All friends bright and beautiful! Cuppa anyone?

One annoying thing about the winter is that my car, that runs on recycled cooking oil, has to switch to diesel. When it is really cold the oil solidifies and the car will not start… oh dear.

A positive thing about this part of the winter is that Johns beer and Pepsi (which he cannot give up no matter how many lectures I give him about fake Pepsi sugar destroying his liver) are shifted to their own natural chiller on the verandah, at least until it starts to freeze. I on the other hand am shifting inside. I completed my chores this morning in a snow flurry.

I once lived in a house in NZ that had a box that was built out from the kitchen wall on the cold side of the house. It had little windows of very close mesh to keep the bugs out and protruded from the outside wall about a foot, while standing about two feet high,  catching all the cool breezes. I accessed this little cold box from inside the kitchen through a small  carved heavy wooden door. I want one of these old cool boxes for my kitchen.  But I cannot remember what it is called.

Anyway enough of the rambling,  lets think of something cheerful.

Jessica is a lovely girl residing at Misty Maple Farms. She has llamas.  I want a llama.  I want a peacock too just for the record. Jessica has been kind enough to pass on the Leibster Award to me.  But, Oh dear my computer is being naughty and won’t let me load the actual award. Ah well. The most important thing about this award is that we thank the person who remembered us and pass the mantle on to 5 more bloggers.

Thank you, Jessica. Your writing is lovely and your outlook on life is wonderful. It is always a pleasure for me to visit your farm in my blog travels.

Now for my famous five. I have decided to collect a group of people who I think would have fun if I sat them all down at the same table, for a most unusual dinner. These bloggers  all work with the land one way or another. They grow food to eat.   And they are all new to my table and maybe new to you as well.   I know the Leibster award does not have any requirements but each link will take you to the dish that I would love them to bring to our cyber award dinner.

Naturally I shall host the award dinner here in front of the fire. Well we have to, because my car won’t start in the cold and Daisy just will not be harnessed to drag the dray. Selfish cow.

So here is my guest list.  These five are the recipients of the Leibster award. The logo is on Jessica’s page so zoom over and grab it to display on your pages. I hope it behaves better for you. It is a slippery bugger.

Promenade Plantings does her gardening on what could simply be described as an allotment, but a bigger more comprehensive plot of land.  And she has beautiful plants. She loves to grow. I was hoping she could bring her fried green tomatoes. I know they are out of season but this is a cyber dinner party. We can do whatever we want.

Marcus  from Country Woodsmoke might cook up a pretty wild smoked salmon in the kitchen. You have to see this. He also has a pizza oven. A real one!

Lynda on her Farmlet  is going to bring the tortillas for our dinner.  Well, there is no theme, I am just picking out my favourites!! And Our John loves tortillas.

Willow Archway are coming to have a long hot bath. They are as far off the grid as you can imagine. Just let them soak.  Oh what the heck, let the dogs soak as well. We will drag in another bath for them and poke food under the door.

If we can entice Jean away from her barn renovations, (although she is a bit of a self proclaiimed brat,) I am hoping she will bring apple pie.  I will supply the freshest cream ever!

I will pick a huge fall green leaf salad. The last of the greens before the winter.  They are very crisp this morning.  I do not know how I can grow greens here in the deep winter.  I hope we don’t all end up with scurvy, you know how i am with supermarkets!

Oh no, I have forgotton the  potatoes!  I cannot live without my spuds! Maybe my mystery guest will bring some. He is not getting an award you understand, because he already has one, I just cannot have a dinner party without his potatoes.  I am using him for his potatoes and witty repartee! Shame on me!

Oh no AND I forgot the wine. Whats that Daisy? Wait, hush everyone, Daisy has a suggestion.  Speak up!  Alright, Moo Up then!!  Pedantic Cow.  Ok I’m back.  Just for Daisy we will have another mystery guest. If he brings the wine. ‘He is not getting an award either Daisy, he gives you way too much attention as it is.’  But I do love a feisty pinot gris.

Just imagine.

