Thanks to Jamie Dedes, elegant sage that she is, I have both a new obsession – Alice Waters – and a new favourite quote, one that makes sense for me of what I am doing on this blog:

“I believe that how you eat, and how you choose your food, is an act which combines the political – your place in the world of other people – with the most intensely personal – the way you use your mind and your senses, together, for the gratification of your soul.”


I spent hours on the internet yesterday, learning all about this chef, restaurateur, activist, and humanitarian and can’t wait to get my hands on her book. As a fellow Slow Food International advocate, Alice’s quote sums up for me perfectly why I don’t want to master Jamie’s 30 minute meals; full as his book is of inspirational menu combinations.

For some time now, I’ve wondered if my blog is just ‘too all-over-the-place’; what with the four categories it contains being so diverse.  But for now I’ll carry on regardless and treat it, as Ms Waters says, as my “place in the world of other people” and share my meals and journals. If the occasional poem or piece of fiction pops up, so be it. It is my space “for the gratification of my soul”.

And so to another gift, from a different blogger, albeit one I have ‘known’ a tad longer than I’ve ‘known’ Jamie. A parcel arrived for me yesterday; it contained an exquisite bracelet of glass chillis. This gift is striking on so many levels; the first thing that came to mind was the time it must have taken this woman to make the bracelet, time stolen from her hectic business life and family demands. And then I thought how amazing it is that somebody could know me so well as to make me this particular item, without ever having seen my apron …

Thank you, Lyndatjie, I don’t have the words to explain how touched I am.


After all that, what could I do but chop chillis? Lamb, butter beans, sweet potatoes, curry … and saffron … all so good for the soul.


57 Comments Add yours

  1. slpmartin says:

    I rather like the scope and depth of your blog…it has a very definite flavor to it that appeals not only to the mind but the senses as well.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you so much, Charles!

    2. buttercup600 says:

      Charles have taken the words right out of my mouth!! My exact feelings Cin….what a wonderful present from Lyndatjie!!! Love it 🙂 xoxo

      1. theonlycin says:

        Isn’t it just perfect? I love it too 😀 xoxo

    3. in full agreement over here. wouldn’t b reading otherwise if i couldn’t “see you.” i like very much in fact what i see too. thanks for saying it “slpmartin.”

  2. deepercolors says:

    As usual, sounds yummy.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Simple and hearty 😀

  3. MissChris says:

    I love your blog the way it is – shows your personality – you are so not one dimensional!!
    As for the food – I am much more a Jamie 30 minutes meals – time!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for saying that, Chris 😀

  4. nrhatch says:

    Jamie Oliver is the Naked Chef . . . but you’re the Hot Chef, with the apron and bracelet to prove it! 🙂

    Love your blog as it is. No reason to baste yourself into a corner. The world is your oven.

    1. nrhatch says:

      And Alice Waters rocks!

      1. theonlycin says:

        Indeed, on every level 🙂

    2. theonlycin says:

      Bwahahaha, God love you Nancy, I will steal that.
      The world is my oven 😀

  5. souldipper says:

    Thank goodness the Waters quote was brought to your attention, Cin. Here I am – 85% vegetarian – and from your blog, I learn about beauty, art, love of food, motherhood, wifedom (wifehood? wifery?), friendship, writing and FUN!! What a loss it would be for me if you changed this and spoiled the myriad of feelings your blog brings. What about when your gardener died? Tears! My gosh, you are even able to break our hearts with a dead bird and its grieving mate. Tell me – how many people could pull that off in a blog that exudes love of food…people, life, animals, nature. Well, cut out the challenging hike part, but from a comfortable vehicle, you could probably have us in stitches.

    The most wonderful person you can be is you! I love you, Cin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Now you’ve gone and made me cry …
      Love you too. xxx

    2. buttercup600 says:

      You have said it to perfection Amy!!! oxox Ditto on this one!!

