Saturday, January 26, 2013


It all started a few weeks ago with a gift of a kilo of strawberries.
Those strawberries were made into the most delicious strawberry compote that was a real delight for over a week, poured over thick plain yoghurt.
Then, this week, one day after another I was given a bounty to bring home and make into something special. Day one, I turned two kilos of blackcurrants into many pots of jam - some will be gifts, some are definitely for home and a few will go back to the kind person who gave me the blackcurrants.
Day two, friends came around for afternoon tea, they also came loaded with bounty. Rhubarb to be cooked to a mush with brown sugar and rose geranium flowers. I am the main eater of rhubarb in this family and like to have a good supply for the freezer. They also came with a huge amount of harvested lavender stalks which will be stripped in a few weeks time. I use these dried rubbings in my Sweet Mary lavender sachets.
Yesterday, plum cake made with Bev's French Street plums and more lavender to dry.
Today, thanks to another friend, I had fresh apricots to make into this Annabel Langbein recipe: Really Useful Apricot Chilli Glaze. Of course I feel very smug now, with groaning shelves in the fridge and pantry. This is why I love living where I do, there is such an abundance of fresh food and lots of kind people who like to share.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sweet Mary was going to be at a very special market this weekend but unfortunately it has had to be postponed. However, the following weekend I will be at the Craft&Design market held around the Hawthorne Coffee shop. I will post details nearer to the time.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Soft and squashy storage containers for just about anything that you can think of but especially good for baby toys, balls of knitting wool, piles of fabric scraps, socks etc. Along with my usual lavender filled sachets I have made these this week in preparation for a 'Made it Here' pop-up market to be held next weekend in Napier. I will post the details on this blog early next week. Hope you are having a good weekend - back to the sewing machine for me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Last Night

Last night, after a very hot day, we sat outside with friends for hours enjoying the views from their picturesque property. Looking out over the hills to Te Mata Peak, I was sure I could see the Sleeping Giant.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


In the past I have dried large amounts of sweetly fragranced rose petals to add to my potpourri mix. Bagged up in pretty red striped pouches, it was a good seller and at the last Holly Trail fete that I attended, one lady bought all my stock to put in her B&B as presents for her guests. Now that I have a smaller garden and not so many colourful roses, I just make it for my own use. As I make a fresh potpourri each year I do not add any preservatives, just roses, lavender, lemon verbena and the odd cottage garden flower that has dried nicely. One thing that has been missing though has been a suitable display container but today in a local shop I found this glass one which I think will be perfect for many years to come and not just for the potpourri. Come Easter and I may fill it with eggs!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Lavender Harvest

A few days ago I came home from a visit to friends with a large bunch of lavender to dry. It is definitely English lavender as the stalks are long and wafer thin and the flowers are highly fragrant and much smaller than their showy French cousins. Hanging from this old bit of gardenalia it shouldn't take too long for the bunches to dry and just in time for my mum to strip when she comes to stay. Just the start of what I will need to fill my Sweet Mary lavender sachets over the coming year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Good Year

A bowl full of strawberry goodness straight from the garden. Over the winter, with the help of my son, we built two new strawberry beds along permaculture principles. Each bed was layered with newspaper,grass clippings, old leaves, compost, sheeps wool, coffee grinds and pea hay. This nutrient rich mix has produced the most delicious and abundant crop giving us plenty to eat on a daily basis.
So, another year, lots to look forward to and a few things to improve on.

Happy New Year everyone!