside in the sunshine. I would say to you that this is the last day of my holiday, and you remind me that I have the weekend still ahead, that I will only be at work for 2 days as I don’t work on Wednesdays, and that the 24th is the Wellington Anniversary Holiday. I smile and say – yes you are so right.

If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…I would tell you that I made this soda bread with figs, orange and spices from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s book Shelf Love. I would tell you I enjoyed a hunk of it for breakfast with some cream cheese, and offer you a slice, which you accept and say how wonderful it tastes. I agree, and tell you I used mixed spice instead of star anise as in the original recipe, and we agree this is the sort of thing that can easily be adapted.

If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…we would talk about the holidays, about finishing a couple of books, listening to podcasts, clearing clutter in the box room, going on trips, enjoying cafes and having time for cooking. However, I say that I have not got on very well with the holiday jigsaw, which seems to be full of yellow pieces. You laugh and say you will get there in the end.

If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…we would talk about perfect days, ones where we enjoy the weather, the things we do, the ones that bring a smiles to our faces when we remember them. The pictures below are from Tuesday at Lake Ferry in the Waiarapa.

If we were having coffee…or even a cup of tea…gosh! Look at the time! Won’t you stay for dinner? There’ll be salad with tomato, cucumber, basil, feta and mint to have with steak, and a cherry clafoutis for dessert. You say of course what could be better on this gorgeous summer evening.

Entered in the weekend coffee share hosted by Natalie the Explorer.

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 thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com


  1. That salad looks delicious! I have just spent a delightful hour having coffee with a friend after a long walk … so many things to talk about with recipes and book titles to share. Then home to read this and I thought what fun if we could join you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your first photo just exudes the warmth of summer and I would very happily sit at that picnic bench at Lake Ferry and admire the view. Salad and steak sounds (and looks) excellent. Enjoy the remaining days of your holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do love in a beautiful country I must admit, though we do have storms and earthquakes too! I agree with you about that salad – it is one of those ‘perfect combination’ dishes.


  3. Yes, I agree with the previous comment, you write very well about those important daily events, interesting food, a pretty scene from Lake Ferry in the Waiarapa and lovely sunny weather. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t beat a good soda bread, and great that you can make it your own. It’s a book I can’t fancy taking a look at….but trying to stay focused on the books I already have….oh the temptation of another cookbook!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The book is good – one with recipes you can easily make your own. There are a few things I really want to try – but you know that way when you have so many bookmarked things that you just end up doing your usual anyway?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Greetings from across the ditch. Your photos are beautiful and I’d love to pop over and try your bread, and why stop there? Have you ever tried any of Julie Goodwin’s recipes? She was Australia’s first Masterchef. I have two of her cookbooks and I find her recipes suit our family really well. Tonight we had her Fetta & Pumpkin Pie. It’s amazing.
    I’ve been trying to vary where I go for my walks. We live right near the beach but I try t mix it up to retain the magic.
    Hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Here’s a link to Julie Goodwin’s website. I’ve made her Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe which is listed there many times, and is a great option for GF, which I often struggle to get my head around aside from Pavlova.
        I’ve been having a bit of a break from baking which coincides with an enforced break from socialising due to covid and having a non-covid virus during the last week. However, I’m feeling tempted today and I had a bulk lot of apricots in the back fridge and if they haven’t gone off it might be apricot crumble with dinner tonight.
        Best wishes,

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a great coffee time. Salad looks amazing as does those views. I purchased a puzzle table from Amazon so that I can do puzzles but when I don’t finish them I can slide it under my couch. It takes me forever to finish puzzles.

    Liked by 1 person

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