Friday, June 24, 2011

Protective Blessing for Cats

 Found this lovely Protective Blessing for Cats to share....I worry so about my girls when they are out and about...
  Bast Protective Blessing for Cats

Bast of beauty and of grace,
Protectress of the feline race,
Shield (name of pet) from all hurt and harm
And keep him/her always safe and warm.
Watch over (name of pet) from day to day
And guide him/her home if he/she should stray.
And grant him/her much happiness
And a good life free of strife and stress.

New Zealand Pavlova Recipe

The Pavlova or Pav as it is affectionately called has been a favourite of New Zealanders for as long as anyone can remember. Most families have their own well guarded recipe for what makes a good Pav. Some sources claim that the recipe for pavlova originated in New Zealand, while others claim it was invented in Australia. However, like the Anzac biscuit, the earliest known books containing the recipe were published in New Zealand.

Professor Helen Leach, a culinary anthropologist at Otago University in New Zealand found a pavlova recipe in a 1933 Rangiora Mothers' Union cookery book. Professor Leach also has an even earlier copy of the pavlova recipe from a 1929 rural New Zealand magazine.

Keith Money, a biographer of Anna Pavlova, wrote that a chef at a hotel in Wellington, New Zealand, created the dish when the ballerina visited there in 1926 on her world tour.

Its a delightful Summer dessert which helps use up all that abundance of fruit around....Here is one recipe for making homemade Pavlova....Enjoy!!

New Zealand Pavlova Recipe.

Prep time:   40 minutes
Cook time:   1 hour
Servings:   1 pavlova

3 Egg Whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Beat egg whites until stiff (forms peaks). Add sugar - heaped tablespoon at a time - beating well after each addition. Then beat for at least 10 minutes. This is very important. Then sprinkle vinegar, cornflour and vanilla essence into mixture. Beat until blended.

Coat baking paper with water drops to allow baking paper to stick to sides of tin and pile pavlova mixture in 20cm circle.
Heat oven until 300°F (or 150°C). Put pav in oven and immediately turn oven down to 250°F (or 125°C) and leave for 1 hour. Then turn oven off and leave in oven until cold. (Usually overnight). This makes a nice crust on outside of pav.

Before serving, cover pav in whipped cream and decorate with your favourite fruit.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Miss Gwendolyn Pig

                                           Hello From Gwennie the Pig

Meet another one of the family at Mystic Hills Ngaroma.....our little pig  Gwendolyn ...or Gwennie for short. Gwennie is a Kune Kune pig. Native to New Zealand Kune Kune's are Maori for " short and fat"  Most Kune Kune's have tassels - some a pair or some only with one. You can see her tassels on either side of her mouth.  Kune Kune 's are mostly fruit , grass and meat eating...she does not seem to be too interested in rooting or digging - thankfully. Our little Gwengolyn is very intelligent and has worked out how to find the dog biscuits and where the kitchen pantry is. She also takes herself out for walks and come home - calling at the gate when she is ready to be let in. You cannot have a little Kune Kune and not be completely smitten with them. She brings us alot of joy and laughter..with her distinctive personality... and ..especially with her strong liking for beer and femented wine sediments....Hope you enjoy the other pictures of our sweetie.

              Exploring and Hunting out Pepper's buried Stash of Bones

          Everything needs to be sniffed very carefully

                    Can you see my little tassels ?

           Off to dig in the potato patch !!!!!!!!!!!

      Gwennie as a little piglet on her first day home after a long drive.

      Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..............shhhhhhhh Gwennie says Bye Bye!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Whimsical Art Fat Cat By Anna Kai

                                                           Butterfly Swirl

 I have always loved art and am especially drawn to the whimsical almost childlike quality of some art work. It inspires me and makes me want to create myself. . One of the wonderful things about being a full time ( starving artist ) is I encounter some truly remarkable artists...many self taught, simply doing their own thing.Creating Beautiful Artwork.

I have admired the art work of this artist from Etsy, Anna Kai a Russian Artist living in Boston US now...Anna's work is colourful and you cant help by smile at the exploits of this loveable fat black cat. Perhaps it reminds me of our own cat Mollie....rotund and packed to the edges of her furry seams with spunk! Here are some of Anna's wonderful prints and artwork which can be purchased at

But be are likely to become smitten with this cute black cat!!

                                 Catching Fireflies in The Moonlight

                                        Witches dancing Under the Moon

                                     Little Angel in a Field of Poppies

Monday, June 20, 2011

Making Homemade Eucalyptus Oil

Its the season of  winter sniffles here in New Zealand and my latest adventure is into making my own oils and incense. Its all new to me so I am researching and reading as much as I can. I thought this might be a great place to share with anyone who was interested.

We are very lucky as where we live we are surrounded with large old trees and huge old Eucalyptus trees. This place was settled in the mid 1800's so many of these wonderful trees have age to them and a wonderful sense of being ....if you are a tree person like I am - you will know exactly what I mean. The Eucalyptus tree produces an oil that has a wide variety of therapeutic effects from aromatherapy , to massage as well as a germicide  and disinfectant properties. There is nothing quite like a rub or sniff  of Eucalyptus oil to clear a stuffy nose or soothe a bad cough. Wonderful too is the fact that is works as a great insect repellent...far better than some of the othe stinky things on offer in stores.

So I begin my adventure into home made EucalyptusOil...Here is how it is done.

1. Gather fresh Eucalyptus Leaves -make sure to ask permission of the trees and offer thanks - or a token of appreciation. You can leave a flower or a fruit or best of all pour some water on the tree roots.It is all about appreciating the gift from the tree to you.

2. Grind about 2 cups of the leaves in a blender or mortar and pestle. Use more leaves is you are after a stronger scent.

3.Transfer leaves to a large saucepan ( use one that will not be used for food again) I got a cheap one from a charity shop for $3 with a nice heavy bottom .Add in about 3 cups of olive oil or any carrier oil.

4. Heat for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl , cover and leave for 3 days.You are dealing with hot oil here so be careful!!!

5. After 3 days - carefully strain the mixture- squeeze out the leaves with your hands .Transfer to clean dark bottles for storage.If you add 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar to help preserve it. Store in the fridge to prolong life of the oils.This oil is for external use only and never use on open wounds.


** Next time how to collect pine resin to make homemade incense.!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Poetry of Life

Found this lovely poem to share.....

I call upon You, Sisters Three,
You Who sit beneath Life's Tree,
Bless and watch over me this day.
These things of You, I ask and pray.
Mighty Clothos, You Who spin
The thread and yarn of life on whim,
Grant my thread be soft, yet strong
And the essence of my own life's song
Mighty Lachesis, You Who weave
And measure the cloth of Life with ease,
Weave my life beautifully
With color and texture for all to see.
Mighty Atropos, You Who slice
Life's fabric and thread with a snip precise,
Grant me now another day
To return to thank You - this I pray.
Mighty Ones, oh Sisters Three,
You Who sit beneath the Tree,
For each day I awaken to
Accept the thanks I offer You.

~Dorothy Morrison~