This week’s small pleasures #270

What a week here in Wellington. Weather wise, there was sunshine and then, at the weekend, the tail end of cyclone Dovi which gave us the second wettest day since records began. The winds weren’t as strong as predicted at least, but the rain just poured and poured. Unfortunately the protestors were not deterred by the weather or Barry Manilow and James Blunt being played at full volume, and are still camped out in mud and muck around Parliament and the Pipitea campus of Victoria University of Wellington. I could go on but I won’t as I want to talk about this week’s small pleasures…..

When the sun was shining on Tuesday, I took a walk through the Botanic Gardens after finishing work. I happened to meet both cats that seem to frequent the gardens. There was a little bit of a standoff between them, with the grey cat used me as a ‘shield’ while he moved into position. I left them, staring at each other.

And so to food…and on Saturday, a friend and I braved the rain and went to an Egyptian cooking event held at Basbousa Egyptian Street Food and organised by Savour Cooking School. It was a mix of demonstration, lots of handy hints and a little hands on, such as folding and filling the sambousek (top left below), lovely little parcels of cream cheese and herbs. The hummus that was amazing – so creamy and probably the best I have ever had. There was a different form of baba ganoush, (chunky rather than smooth), an Egyptian rice dish, some wonderful, juicy falafel (ta’ameia), ful medames (a bean stew) and for dessert a pistachio and rosewater om ali, made from filo pastry and a sort of custard. We made salads from heirloom tomatoes from the organiser’s garden, drank peppermint tea and tried all the excellent food.

Elsewhere, in the basket this week were aubergines for a moussaka on Sunday evening (and leftovers tonight), a crispy capsicum, flat peaches, nectarines and apricots, lemons and garlic. We had croissants for a Sunday breakfast, a sort of pre- St Valentine’s Day treat, and I enjoyed a slice of lemon loaf after my trip to the dentist and dental hygienist on Wednesday.

Other small pleasures of the week were Pilates, lying on the sofa reading and drinking tea as the rain poured down on Sunday, and seeing the sun come out this afternoon and brightening up our lives.

What were your small pleasures this week? Here are some other blog posts from a few 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. Yes, I agree the Egyptian food looks tasty, I like most Middle Eastern foods, so tasty! The protestors in Canberra have, for the most part moved on, having caused noise and general disruption to everyone. (I loved the NZ Barry Manilow idea, a shame it didn’t work)
    Have a good week, and hope the sun is shining.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know which I love more: your food writing or your food photos. I’m glad I don’t have to choose! Thanks for reminding us of life’s small pleasures — and thank you for mentioning my blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Always so uplifting & such fun to catch up with you; even through these threatening days you bring so much joy into our space (thank you yet again for linking me in).

    I don’t think I’ve ever had Egyptian food – some familiar ingredients & names of dishes, but I have since learnt that not all hummus is the same. They may all start from chickpeas, but each country has its own take on it. Did you enjoy the tasting of it all?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved the tasting of all the food. It was all so delicious. I agree – not all hummus is the same. This one was exceptionally creamy. The protestors are still there and I am finding it hard to think of small pleasures for this week but there are some of course.


      1. Sigh – it is difficult to tune out what’s right in front of us. Wishing you more small pleasures so that you have an alternate scenery.


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