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.


78 Comments Add yours

  1. SidevieW says:

    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 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      The flower’s name is Percival 🙂

  2. nix says:

    Love the food ideas….

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for the visit, Nix 🙂

  3. Tilly Bud says:

    The only way to negate this heinous law is for everyone to ignore it. They can’t prosecute everyone.

    Love your pictures and congrats on being a wage slave 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      They’re talking 25-year jail sentences, Tilly, it’s just scandalous 😦

  4. Sally says:

    Love the exuberance of your post despite the change in the law. I plant nasturtiams here in Dubai – I love them.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I love them too, Sally 🙂

  5. Sally says:

    whoops nasturtiums

  6. Leeswammes says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hehehe, Judith, I won’t comment 😉

  7. Sue Green says:

    Either you can pipe cream like a pro or those are meringues? I have just made ice cream as well, Sally is coming for a visit on Friday 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      They be merangues, Sue, but I can pipe cream real good 😉

  8. Spectra says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Way to go, Spectra, I love it 🙂

  9. Colleen says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      Love you too, pickling recipe coming up in due course xxx

  10. We will survive this stupidity like so many other things.
    Good to know about the aphids as they do enjoy my roses far too much.
    Happy Sunday.
    :- ) Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      Have a super week, Mandy 🙂

  11. suzicate says:

    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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hahaha, SuziCate, I can assure you they won’t make you feel like Alice 🙂

  12. gigihawaii says:

    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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Gigi, it is best not to dwell on my country’s politics 🙂

  13. Sorry to hear about your government. They seem to all be going crazy if you ask me. It’s all going downhill from here.

    Your flowers are so wonderful and what a glorious concoction the grape stuffed one is!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes Linda, best to focus on flowers 😀

  14. nrhatch says:

    I’m glad you’re floating about on cloud 9! 😀

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Nancy, your friendship is a big contributor 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, Sweet Lee 🙂

  15. Naomi says:

    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 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Best course of action, Naomi 😀

  16. slpmartin says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Charlie, methinks there are dark days ahead 😦

  17. adeeyoyo says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Sorry adee, may the seeds you choose reward you 🙂

  18. leigh says:

    That’s a lot of rosebuds,oc, it must have been a good year for the Roses 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      I don’t remember a better year of roses 🙂

  19. Ruth says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Backward and downhill, Ruth, who knows where this is going … 😦

  20. Beautiful flowers, Cindy!!

  21. Politics can be so dreadful… glad to hear you have a paycheck and delighted with photos of flowers and how you celebrated!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Reasons for celebration abound, Smidge 🙂

  22. nursemyra says:

    that looks like your most exotic dessert yet

    1. theonlycin says:

      You think, Myra? 🙂

  23. 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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am valiantly trying to banish my crossness, Kate …

  24. ceciliag says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      Scullery rhymes with sculduggery, (how do you spell that???) …

  25. souldipper says:

    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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Mandela is being fiercly shielded from the news, Amy, and the Tut is furious … Mon Dieu, indeed 😦

  26. libraryscene says:

    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… ~

    1. theonlycin says:

      The aphids rinse off easily 🙂

  27. johnlmalone says:

    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

  28. theonlycin says:

    It is the worst travesty yet, John 😦

  29. Tandy says:

    the dessert looks scrummity! Hope the kitchen fairy came to clean 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Must find my wings … *polishes halo*

  30. hotlyspiced says:

    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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Politics sucks, HL 😦

  31. bandsmoke says:

    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 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Bandy, I have learned to tell my lot what they’ve eaten after the fact 😉

  32. Tammy says:

    Can you really eat an amaryllis? I have quite a few but had no idea. This dessert looks fabulous.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I have no clue, Tammy 🙂

  33. 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! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      I surprised the chickens don’t find them too peppery 🙂

  34. Mal says:

    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! 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Come along then! 🙂

  35. I think we can still say that the goverment are a bunch of wankers.
    After all, that is not a state secret.
    Love you.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’ll have to bring me soup in jail for saying that …

  36. Tokeloshe says:


    Love your wooden scullery 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      I love it when it’s cleaner 😉

  37. SidevieW says:

    So glad Percy is still red-faced

    1. theonlycin says:

      He is two faced now! 😀

  38. The Hook says:

    Well done. You are one brave blogger. Thank you.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Mister Hook 🙂

  39. bluebee says:

    Can always count on nasty little aphids to believe in casted nasturtiums 😉

    Beautiful shots, Cin – you are a talent, and then some

  40. theonlycin says:

    Thank you, bluebee, that is such a generous compliment 🙂

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