This week’s small pleasures come to you from a week which straddled two years. We all have our views on 2020 and hope for a better 2021, but for now, let’s just look back on the things that made me smile over the last seven days.
First up, there was some good weather in between the showers, and we took a drive on Wednesday around the coast, stopping at Scorching Bay to stretch our legs on the beach and enjoy the beautiful blue skies. The two pictures below, and the featured image at the top of the post (which features a pohutukawa, or New Zealand Christmas tree as it flowers at this time of the year) were taken there. We even stopped for ice-cream.
I’m all for seasonal produce and making the most of it…even if it means shelling a big bag peas, thinking what to do with patty pan squash, or topping and tailing gooseberries to make a compote to have with yoghurt at breakfast. Nectarines are also in season, and I made roast nectarine chutney this week to last through the winter months.
This week saw us eat a cool, lemony courgette salad from Ottolenghi’s book Simple, and a creamy potato gratin to celebrate the first day of 2021 to have alongside beef cooked in beer and those peas. I also treated myself to eggs topped with a tarragon based gremolata at Loretta for a Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) brunch.
On New Year’s Eve I took a walk up Cuba Street, picking up a small calendula and rose face cream from Wellington Apothecary, and found two lovely summery shirts at Chili (one with a cat print!). It was lovely to have some time to browse when things were quiet.
On Hogmanay, we went for dinner at Daisy’s. I couldn’t resist having a couple of oysters to start with, enjoying some pink sparkling wine alongside. For my first course I had an interesting salad combination of strawberries, prosciutto and whipped goat’s cheese which was really delicious and then confit salmon, with green pea, lemon ricotta and little baby radishes, a lovely fresh summer dish. Karl had the pork and duck terrine and steak frites, also given a good review.
Finally, we saw in the start of 2021 with friends, enjoying some champagne and the hope for a good year ahead. In case you are wondering, that is their daughter behind the glasses! There have been a few small pleasures this year already – a trip to Zealandia eco-sanctuary which I will post about on Wednesday and going to the cinema on Saturday to see the excellent Australian film The Dry, which I highly recommend if you like a slow-burner of a thriller.
Anyway, wishing you and yours all the best for 2021. Here are some other favourite things from fellow bloggers.
- Ju Lyn visited the National Museum of Singapore (which I went to when we visited in 2018).
- Frank Hubeny’s delightful Christmas walk.
- The Weekly Smile from Trent – a virtual family gathering.
- Five things that Little Pieces of Me are grateful.
- Blogging reflections from Lingo in Transit.
- A new newsletter from Salmon Brook Farms.
- Su’s summary of the year here in New Zealand.
- And Deb looks back at December. Love her word of the year which is going to be bold.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org