Living on the ‘plains’.

Occasionally, I revel in the ‘plains’ of life.

Plain cake

Plain Cake

Plain Cake

plain yogurt in a plain pot

plain words

Canterbury

On this great plain the eye
Sees less of land than sky,
And men seem to inhabit here
As much the cloud-crossed hemisphere
As the flat earth.Β  ……..

Basil Dowling

‘plains’ that sustain us;

Canterbury Plains

Canterbury Plains

that form the staff of life.

Plain yogurt bread

Plain yogurt bread

How good are the ‘plains’.Β  πŸ™‚

Plain song
<

 

Β© silkannthreades

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86 thoughts on “Living on the ‘plains’.

  1. Pingback: Keeping track of myself | silkannthreades

  2. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    Gallivanta – You take us on the most delicious journeys. Seeing the perfect home-made bread has me remembering the smell of my mother’s kitchen. She always had so many to feed, we had homemade bread at every meal using flour made from the wheat Dad had harvested. Sometimes the olden times seemed simple and then I stop and think, just how much work went into making all that happen 365 days every year.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh, yes, those olden times were hard work, I am sure of it. But I love the picture you create of your mother’s kitchen and the bread made from the wheat harvest. I make my own bread because I can, not because I have to, so it is a pleasure to make. How fortunate I am.

      Reply
  3. lagottocattleya

    The simple things are the most precious and valuable ones – but they are also the most difficult ones to achieve or create. I often admire design with simple, clean lines, for example. Or simple solutions to things. How do people come up with them? I admire them immensely.

    Reply
  4. Clanmother

    I came a couple of times to this post – your posts have layers that I enjoy peeling away like onion skins. I think that our lives become plainer and simpler, the more we enjoy the present and being within each moment. Here’s a quote that I think you will enjoy:

    “Love is like a good cake; you never know when it’s coming, but you’d better eat it when it does.” C. JoyBell C.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, your quotes are always wonderful, Clanmother.
      And I tried very hard to keep this post plain, but, alas, my love of layers did creep in. πŸ˜‰ I am glad you don’t mind peeling the onion.

      Reply
  5. tableofcolors

    Often times it is the simplest things that we come back to. We might venture and try other things but in the end it is the simple loaf of bread or the beautiful piece of music you posted that is most intriguing.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Your latest post on summer at the cabins and the simple fish soup is a perfect example of our longing/need to return to the simplest aspects of life.

      Reply
  6. BEAUTYCALYPSE

    all the great plains here. I absolutely LOVE your original way of thinking, Gallivanta. so happy that we haven’t missed each other in this universe. but then again: that would be probably impossible.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Some things are meant to be, I guess. πŸ™‚ I have been travelling across the Canterbury Plains again which is why I haven’t responded to your comment till now. Blew the cobwebs from my head, out in the wide open spaces.

      Reply
  7. melodylowes

    Love the sentiment in this!! My students and I were watching a little dvd version of the Nightingale story and they had the insight to mention that the nightingale’s worth was his song, and his plain brown feathers could never disguise his inner beauty. I so love that. Maybe if we all saw the beauty in the simple things, found the value in the everyday, our world would be a more beautiful place. Thank you for finding beauty in the lain for all of us!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Mary, you have a generous spirit. Thank you. Thinking of that spirit, you may like to know that one of the reasons I chose the Belgian group singing the plain song was because I was remembering the WW1 commemorations happening in Ypres; remembering, too, the young men of the Canterbury plains who fought and died in Belgium; and remembering the generosity our ‘plains’ to the Belgian refugees of WW1. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=THD19141214.2.51

      Reply
  8. Tiny

    Bumble and I were just listening to the plain song and watching the plain cover art taking shape. We agree that the plain truth is that plain posts can be just plain lovely. Bumble adds: if they are crafted by Gallivanta and smell newly baked breads. He knows this stuff πŸ™‚

    Reply
  9. Poetsmith

    You have made such an interesting post out of the word “plain”. Your pictures of NZ and Canterbury Plains remind me of my trip to your beautiful scenic country, The chocolate cake looks delectable and the yoghurt bread so healthy! Delightful … πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Mary. πŸ™‚ Some of the photos of the fields and the trees remind me of your landscape artwork and your recent tree challenge.

      Reply
  10. Steve Schwartzman

    Did you know that plain and plane are just different spellings of what is etymologically a single word? The historical meaning was ‘flat’, and from that came the senses ‘simple’ and ‘ordinary’, the last two now conveyed by the plain spelling.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      For the most part I prefer cakes without icing, but I won’t say no to cream or butter. I am curious that you use the term icing, as we do, and not frosting which is the term I learned in the US..

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Is icing the word you would normally use? Icing is likely to be an older word than frosting. So it could come from the language of the early settlers in your region.

  11. Marylin Warner

    You know how I love good titles, and this one is great! “Living on the plains” makes me think of life on the plains of Kansas, but then all the “plain” things delighted me, especially the basic staff of live, homemade plain bread. I also appreciate “plain truth” and “plain prayers” (which are personal heartfelt prayers instead of “official” prayers from THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER of well known prayers like “The Lord’s Prayer.”) Wonderful post.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I can’t help feeling that God must appreciate plain prayers too; the others must get a bit routine after you’ve heard them for millennia. πŸ˜‰ I can almost hear the occasional sigh and an ” Oh dear ones, change the channel, please.” Oops, is that a bit too irreverent!

