Our government has passed a bill that will prevent anybody from casting aspersions on corrupt politicians.

The South African Protection of State Information Bill, formerly named the Protection of Information Bill and commonly referred to as the Secrecy Bill,is a highly controversial piece of proposed legislation which aims to regulate the classification, protection and dissemination of state information, weighing state interests up against transparency and freedom of expression.

Our constitution, one of the best in the world, has been raped … I am not sure that I am breaking the law by posting this, so I will stick to casting nasturtiums instead. Or, rather, harvesting these unassuming garden treasures. The entire plant is edible; the flowers and leaves lend a wonderful peppery zing to salads and the seeds make the best pickled capers for serving with roast beef. A little-known bonus of growing nasturtiums is that aphids love them; so – if the critters are destroying your roses – cast nasturtiums profusely and the aphids will flock to them in droves.


I’ve received my first salary cheque in more years than I can remember, which offers a perfect reason for bubbles (Sidey’s weekend theme) and – in keeping with my penchant for eating flowers – I’ve made ice cream using the Hibiscus flowers in syrup given to me so long ago by Tandy. Greengage and champagne jelly with hibiscus and champagne gelato:

Grape-stuffed wild hibiscus flowers in syrup.

Ice cream, champagne and sunshine; and the amaryllis Sidey gave me for my last birthday has come into bloom.


My heart is fit to burst, not even the dirty scullery my family left me yesterday is going to burst my bubble!

I am very grateful the abundance in my life.



  1. Ah yes, the protect-the-ANC-corruption bill. Just watch and see how fast they declare all informatuion related to the smelly arms deal as ‘sensitive’

    but back to the daily life, I’m so glad Fred or whatever his/her name is has decided to give you another flower. (I guess it’s name can’t be Hyacinth – can it?)

    Your dessert looks fit for a king, I do hope your visiting royalty find it beyond their usual experience 😉

  2. Lovely pictures of food! Am I allowed to talk about SA politics? I’m surprised it took so long to get this bill! You know, how can politicians do their job if they have people complain all the time about them being corrupt? And how can they abuse their position if they can’t be corrupt? It makes sense.

  3. SO very interesting you post nasturtiums here today. I picked a handful yesterday, including the flowers, for a salad, but went with an herb and flower salad instead, and decided to make the nasturtium salad today, then post it on my salad blog. I’ve been ignoring that blog for far too long, and my garden is at its end, just a few lettuces and herbs still hanging on before winter snows hit here.

    For the dressing on the Nastutium Salad, I go with a lemon-cream cheese mix, add a little honey, and whisk into a white vinaigrette. It’s not up yet, but later today, you can check here: (or look for Salad a Day on my blogroll) Those pastries are gorgeous, just love your use of flowers on top.

  4. My nasturtiums are looking glorious, even here where the wind just destroys everything else. Can you tell me how to pickle the seeds please? Those hibiscus flowers are ever so elegant and that piped cream (if it is cream) is just gorgeous! 🙂 The ice cream looks very interesting….love you xx

  5. I grew nasturtiums once. Someone told me you could put them in salad. I was afraid to eat them…thought it might be like eating the wrong kind of wild mushroom! Now, I know if I ever try my hand at growing them again I really can eat them without fear of having an Alice in Wonderland experience!

  6. I know nothing about South African laws, so won’t comment on that. But, I do love the beauty in your life, Cin. Such gorgeous photos! The food looks too beautiful to eat!

  7. Stunning post, Cindy, your photo’s are exquisite! I’m also horrified by the bill, but will follow your lead and focus on nasturtiums, which I also believe are nature’s antibiotic 🙂

  8. I read about the new law there in the Wall Street Journal…it would appear to amount to a gag order…we couldn’t have an election campaign in this country if our politicians couldn’t throw mud at one another….loved your post.

  9. I’m getting ready to fill my pots and troughs with compost. Can’t wait… I love nasturtiums, but the poorer the soil, the more profuse the flowers, so that won’t work for me unfortunately.

  10. Beautifully vibrant colours, those nasturtiums and, especially, the amaryllis. And how disappointing about the proposed ‘Secrecy’ bill – a huge step backward for your constitution, for the country.

  11. A cultural and visual delight.Beautiful creations. Congratulations on your first pay cheque 🙂
    And deep commiserations over your other, overriding issue. It would make me very angry indeed.

  12. I love the Word SCULLERY. maybe that is where your politicians should be, consigned to the Scullery… (not yours).. I also eat nasturtiums, You cast ’em, I’ll eat ’em.. c

  13. Does your family know the saying, “When mama’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy!” ? When mama goes to work, everybody goes to work…

    I’ve been wondering, Cin…if that law went through, would you be nervous about comments on your blog? God knows – no one can manage misinterpretation. Where’s Mandala? Bishop Tutu? Mon Dieu!

  14. Great posts… bests save your cheque just incase they decide you’ve busted the law, lol! I had no idea those plants were edible, though, I dont like the idea of harvesting with droves of aphids… ~

  15. anotherb wonderful post with a clever word play on ‘aspersions’ and ‘nasturtiums’ and some mouth-watering photos. The current bill however would seem to harbour a dark side unfriendly to freedom of information or opinion

  16. I had roast beef for dinner and could have done with some of those nasturtiums in a side salad to go with it. And as for the hibiscus flowers, I tend to pop those in a glass of champagne – very festive! Sorry to hear of your political woes but you’re not alone there – we have a Prime Minister with the ‘midas touch’ for turning everything into a disaster!

  17. I’m embarassed to even mention this latest abomination. You need to create a recipe to disguise the flowers for my household – DH wont put his mouth to floral bits. To echo Tandy, hope the kitchen fairy had a friend :O More importantly, very happy that all is well with you 🙂

  18. Cindy, I won’t comment on the politics (don’t want to get anyone in trouble), but we love nasturtiums! We’ve eaten the leaves and flowers in salad, made pesto from it, and pickled the seed pods and used them in place of capers! And they grow like a weed! And the chickens love them! 🙂

  19. Oh, my heart is all aflutter with the beauty of your pics (cluttered kitchen sink included!) and the luscious delight of the champagne/hibiscus dessert……. Cindy, I just might pop in today for a yummy treat! 😉

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