Sunday, 18 May 2014


Good Afternoon to you,

Happiness is, 

when a new day gifts me,
 warm sunshine,
after so many cold days,

when I hear George singing
while he
 trims his bonsai trees,

when I  hear neighbours
talking to each other,
saying how much they are 
 enjoying the sunshine,

when I  find
bulbs  growing, which
I thought I had lost,
due to the winter weather,

when I hear
children laughing,
when they are playing in their
 paddling pools.

These  are the  sounds which  I enjoyed  this weekend.  The sun has shone and  we have  been  treated  to  the  most  wonderfully  warm weather.  

Listening to the children playing in their paddling pools, reminded me of an instance when Natasha and Danielle were little girls. Their paddling pool had sprung a leak and for one reason or another we did not have a puncture kit handy.  So the paddling pool was rolled up and put away until it could be fixed.  

Natasha decided to go to her bedroom to play with her friend, but Danielle, who was about six years old at the time, decided that just because the paddling pool had sprung a leak, it was not going to spoil her fun.  So she asked if I would fill a large bowl with water, as she wanted to play with it.  Whilst I was doing this, Danielle asked her friend, who lived next door to us, if she would like to come and play in our garden.  The only thing she asked was that Elizabeth put on her swim suit before she came around. 

When I returned to the garden, there was Danielle and Elizabeth, both with their swim suits on, waiting patiently for me. I put the bowl of water on the grass and I sat in my deckchair reading, but with one eye on the book and one eye on the children and it was fascinating watching them both.

First, they ran down the garden (and it was a large garden) and then they ran back up the garden and jumped over the bowl... I cannot tell you how many times Danielle and Elizabeth did this, as this seemed to go on for quite a while. Then, they jumped into the water and then out of the water, with lots of giggling for good measure. They enjoyed this for quite a while, but  of course the water was getting less and less, so it was my job to ensure the bowl was kept topped up. Then they decided that Elizabeth would sit in the bowl while Danielle poured water over Elizabeth.... this of course led to lots of screaming. Then it was Danielle's turn to sit in the bowl and the process was repeated.   This must have gone on for over an hour, the fun Danielle and Elizabeth had with a bowl  and plenty of water, seemed endless. 

All they needed, was a warm summer's day, each other,  a bowl and plenty of water.

.... and speaking of sunny days, because I have been busy in my garden, tidying up, tying in roses and clematis and planting some summer bulbs, I really did not feel like cooking a meal today.  So we both agreed that we would have a selection of small dishes, for our supper.

I have made the Greek Olives and the Sun Dried Tomatoes before, so today I am making Black Olive Tapenade.

So it's on with the pinnie, and the music I am listening to,

are songs by Charles Trenet.  Have you ever heard the song 'Boum', it is a lovely, lighthearted song and it sits well with the sunny weather I am enjoying.  Also I love 'La Mer' .  Which if memory serves me correctly was recorded in English, by Bobby Darin, but I much prefer Charles' version.

So while 'Boum' is playing, and the sun is streaming through my kitchen window, I am organising my ingredients.


1 slice of brown bread
1 handful chives
1 small red onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoonfuls of flat leaf parsley
130g pitted black olives
2 tablespoonfuls of capers
1 tablespoonful of lemon juice
3 tablespoonfuls of olive oil
1/2 teaspoonful of sea salt


Drain the olives
and rinse under cold running water,
dry the olives.

Place the olives
in a
 food processor and pulse
until finely chopped.
 Set aside.

Drain the capers
and rinse under cold running water
then dry the capers.

Finely chop the capers
set aside.

Crush the garlic
using the sea salt
set aside.

Finely chop the chives
red onion if using
set aside.

Cut the bread into quarters
place in a food processor.
Blitz until you have 

Heat 1 tablespoonful of olive oil
in a pan
add the breadcrumbs
Keep stirring until the breadcrumbs
are lightly browned.

(If using finely sliced onion,
cook these first before
the breadcrumbs)

Add the crushed garlic
cook for 1 minute
set aside.

Finely chop the flat leaf parsley
set aside.


Using a bowl,
combine the finely chopped black olives,
breadcrumbs, garlic, chives,
flat leafed parsley,
lemon juice
and olive oil.

Stir until thoroughly combined.

Do a little taste test, to see if 
any more lemon juice
olive oil is needed.

Place into a  bowl,
toast some slices
of bread
and enjoy the 
Black Olive Tapenade,
on it's own

with a few other tasty dishes.

You will see that there is a third dish which I have not made with you and that is Tzatziki.  This is a lovely dish made with garlic, yoghurt and cucumber, which I will be making on Wednesday.

Although I used a food processor for a few of my ingredients, that really was for speed as I wanted to spend as much time as I could in the garden.  There is no need to worry, if you do not own a food processor, as long as you have a sharp knife, and a little patience, you will be able to make this black olive tapenade.  

If I have plenty of time, I often make black olive tapenade using a mezzaluna, which I would recommend you buy, as once bought, you will use it over and over again.   They are marvellous to use, when finely chopped ingredients are called for. The Nigella Lawson Mezzaluna which I use, is heavy and so easy to use.  

Now that supper is organised, I am going back into the garden..... I have a jasmine plant which is just flowering and I just love it's heady perfume.  So I am going to place my chair by the jasmine and enjoy my garden.

So take care and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,


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Dear Friends,

It is so wonderful to know you enjoy reading Ivy, Phyllis and Me! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment. I really do appreciate it.

Best wishes to you.


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