Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ginger Biscuits

I made these lovely rich Ginger Biscuits from this
vintage baking book. Naturally, I had to serve it in my
vintage tea set.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lift your sword

A few people in my life are burdened at the moment. So today if you are are heavy hearted, remember that Your God has not and never will forsake you. Our God is full of compassion and great is his love towards us. If you are feeling bound or heavy... "for He cuts through bars of iron" and "He frees the captive"

I know its difficult to pick yourself up but even if we don't have the energy to stand strong (and the reality is that we all have days like this), at least crawl towards the Word, open it and confess it with your own mouth. It's alive and powerful!! It just is!

Lift your sword: Lets confess over ourselves...
"You arm me with strength for the battle" Ps 18
"You reach down from on high and take hold of me, You draw me out of deep waters"
"I shall not be anxious for anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, I present my requests to God. And the peace of God, WILL guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus" Phil 4

Lets believe together!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A word

A word is dead
when it is said,
some say.
I say it just
begins to live
that day.

Emily Dickinson

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yoghurt Pancakes

Soft, delicious and easy. They are fluffy, American style pancakes. I
threw a cup of blueberries into my batter, just before cooking and served
it with a hint of butter and a good pouring of maple syrup. Oh my!

Measure into a bowl:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt

In a jug, whisk:
2 cups liquid - 300ml plain yoghurt & 200ml milk
3 eggs
a shallow teaspoon sugar

Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk. I then let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
Enough time to set the breakfast table or have a shower.
Cook on a med to high heat till bubbles form on the surface. Flip and
finish cooking. Mmmm... you will love them.




Thursday, April 23, 2009


The Lord has been speaking to me on kindness and gentleness. This is so lacking in the world and often times in my life too. I’ve been busy, distracted by what life throws at me and a tad too frazzled, which doesn’t actually produce the best fruit. Does this happen to you too, or is it just me? So I’ve been challenged to slow down a bit and ensure that I'm being gentle and patient with those around me. Focus on what really matters.

the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle … Titus 3.2
what is desired in a man (woman) is kindness Prov 19.22
with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is
precious in the sight of God 1 Pet 3.4
in quietness and confidence shall be your strength Isaiah 30.15
the Lord’s servant must …. be gentle to all 2 Tim 2.24
I drew them with gentle cords, with bonds of love Hosea 11.4
she opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness Prov 31.26
as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, … Col 3.12
fruit of the spirit is … kindness Gal 5.22
A gentle answer turns away wrath … Prov 15.1

“Lord, help us to be women of noble character and integrity, that out of the overflow of our repentant, humble and grateful hearts, we may speak with wisdom and kindness. May we, like You, be rich in mercy and gentleness. Strengthen us and uphold us with Your righteous right hand. How precious is Your lovingkindness towards us, O God.”

The cat’s out the bag. I’m still on the Potter’s wheel. Praise Him!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Food memories

I love food. I come from a family of food lovers and they are always growing things to eat, every kind of fruit, vegetable and herb. We all have these overgrown vegetable gardens, even though we all live near the city and therefore do not have acres and acres to grow stuff in. Fortunately my parents no longer keep the chickens, geese, ducks and so on. My earliest memories involve food. A few years ago we made our first trip across to Europe to visit my parents extended family. We arrived at the house my mother grew up in (and where we were staying) to find a large, still warm, round bread wrapped in a tea towel and a bottle of fresh milk, by the front door. My eyes swam and I'll never forget that moment of welcome.

Other memories include my great grandmother's Baked apples, my mother's Parsley fritters and who could forget my Avo Grossa's, (well, that's what I called her) fried eggs (those weren't regular eggs, they tasted so good) and my great-aunt's peas & egg dish... oh and my father's traditional Christmas pork, with wine and garlic. Yum!! I better stop, this list will get very long.

For Christmas I made Rebecca a little recipe book of all her favourite foods. She is growing so quickly and once her first tooth started wobbling, I knew we were kissing the baby years away for good, so I thought I better jot down her favourite toddler foods before I forgot and so the book was born. She loved the idea of having her own cookbook!

Now I'm hungry. I think I'll phone my mom and see if she's keen on making me a batch of those fritters. Holding thumbs!

Monday, April 20, 2009


Since I have a few minutes, here goes
Two recipes for rusks:

Wholewheat Rusks
2 cups self-raising flour
1kg wholewheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
250g of butter
1 1/2 cup of raisins
500g buttermilk
200ml plain yoghurt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc)

Sift flours. Add all dry goods. Make a well in the centre. Whisk wet ingredients in jug. Pour into well and mix together. Should be a firmish dough. Shape into golf balls and add to a large, greased roasting pan or bread tins. If you are feeling lazy or just want nice, neat soldiers, turn all the dough into the pan and smooth on top. No rolling and getting your hands all sticky.

Either way, now you just bake at 180degC for 50 minutes - 1 hour. Cool. Tear balls apart (or if you baked as a whole, slice into nice rectangular pieces) and place in the oven to dry out at about 100degC for about 5-7 hrs, depending on your oven (mine is usually done by about 5 1/2 - 6 hrs). Should be nice and crisp.
Variations: Replace seeds & raisins with
* Chopped pecans and dates
* Chopped almonds and dried cranberries
* Chopped walnuts and some finely grated rind of orange

Buttermilk Rusks
1kg self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
250g butter
500ml buttermilk
1 egg, whisked with 25ml oil

Sift flour. Add dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre. Mix wet ingredients. Pour into well and mix. Roll into golf balls (or not, as above) and pack tightly into the roasting pan. Bake for about 45 minutes and dry as above. Adding a handful of raisins and decreasing a bit of the sugar, would not go amiss.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rainy day

There is a lovely gentle rain falling today. Perfect for knitting, with tea and rusks.