Kettle’s on! Cuppa anyone! Oh and by the way I made this copper kettle when I was 13.  And it still holds water.  Soon there will be a big pot of chilli cooking away on this woodstove, next to the copper kettle.  What a life!!


85 Comments on “All friends bright and beautiful! Cuppa anyone?

  1. If you aren’t obliged to battle through bad weather to look after your beasts, there are many compensations to winter, not least the cheery fire in your stove:


    A friendly word
    for the start of warmth.
    Splinters, shavings, chips of oak,
    chopped sticks and kinked twigs
    then serious timber a handspan thick.

    The catalyst, a fizz of sulphur,
    prelude to atavistic pleasure
    in spits, sparks, flames,
    and quietly glowing cinders.

    I love the idea of your dinner party – please may I come if I promise to bring champagne?

    That thingie with the mesh sides is called a “meat safe”
    or it was in my Gran’s day, and here in France they have something similar called a “fromager”.

    • A meat safe, you are so right, i remember it being called a safe now.. fromager sounds so much cooler.. They are such a good idea for the cooler months. Love love your poem and…you also love the fizzy scent of sulphur! so do I!..I fixed your typo. I hope people fix mine. Champagne!, well of course you can come! just imagine.. c

  2. Congratulations on the award C – very well deserved! I do love the way that you are paying the love forward too.
    I would love a cuppa, milk no sugar please oh and I love the copper kettle you made!
    🙂 Mandy

  3. Wow thank you cecilia, am blown away that you enjoyed my blog enough to give me an award 🙂
    It means a lot to me that lovely people such as yourself actually read what I write.
    It’s a real compliment from someone who’s blog I enjoy reading so much, it sounds like it would be a group of lovely delicious food too.

    • I was torn between your salmon and pizza in the pizza oven, I keep poking that pic of yours in front of John hoping that maybe he will make me one!! c

      • Maybe one day eh! It really is easy enough to build 🙂
        Well done on getting the award yourself too, much deserved for such an entertaining blog.
        I think I might just bring a bit of both then, and maybe some of my cider when that’s ready, we can all have a drink or two 🙂

  4. Oh, MORE new friends! How wonderful! Congrats on the award, and the dinner party theme…
    ….I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that ‘s’-word…it’s too soon for that.
    Stay warm – that cozy fire and a pot of chili are just the thing!

  5. I’ll have a llama in my backyard, a peacock on the front porch and a bowl of chilli with Daisy any day! we’ll moo up a storm together! 😀 you made a teapot when you were 13? wow they just don’t teach crafts like they used to these days huh?

  6. Well done, Celi. Funny thing – Promenade and I live fairly near-ish to one another. A small world that pretends to be larger than it is. 🙂

    • the blog world is a small world, well give her a yoohoo next time you see her passing by your gate, just kidding, I am sure you are not that close, i went to Hastings once, on a train to the seaside and I almost froze to death. loved the old boats though. Didn’t see Prommy though.c

  7. Congratulations, C! And I ADORE the cyber dinner party theme. Love it! Maybe once I’ve rehabilitated our tiny plot of city land, I can join you all with some of The Stickbug’s heirloom, organic San Marzano tomatoes. He loves tomatoes, and I love good company! We’ll just sit over by your gorgeous stove and listen to y’all chat 🙂

  8. Well done you on the award, I love coming here for a catch up, I never quite know what I’ll be reading about. And that’s the way I like it. One thing I do know is that it’s always entertaining round here, so this cyber dinner will be a real feast of great food, wine (bonus) and mashed potatoes, oh, and by the looks of it great company (I get to meet her majesty Daisy Queen of the cow shed). So thank you Cecilia you’re a sweetie, you’ve made a grey day a sunny one 🙂

    And you made a kettle?! I just made **** pottery at school 🙂

    • You are welcome prommie, I made the copper kettle in my Dads workshop actually one summer holiday, he was a boat builder. And wow, we should give Daisy a coronation day.. she certainly is the queen!! c

      • 🙂 Yup Queen Daisy has a ring to it! I can just see the pomp and circumstance of the cow shed, with the chickens, dogs and cats in attendance on her Maj…… Have a great day!

