Saturday, April 26, 2014

Elephants and Roses~~~~~



It was amazing how quickly this week sailed by. I was busy every day.
Besides gardening, I was cleaning, searching through cookbooks, baking, soup making, flower arranging and shopping.  I entertained a special guest from South Africa………an interesting and exciting country which I've visited twice.  Susan is English but has lived near Johannesburg for many years, but not so long that between us we were soon able to recall so many English things, most of which were food and their often funny names.  We had the family youngsters laughing when we discussed bubble & squeak, spotted Dick, bread & dripping, differences between Bovril and Marmite, tripe and onions etc.


I baked a new cake - a Treacle & Spice Victoria. The guests liked it, I thought it too crumbly. It gave me a terrible time in the morning when refusing to dislodge from the spring form pan - which wouldn't 'spring' and I ended up pounding on the bottom with a hammer to get the darn thing out so I could decorate it with the fresh orange icing!


The lovely flowers, a great buy at Trader Joe's this week at just $3.99 a bunch - two bunches here, mixed roses and alstroemeria (Peruvian lily).  I'm hoping to dry the roses.


You must know by now that I am a great lover of elephants.  I had such wonderful safari experiences with African elephants, including an unforgettable, very cold, early morning ride on one in Botswana HERE, and riding an Asian elephant bareback in Thailand HERE and HERE,
Following those exciting times and to hold on to the memories, I just had to purchase the Pottery Barn elephant pillow shown above on the couch. Then to top it off, Susan brought me this fabulous elephant bag from South Africa - I'm using it now as my knitting bag and I'm really thrilled with it.  Thank you Susan, looking forward to when you return here later this year.

18 comments:

  1. Hello Mary:

    This all sounds to have been great fun and very enjoyable although we imagine a little frustrating when trying to get your delicious looking cake out of the tin. In our days of 'baking', we always had a similar problem with our lemon, almond and polenta cake which, on account of its size, sixteen slices, was often reluctant to turn out properly.

    Your 'collage', with which you open this post, is very appealing - we like it hugely - and it all looks so stylish.

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  2. You have certainly had a busy week Mary. How nice that you had company from so far away. I love the elephant pillow and basket. I hope you have a relaxing weekend.

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  3. I often laugh at the different names we have for things, and I live here! Spotted Dick... I call it 'Blemished Richard' now to give it a posh name and watch the waiter's faces trying to work out what I mean and then the smile appears! Bubble and Squeak, my favourite - but for some reason an old 'Cockney' I used to know, used to go into the Pie n' Mash shop and ask for 'double bubble', I thought he meant Bubble and Squeak but it meant two scoops of mashed potato! Strange language we have! Have a wonderful weekend (and the cake looks delicious by the way!). xx

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  4. That is a perfect gift for you - and I am intrigued by the thick-and-think cream yarn I see in your knitting bag. Your cake looks lovely even if you thought it too crumbly, and anything with orange icing must be delicious!

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    1. Sara, that's the cream yarn I purchased in the Falkland Islands on my way to Antarctica last year! I've yet to decide what to knit with it - I have three skeins - perhaps enough for a short 'infinity' scarf. Also in the bag is the long Falkland natural wool scarf I've not completed yet - I must get back to it! The Falkland sheep produce beautiful wool.

      Mary

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  5. I remember all of those ...bubble and squeak, spotted dick etc. etc. brought a smile to my face. Lovely roses. It never fails, just when you want something to be perfect for a guest, it gives you some grief, hammers come in handy for lots of things, don't they! Love the pillow and basket.
    Hope you and your friend enjoyed the visit.
    Patricia

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  6. It sounds like you had a wonderful week Mary! Your cake looks beautiful and that bag is perfect!

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  7. What a perfect gift - and your food names are quite amusing. Funny how we all speak "English" and it differs so much from country to country - and even inside the countries. We've just returned from West Virginia and learned some new phrases. The phrase "I don't care to" - means "yes" - which is opposite of what is means on the west coast - I got really confused by that one. Your cake looks very pretty and yummy.

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  8. I love the English, English language! It's so much more fun than the American English! I don't know how the cake tasted, but it is absolutely beautiful in the photos. I always enjoy having fresh flowers in the home.

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  9. What a very special week. A guest from so far away, yet so much in common.
    Then elephants in a couple forms is just perfect. Love the pillow and the bag.
    The cake looks delicious. I have been wanting to make a basic sponge cake
    and this inspires me to get the baking things out. Happy weekend!

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  10. Lovely eye-candy in this post Mary! I have to agree that the cake looks delicious and no worse for the wear of pounding it out of the pan. :) I was just searching for a treacle tart recipe after seeing it mentioned in a book I am reading. I had no idea what it was.

    Glad you had a fun visit.

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  11. It sounds like a great week indeed. What fun to visit with a friend who can share the delights of growing up English. I am grinning to think of the laughter. I had much to catch up on here. You really have been busy and your yard and garden are looking so fine as a result!

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  12. Your home + garden + blog are amazing! I`m so happy to have found it! I`m your new follower.
    Greetings all the way from England! :)<3

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    1. Thanks Debbie, always fabulous to hear from another Brit……….especially in Spring when I'm missing primroses and all things English in the garden. So many of the cooler weather, rain loving flowers I remember just don't do well here where we get such hot, humid Summers. Loved your cherry blossom pics - how beautiful they are, turning everything from parking lots to old streets into gorgeous park-like scenes.
      Thanks for becoming a Follower - happy Spring.
      Mary

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  13. Mary, I love how you 'keep it real'! I can picture you with hammer and spring form pan - because I've done the same thing, but with a meat mallet!
    You new knitting bag is perfect. Isn't it nice when someone knows just what you'll love?

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  14. Had SUCH a fun time talking British things, drinking wine, and snacking on cheese, crackers, and cake! Can't wait to do it again sometime! Looks like Richard and I are next in line to host you two :)

    xo Cassie

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  15. Elephants and roses - an interesting combination that you've tied together well. What fun to have a friend visit from afar. A busy week of teaching lies ahead for me, along with some gardening in the late afternoons if I have the energy. The roses are so pretty.

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  16. Hi Mary! Thanks for your sweet reply! Had to start my blog again, due to malfunctions! :( Will post my cherry blossom pictures soon! :) I`m glad that you liked them!!! :)) Have a lovely day! :)))

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