Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Busy.. Busy..

Life, Oh my isn't it busy?
I always find there are more tasks/projects to be completed than hours in the day. When one has a set back in their health it only adds to those things mounting up. Currently we are getting parts of our roof repaired.

Our home was built in 1880, so its understandable that their is much that needs doing. Yesterday the sound of hammers banging away was music to my ears..with intermittent pauses as sun showers came through. We're also getting some rotten weather boards replaced. Then all this new work will require painting, which will be my husbands domain, eventually :)
I thought I would just post a whole bunch of pictures of various things I snapped over the past couple of weeks, mostly baking & soap :)
Muffin our cat, lounging on the front deck.
Front yard trees in Autumn, now they are all bare, except for the Camelia's which are just coming into flower :)

1st up: I love to go to Second Hand Stores - called Op Shops here in NZ, as one never knows what little treasures might be found. This week I got a little Hand Sifter, and some good quality square baking tins (esp for Christmas fruit cakes). I picked up this little crockery mustard pot a couple of weeks back - too cute !!!
here it is displayed on my kitchen shelf :)
and some baking I've been doing for lunch boxes etc.
Chocolate Afghan Cookies - some with choc chips & some with walnut toppings.


200g Butter (softened)
1/2 cup Castor Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder - sifted
1 1/2 cups cornflakes 

1 - 2 Tablespoons Butter
1 - 2 T cocoa powder
2 t vanilla essence
1 packed cup icing sugar
Hot water to mix

1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
2. Grease or line a baking tray with baking paper (I always use baking paper or those silicone
tray liners that are washable.
3. In a medium size bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Sift in the flour and cocoa. Mix well. Add cornflakes and mix again, being careful not to thoroughly smash the cornflakes :)
5. Roll mixture into balls, I use a tablespoon (not mounded). Press with a fork.
6. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Ice with chocolate icing and sprinkle with walnuts or chocolate chips. ~ enjoy

Icing: Mix icing sugar and cocoa with a fork. Throw in the butter, mash till crumbly. Add vanilla & mix well. Drizzle drops of Hot Water at a time and beat until a smooth consistency is reached, but still thick (not runny !!!) . 

Hokey Pokey Biscuits - a simple old fashioned and inexpensive Cookie with quite a unique flavour. My Nana used to make them when I was a child and I always loved them !


125g softened butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon Golden Syrup
1 Tablespoon warm Milk
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1.  Preheat oven to 170 C
2. Cream the butter and sugar.
3.  Warm the milk in the microwave and stir in the baking soda until it froths.  
4.  Add milk mixture and creamed mixture to the flour. Mix well and form into small balls. 
5. Place on lined trays. Press with a fork lightly and bake for about 12 minutes. ~ Enjoy

I also made some Black currant Jam from Blackcurrants I had from the garden in our freezer. It turned out beautiful. Apparently most berry jams are improved when the berries have been frozen (well especially blackcurrants), it soften the skins. 

Yield x 9 Jars

Soap & Apothecary: I restocked my website with Body Butter (so perfect for Winter) and made some lovely Rosemary/Lavender Soap with French Green Clay.

all tidied up and stamped :) These are Bastile Bars made with 75% Olive Oil (I know the stamp says 72%) :) plus Coconut Oil for extra Bubbles and Cocoa Butter for added moisturizing properties. One of my favorite soaps.
same batch, different molds (below)
Rose Geranium Savon Bastile Bar Soap (with Coconut Milk)
Little Owl Lavender Cocoa Butter Soap

Garden produce: Our Feijoas are just finishing off outside. All up we gathered about 3 plastic supermarket bags worth of fruit (about 10 kilo - 20 lbs.) We gave some away and have just been enjoying eating them fresh on porridge with homemade yogurt in the mornings. I havn't bottled any this year (just storing them in the fridge). We also have a huge yield of Sturmer cooking apples that I havn't done anything with either sigh...well I did make one apple pie so-far. But honestly we do not need to be eating desert very often. I planted all these trees to not only eat the fruit, but also preserve; however I find we mostly share it, eat it and preserve very little. But that's okay, its just a blessing to have seasonal fruit nearly all year round, that's not only organic/spray free, but also nutritious !!!

So that's about all for now. I've been making a concerted effort to return to the ways of my youth when it comes to my cooking style. I used to make everything from scratch, bread, baking meals and we were healthier for it. The garden was more of a focus, and our meals revolved more around it. I mentioned in the last post that I've been making bread again too. The problem is New Zealand wheat is not that high in gluten, so additional gluten flour needs to be added to help the texture. I purchased some Organic flour yesterday from the wholefoods store: German Spelt flour and Unbleached White. Plus some more whole grains for the grain grinder: Wheat and Buckwheat. Buckwheat makes the most delicious pancakes. Okay, so now I am rambling..I really must go and make some more labels for soap. Bye for now, blessings and love to all.
* Please leave me a comment, if you stop by, It brings me Joy with a capital 'J' to hear from you :) ~ Blessings to you ~ Linda


  1. Dear Linda,
    What a lovely, homey post. It was enjoyable to see what you've been doing.
    Thank you so much for praying for me.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    1. So lovely you stopped by Laura Lane :) I read your latest post last night (frugal week), but was too tired to comment. You've inspired me to up my frugal living even more. Blessings to you. Your still in my prayers (hugz)

  2. I completely understand about home repairs as we live in an older home too! We are always repairing or improving something on our house! All your baking looks delicious. I don't bake as much as I used to because I really try not to eat sweets/carbs. Baking delicious things just tempts me TOO much! Haha! :)
    I Have never heard of Feijoas before! How neat that you grow them and eat them! I am guessing they are a fruit?

    Have a lovely week Linda! :)

  3. Hi Katy, thankyou for stopping by :) I need to cut back a tad on the baking and start walking and I totally understand about the whole carb thing !!. Feijoas have an unusual very aromatic flavour. People add them to all sorts of baking and desserts in NZ, as well as just eat them. Our tree produces a lot ! Blessings to you :)


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