  9. What a lovely post! I’ve so enjoyed reading about your life and who you would have for dinner and looking at your wonderful photos. It all sounds just wonderful. And you made that pot? Amazing. In awe.

  10. Congrats on the award and many thanks to my lovely Daisy for inviting me to the table! I’ll most certainly bring the wine and plenty of it. 🙂 Hope you had a great weekend!

  11. Brilliant post! Congrats on the award and I am looking forward to checking out the other blogs. But you see…you´ve done it now mentioning the cyber dinner party. Good thing you didn´t put a date and time or you´d have been invaded by a flash mob of blogging fans with their faces pressed up againsy your farmy windows and pushing Daisy out of the way to get to your table!

    • can you imagine the mayhem, and noise, we would have such a fine time! A flash mob of bloggers!! The mind Boggles! c

  12. Congratulations on the award, and oh what a lovely sounding dinner you have planned! And the guest will add spice to the meal of life enjoyed at the table.

    **Hint for John’s Pepsi** I don’t know if it is available in your region, but both Pepsi and Coke have a brand of their colas that are bottled in Mexico and sold in the states that use real sugar (not fructose syrup) in the processing. It’s just like the sodas that I grew up with 40+ years ago. Look for them in a smaller, old fashioned bottle like you would have seen in the 60’s or 70’s.

    • Excellent idea ted, i will keep a look out. though john drinks the diet stuff which have even worse chemicals in them!! Horrible stuff, i cannot drink those fizzy drinks at all! .. lovely idea the guests adding spice.. c

  13. Congratulations on another deeply deserved award, my darling, and I join the others here in commending your excellent choice of both fellow recipients and their reward/requirement of joining in a cyber-feast. If I may just suggest, a fine wood-fired pizza of smoked salmon, sauced with Stickbug’s marvelous Marzanos, ought to be great eating along with all of the other heavenly comestibles and imbibables on the menu, no?? Ooh, I just decided someone should write the Bible of Imbibables. Sorry, off-topic. Brain wanders so, doesn’t it. But then you always get me in such a playful and creative frame of mind, which actually WAS my original topic. So there! 😀

  14. Uh oh, I sound a lot like John. Though, my vice is regular Coca-Cola. I know, I know…so many chemicals and so much sugar, but….OK, there’s no but, haha. But I figure my grandma is healthy as a clam at 83 and has been drinking it her whole life? Enough of my rambling, congrats on the award! Very well deserved, Cecilia. Oh, and that kettle is fantastic!

    • Weirdly the coke your grandma was drinking for most of her life had less than half of the sugar than is in coke now and nowhere near the chemicals that were injected since the 70’s AND it was not until recently that high fructose corn syrup took over. The syrup is very difficult to digest that is why it is causing such wide spread trouble.. Now if you drunk the coke your grandma used to drink it would be a different story.

      Evidently we can still get it, Ted tells me, it is made with real sugar. I need to find it.

      My mother in law is healthy too and smokes a pack of ciggies a day.. and cigarettes are monstrously stronger now than the smokes of the old days..this is how they keep people addicted they up the ante all the time.. go figure!

      Oh no caroline, i am sorry, there i go again!


      • C, your rants crack me up as much as they do make me think seriously. I can just picture you waving some kitchen implement threateningly and a little wisp of steam coming off your forehead. 🙂
        First place I saw ‘Mexican Coke’ (cane sugar) was, surprisingly, in a Costco (WA state). Now that I live in TX I can find it in almost any bodega, as well as some gringo groceries and lots of cafes. Never saw cane sugar Pepsi, but since I’m prejudiced I wouldn’t’ve looked for it. Meanwhile, I learned that Dr Pepper made old-style with cane sugar is also still around, but only sold in its home state of Texas. Soft drink lore, anyone? (Funny to call Soft Drink what’s pretty much a hard drug for some people!! 😉 )

        • Such a clever observation, soft drink being a hard drug.. and it is true, both john and his mother go straight from hot coffee to pepsi in the morning, they both literally panic (as much as i do if i do not have an unread book in the house) if there is no pepsi handy..

          ah well.. c

  15. I’m hurt! Hurt I tells ya’! I could have brought grits, but no, grits aren’t good enough for your fancy table. Well, I shall eat them all by myself with a fine bottle of Boone’s Farm Apply Wine. Ha!

