This week’s small pleasures #96

Today, Monday, is the Queen’s Birthday holiday here in New Zealand.  It is a bit grey and damp, but still, it’s a holiday so who cares? And of course it is time for this week’s round up of small pleasures.

1 Yet another cook book

I was sitting having my usual Saturday morning cup of tea at Ekor Book Shop and Cafe, when I noticed that they had a copy of Ren Behan’s Wild Honey and Rye that I have been wanting to get for ages.  It is a book of updated and new Polish recipes, all mouthwatering, and many bringing back memories.  I don’t need another cook book, really I don’t, but this one is one that was on my list and I am so looking forward to trying out some old and new favourites.

Tea and books
What I bought

2 Some good cheese

After all the vegan cheese tasting I did, I came to the conclusion that most of them were not really that nice.  Of course, there are some I like a lot (such as Sheese cream cheese, which always seems to be out of stock so other people must be of the same opinion), but am going back to the odd bits of goat cheese again, such as these two beauties from Over the MoonThe crackers in the picture are beetroot (yes! but you can’t really taste it) and oregano from New Zealand company, hello RawThese are so good, and can’t wait to try their other flavours, like carrot and cashew.

Cheese and crackers

3 New season yams

I love these, roasted, with some good olive oil and seasoning.


4 Sunday dinner

It’s winter, and that means comforting stews, and Sundays are a good day to make one, when we have more time than during the week.  I had wanted to make Nigel
Slater’s port-braised venison from A Year of Good Eating, but couldn’t get the right venison so used beef instead (which he suggests in any case). There is carrot of course, parsnips, and I added mushrooms as I had some to use up. I served it with a potato/kumara mash, rather than the suggested oat dumplings, and cavolo nero.  Perfect!

Sunday dinner

Thanks to Mani over at A New Life Wandering for the original idea.

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


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