This week’s small pleasures #329

The clocks have gone back, autumn is here, and as they say in the country I grew up in, the night’s are fair drawing in. It is almost time to get the candles out and find that favourite sweater and cosy blanket. The picture below was taken on Sunday evening at about 7:30pm. I think you just have to embrace the cooler seasons…and then enjoy the warmer ones when they come round again.

In the food corner….

Not strictly food, but it was so cold on Thursday in the office, that I popped over to the cafe in the library for a hot chocolate at lunch time. Usually, these disappoint, but this one was excellent. I had a good cheese and ham baguette for lunch on Wednesday after Pilates, and made salmon burgers from Steffi Knowles-Dellner’s Lagom. These tasted really good but were a bit of a faff to make as the skin of the fish had to be removed before cooking (any tips on how to do this easily are very welcome). There was plenty of the sweetcorn, capsicum and red onion side dish to have on Sunday too. In the basket there were more courgettes, an aubergine, red onions, mushrooms, a head of broccoli, tomatoes, salad leaves (missed from the picture), limes and seasonal feijoas. I baked the pears from last week, serving them with ice-cream for a weekend dessert and baked a batch of currant scones for a Saturday afternoon treat (see the featured image at the top of the post).

Other good things

It was lovely to listen to chef Peter Gordon on the radio on Sunday morning talking about his move back to New Zealand and his restaurant in Auckland which we visited back in 2021 (and had the good fortune to meet him and have a chat while we waited for our taxi). He came over as such a warm person, what we felt when we met him, although briefly,

And then the highlight of the week – maybe even the year – a wonderful complement for Thistles and Kiwis from Nigella Eats Everything in her March newsletter who wrote that the “whole blog soaks you in a bubble bath of tranquility.” I can’t tell you how big a smile that put on my face. In return, do please check out her website and subscribe to her newsletter. So many great things to read – and lovely food pictures and descriptions too.

Simple things

  • Those salmon burgers above – just a nice combination, and we indulged in chips too.
  • Starting the new Donna Leon novel on Saturday afternoon.
  • Feeling strong in my Pilates class.
  • This ginger and lime chocolate brought back by a colleague from Vietnam
  • Those Japanese anemones….featuring a lot in this blog at the moment.
  • Saying hello to the ducks in the Botanic Gardens.

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. 

Also entered in the weekend coffee share hosted by Natalie.

Thistles and Kiwis is a Wellington, New Zealand based blog written by Barbara, who likes cats, summer, good food and pretends to garden.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis. If you want to get in touch, email me on or


  1. As the nights draw in for you we will finally be released from winter. I love the produce picture. Isn’t that one of the best things – going out and finding what to harvest and how to feature it in the meals. One of my most favourite parts of summer! Now I am off to read about this Ally who writes Nigella eats everything. Isn’t the blogging world amazing? Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a wonderful compliment from Nigella Eats Everything. Congratulations, Barbara! Your food and produce photos look lovely as usual. I see the same Japanese anemones in late summer and early autumn over here, too. Thank you for your weekend coffee share.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A compliment from Nigella is amazing but definitely deserved. I will check out her newsletter. Salmon Patties are one of my favourites in the lunch box. Wishing you a very Happy Easter


  4. How wonderful to see your blog getting a well deserved shout out! Happy Easter weekend. It’s pretty cool here and we turned back the clocks in Australia (except Qld, NT and WA) last weekend.
    Denyse #Weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s cooling down here in Western Australia and the nights are definitely beginning earlier – it’s nice to slip into some warmer clothes and to snuggle into bed at night without a fan.

    Liked by 1 person

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