  16. What a lovely idea. I think of many ways the virtual dinner party could be adapted. What poem or extract would each person bring to read or recite? eg Paul Robeson (long dead, but as you say, this is virtual) doing Othello, Jack Thompson (an Australian actor I heard on the radio the other day reading Lewis Carroll) would do Jabberwocky. And so on. Or it could be bloggers bringing themed photos eg particular countries, still lifes etc for a slide evening. Scientists whose contributions one would most like to acknowledge. Bloggers, again, whose ideas are most challenging or uplifting or have made the most difference to oneself or… whatever you want.
    PS At least you have your delicious sprouted seeds for winter ‘greens’.

    • What wonderful ideas you have Annie, and yes we can do anything we want, time and space belongs to no man.. and I did think of my sprouts and also i am going to investigate micro greens this year, they would be good… c

  17. Please, please,please let me come to the party too. I will bring my home made dill bread: the one I mentioned on my blog, “Memorial to Gourmet Magazine”. It would go swimmingly with your best ever cream, which you could whip a tad more until it becomes butter!

    You blog is such fun!

    • Hi, Ronnie, Oh my that dill bread sounds perfect and yes i do make butter too so that would be grand, Pull up a chair! c

    • Wouldn’t it be fun. Sydney is a great little town, I have such wonderful friends there too and soon they will all be suffocating in the heat and we will be frozen solid. ah well.. c

  18. what a life indeed! I planted some beans but my tortoise decided to have them for lunch 🙂 I am off to check all the blogs you have awarded

  19. Another great post, Celi, and thank you for the mention & invite, even if a tad surreptitious. Each Fall, Grandpa would install a variation of your meat safe in the North window of a stairwell. In the Fall it provided additional refrigerator space and in Winter it was the house’s deep freeze. I hadn’t thought about that box in ages and your post brought it to mind. Thank you for that; I’ll put some extra butter in the potatoes. 🙂

    • And now that I have your attention — and no short-term memory whatsoever — congrats on winning the Award, Celi. Get used to hearing that because your blog is going to win a number of ’em. 🙂

    • AhA, your Grandpa had a fantastic idea, i need to do some work on this. It fits right in with how we do things here.. if you remember any details let me know! c

  20. Thank you. I love your writing. It reminds me of Julia Cameron’s grandmother in The Aritst’s Way. Very descriptive and beautiful. I feel like I’m right there with you. Thanks for sharing and I’ll have to check out those blogs! Thanks.

  21. I dreamed and I wished to be there, in front of this fire and to drink a cup of tea with you… You are so beautiful lady dear Cecilia, how nice to read you… Congratulations for this award, you deserve. You did a wonderful post, Thank you, Blessing and Happiness for you all, (kisses for Daisy! I can’t believe how I love her 🙂 Should be because of you dear Cecilia, you are amazing! )

  22. I had not realized this award wasn’t presented to you months ago as it rightly should have!! I enjoy living virtually thru you, your woodburning stove is awesome! When I was living up north, I hated those gas burning fireplaces and refused to upgrade as I loved to gather wood and build my own fire – the crackling of the wood and blazing fire warmed my kitchen and family room. As always you are so creative and this dinner party sounds like the perfect get together of some great bloggers!

    • I have had this award before Spice, I love to pass them on though.. it is a great way to introduce some new bloggers to the rest of my blog family!

  23. Sounds fabulous! I LOVE fresh cream. I made my first apple pie last Saturday for Thanksgiving. Tasted fine, but I’m looking forward to perfecting it. Thanks for the shout out 🙂

    • You are welcome, I hope some of my old bloggy friends get to see what you two are up to, what you are achieving is astounding and such hard work.. c

  24. Hi Cecilia. Congrats on your award. Some one may have already mentioned this but I could not get the link to work to Jessica’s blog. Pop the kettle on will be round in half an hour for a cuppa! lol!
    Regards Florence x

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