These are the wholewheat rusks I made yesterday. I know they look like blocks of rough wood, but this the yummiest treat to dunk into your coffee or hot chocolate! Don't you love the idea of still eating Voortrekker food. Rusks are not dissimilar to Biscotti, a twice baked hard biscuit. These are mandatory during long car journeys, if you still have a pioneering spirit - a tin of rusks, a flask of coffee and a small (actually large is better) bag of biltong. I'll post the recipe soon.

Can you see its wet? Excellent. I don't have to water the garden today.

Yesterday, Rebecca played all over the garden with her two little friends. They are growing so quickly.

Mr Busy

Mr Thomas

May your Sunday be wonderful!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Rebecca has been desperate for me to teach her to knit. So yesterday we began the lessons. She was so excited. The last thing she said when she got tucked in last night was 'Mom I'll meet you at our knitting baskets as soon as I wake up'. She is making herself a scarf for winter and she's a pretty fast learner.

Today she has taken this knitting thing even further. She asked three other family members to join her knitting club - I don't see this being a regular thing but this afternoon everyone had a knitting session together. Now my daughter is a real treat... all members must have a basket to put their knitting in and she cleared a spot in our family room where the baskets must reside when not in use. She is clearly a first born, a lover of rules! Cracks me up every time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Last week, a couple of girlfriends and myself began the 'Believing God' teaching by Beth Moore. Well, within a few minutes I wanted to fall on my face and at one point realised that my eyes were hurting because I was concentrating so hard (and therefore not blinking). I love the Word, It's wonderful... in the beginning was the word... , so doing this bible study is fabulous. And don't you just love Beth's manner and approach! My sister and I saw her when she was in Cape Town about two years ago. I remember it took a lot of effort to stay seated the whole time and not just run and give her a big hug! Can't wait for the next meeting.

On another note altogether.... I think my oven baked like... 60 cupcakes today for a birthday boy. All blue and sparkly.

I made a couple of mellow ones for the grown ups. Ain't they cute.

And a few more loud ones for the kiddies.

Cupcakes are supremely fun baking. I wish you could smell the lovely vanilla.
Now I need more coffee. Happy Wednesday.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

I began today with a pie. I asked my husband for a can of pumpkin from his trip to America, and several other food goodies that you don't get here. Yes, yes, I know we have pumpkins but I just thought it would be cool! So that can came into play today.
Here's my darling with our delicious Pumpkin Pie (not usually served at Easter... but why not?), which we tucked into after a leisurely lunch.

The great Easter hunt

The remains of the day. We are now lying watching 'Superman' eating Hot Cross Buns with large mugs of tea.
That's not a bear, just my mother's other offspring buried under my favourite blanket.

Happy Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The three trees

'The three trees' (Angela E Hunt). What better time of year to read this to your children. A beautiful old tale about the dreams of three trees and their noble purposes, told in a gentle graceful rhythm.

I love what Ephesians 3.16-21 says and I pray that this Easter we will experience this... to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge. Amen!!!

Today has been very full, busy and blessed. My sister was here and we had tea at the crack of dawn on the patio. She is such a blessing. Then we spent the day with our in-laws and the big thing is that during lunch Rebecca's front tooth fell out. I've been waiting for it for a few days and horror... today mid-way through lunch she spits this thing out onto the table. Fortunately there wasn't much blood. That's life!!
Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Today is windy and the mornings are becoming chilly. Autumn is here. So I picked the last remains of summer and brought it indoors.

and filled the kitchen with the smell of baking cookies. A batch of White choc chip biscuits. There is my empty tin waiting to be filled.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bunny Season

We bought Rebecca two rabbits for Easter. Don't ask why, I'm not sure! Sounds like more work for me but fortunately they are the tiniest, cutest bunnies you have ever seen (will try to post a pic while they are still small). Whenever you are looking for Rebecca she can be found in their home, which is pretty comfy for bunnies but maybe not so much for people. The black one is called Thomas after her dear friend that moved to Jo-burg and the little white one is Busy Bee... clearly named by Miss Rebecca Sella because he is timid and shy and never busy. This matters not a bit to a six year old.

She is now suggesting maybe getting goats and sheep. Yikes!! We have recently finished reading 'Caddie Woodlawn', where I had to read a full four times, the chapter where Caddie and her equally spirited brothers prank their cousin Annabelle with amongst others a crowd of sheep. Clearly my baby believes life would be more colourful with a farm-full of furry friends. Hopefully the Easter festivities will distract her for a while.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening act

So I have finally taken the plunge. Correction... I needed great assistance but that is a story for another time. But the fact is that I am here. Hopefully these will be thoughts worth reading, pictures worth perusing and a blog worth keeping. If nothing else, the pursuits of my six year old beauty will keep one amused.

Now that took a lot of thinking, so Goodnight, I'm off to bed.
'I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You
alone O Lord, make me dwell in safety.'