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Cynthia. Our Canterbury Plains have been a source of livelihood and sustenance for my family for generations. They haven’t made us rich or extraordinary but have provided a good, basic living. Our Plains have provided, and continue to provide, the basics to many outside of New Zealand, too, in the form of milk and that most basic of all ingredients, seeds. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/cropping/9695230/Seed-exports-rise-in-value I expect Canadians feel as grateful to the Prairies as I do to our Plains.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Strawberry jam would be a great addition. One of my grandmothers always started her day with an early cup of tea and a slice of plain bread with jam. Later on, she would have her breakfast. She lived into her mid nineties, so her plain start to the day must have done her good!

      Reply
  12. Juliet

    What a delightful post. The plain cake and bread look so good I wanted to reach out and take a bite. And I found the plain song, with the graphics unfolding in front of my eyes, a real pleasure to hear and to see. Thank you Gallivanta.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am glad you enjoyed the plain song. The group is new to me, but is, no doubt, well known to those who follow/sing plain song. I do love my plain cake and bread. If I remember correctly, you also like gluten free goods. Although this recipe is a little more complicated and ingredient rich than my one egg cake, it is my favourite easy to make gluten free chocolate cake. http://www.healthyfood.co.nz/recipes/2007/may/gluten-free-chocolate-cake It is delicious, plain or with the berry sauce.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is hypnotizing. I love the way the simple/plain lines end up creating such a detailed, intricate piece of art. Glad you like the recipes.

      Reply
  13. thecontentedcrafter

    Dear Gallivanta – I love all your plains! When I lived in Christchurch back in the late 80’s my home was in Lyttelton and I taught in Opawa. The drive through the tunnel each morning culminated in a brief but ever-changing vista of the Canterbury Plains which I have never forgotten. For me Christchurch and the surrounding countryside remains eye-catchingly beautiful. The Arts Centre on a Saturday morning, dining somewhere along the Avon on a Friday night with my colleagues and friends, listening to the Cathedral Boys Choir practising – singing like angels and then running madly out just like little boys do, the view from the top of the hill and how it used to bring foreign visitors to silence πŸ™‚ All of this and more came rushing back to me as I read your post on the plain and simple pleasures of life.

    Thank you! xoxo

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      TCC (The Contented Crafter πŸ™‚ ), those little Cathedral Choir Boys haven’t changed a bit. They still make me laugh with their antics. And they still sing like angels. Our lovely plains are changing slowly, with the increase in dairy farming, but, on a fine day, it remains a great treat to go up on the hills and look out across the Plains and see the fields and mountains stretching for miles and miles. It is breathtakingly beautiful. When I have time, I enjoy driving on the Plains as well; so many lovely routes to follow. Glad you were able to share the loveliness with me.

      Reply
      1. Lavinia Ross

        Rick is our home breadmaker. Whole grain, lots of good things in it! He does experiment from time to time, so I may have him try to make some yogurt bread. Right now he is into sourdough.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh excellent! And yum to sourdough. The yogurt can give a slight tang to the bread which is nice. I also make a bread using cottage cheese which is very good. Guess what? I love bread! All kinds. πŸ™‚

  14. utesmile

    Plain is good, life is too complicated…. and sometimes too frilly…..take the frills off and enjoy plain! (and your plain cake looks very delicious! )

    Reply
  15. YellowCable

    I think when someone finds joy in plains of life, the person is much happier. Feel calmer seeing the ‘plains that sustain us’ and hearing the song.

    This is very nice post!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, YC. Your comment reminded me of another beautiful song; the Shaker song “Simple Gifts” < It was a joy to hear this again. Thank you.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes! I am so glad YC’s comment made me think of it. I am now also remembering my love of Shaker furniture/houses. For years, I kept a scrapbook of all the plain Shaker furniture I wanted in my dream home…..the dream goes on. πŸ˜‰

        2. Mrs. P

          Know any carpenters? Perhaps my sister (a Mennonite) could send down someone to help you build that dream…wouldn’t that be lovely?

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Carpenters are in short supply in Christchurch. 😦 If your sister sent someone they would be snapped up before they made it to my place! But, yes, it would be lovely to have a carpenter devoted solely to my dreams. πŸ™‚

  16. shoreacres

    I’d say you’ve ex-plained it very well! The plainchant is wonderful, and the bread looks so good. I’ve not done any bread baking in a while, but that photo certainly tempts me toward it.

    There’s a very similar recipe I grew up with for a chocolate cake we called “Iowa Cake”. It was so moist and rich it didn’t require frosting, and it would last as long as a week without drying — if there was any left in a week. The ingredients were a little different, but the technique is almost identical.

    Plain cake reminds me of something we have here called Chess Pie. Some of my southern friends insist the name is a corruption of “just pie”. It’s a very simple concoction of eggs, sugar, and so on, the sort of thing that always could be whipped up with ingredients sure to be in the house.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ex-plained! I like it. πŸ™‚ The one egg chocolate sponge I made comes from a time when ingredients weren’t as easily come by as they are today. It has always been a great standby recipe for me. Another simple standby is the old fashioned steamed pudding. And I do like the idea of your Chess Pie. I am determined to make it. πŸ™‚

      Reply

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