      1. theonlycin says:

        Thank you, my sweet friend ❤ ❤ ❤

  6. leigh says:

    Your blog delights. It’s part of your purpose 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Aw man, you are just my yellowest!

      1. leigh says:

        *greens, a lot*

      2. theonlycin says:

        Luvvie un rose …

  7. gospelwriter says:

    Love your blog, don’t go changin’ it – unless of course you want to. 🙂 And wow, that bracelet is beautiful; such detail, can’t even imagine how much time that must have taken to make. Lucky you!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, I am lucky 🙂

  8. Tandy says:

    you and I are having such similar thoughts! Lovely bracelet 🙂

  9. You may change your blog, only to allow any other facets of you that you feel like sharing. Please don’t go limiting yourself, you’d deprive us all.

    Lynda is a very special person. In her honour that supper could have been vegetarian………… (just stirring)

    1. theonlycin says:

      The gift was a surprise, out of the blue, and supper was planned before it arrived. Vegetarian smorgasbord tonight 😀

  10. Teri says:

    I adore that gift because it is so meaningful for you, and I’ve only been reading you for about five days. The best gifts are those that show the giver really gets you – and we meet so few people like that along our journeys.


    1. theonlycin says:

      That is very true, thanks Teri!

  11. The perfect bracelet to match all your red shoes.;-)
    Lamb, butter beans, sweet potatoes, curry; think I may be changing my dinner plans again this evening.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s perfect for me, enjoy your day Mandy 😀

  12. Nzwaa says:

    Would love to see it on your arm (the bracelet). I’m not sure how bias I’d be when it come to your blog- coz I love everything you write.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Aw thanks Nzwaa 😀

  13. Every day, I come to see what you have put out to cool on your windowsill: whether it be food or words. A joy 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Much appreciated, Kate.

  14. nursemyra says:

    what a lovely bracelet

    1. theonlycin says:

      I positively mad about it!

  15. Another lovely post. I love your blog, Cindy – you share so much of who you are and what you value through what you write, and you do that with such style. I couldn’t – and wouldn’t want to – categorise your blog. It’s just you.
    Sunshine xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      What a nice thing to say, thank you Sunshine!

  16. suzicate says:

    I LOVE the diversity of your blog! And that bracelet is priceless!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Priceless is exactly the right adjective 😀

  17. Yvette says:

    What a wonderful gesture and adorable gift…I visit often but don’t always leave a message…i adore reading your blog and look forward to seeing your adventures of the day!xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      I very grateful, thanks Yvette.

  18. Pseu says:

    The bracelet is lovely… are they glass beads?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes Pseu, they’re perfect little glass chillis 🙂

  19. We have Iranian Saffron (cheap) down here, and I add it to the rice all the time! it gives my rice a beautiufl yellow pinkish color… just wanted to share since you use it too in yor dishes.
    CIn, I like the fact that you are posting recipes lately, and I can tell the popularoity you are getting! good for you! and thanks for sharing! it is a delight!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Mirella. Saffron is terribly expensive here, and so I use it with great care and not too often.

  20. Liane says:

    Special friends like that is hard to find. You are blessed to have her.
    I like what you say about how your blog is for the gratification of YOUR soul. I’ve been thinking a lot about that too. In light of that – having too much to say and having nowhere to go with it – I have decided to start a new blog where I can just say what I think. Maybe you can check it out when you get a chance and let me know what you think. It is only two days old, but you can get the idea: http://www.yadayadafishpaste.blogspot.com
    Hope you’ve had an awesome day: you and your chillies 🙂

  21. Life is a garden, not a tree. We enjoy the diversity here, Cin. Glad you found Alice Waters. Wonderful! She’s just a hop, skip, and a drive over the Bay Bridge for me and been influential here in all the best senses. I know you will enjoy her cookbooks when you get them.

  22. Tokeloshe says:

    What a creative gift 😉

    I love your blog!

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