Better late than never

My post is late today because we've just returned from the Gold Coast. We had a call from Kerry late yesterday to tell us that Jamie was on his way to hospital after having a convulsion. He wanted us there with them. We were just about to eat dinner but jumped in the car and took off. Luckily, by the time we got there, everything had settled down and Jamie came out of hospital around 9pm. We stayed down there overnight because Kerry had to fly off to work today and we wanted to take Sunny and Jamie to his own doctor to make sure everything was okay. It is. After a delicious Sunny-cooked lunch of fish and salad, we drove back, pleased we made it through a family crisis with smiles.

Luckily, I'd already written my post and just had to add the photos.

I wanted to share to beautiful gifts with you that I received recently. The first is a book given to me by one of our recent German visitors - Sasha. I had never met Sasha before but I met his mother Dagma when we lived in Hamburg in 1979 and 1980. The book is called Grandma's German Cookbook and it's filled with the most brilliant receipes for everyday German home cooking - all the things Hanno loves. Hanno's mother died shortly after we came home in the early 1980s but she did teach me how to cook kartoffel puffer, lentil soup and a few other family favourites.  This book will help me add a lot more German cuisine to our winters.

It's full of good soup recipes, as well as main meals, cakes and desserts. Just the kind of cookbook I enjoy reading. If you're interested in good hearty food, this is the book for you. It's available from these retailers.

The eBook version of Down to Earth - a guide to simple living will be published by Penguin and will be available in Australia and New Zealand next week on the 15 December. I'll have more details for you soon.

The other gift I received was this beautiful embroidery of a Carl Larsson painting. It was sent by Gerri, a long-term reader in France. I love it so much! Gerri said it's been hanging in her kitchen for many years and she wanted it to go to someone who would appreciate it. And that would be me. :- ) The stitching is done on the softest linen and every time I see it I want to touch it. 

Gerri stitched it herself and from the look of it, it must have taken a very long time. I'll be having it framed soon and will then hang it on our wall here, many miles away from where it originated. Thank you again Gerri!


  1. Hi Rhonda

    So glad to hear that little Jamie is recovering well. So wonderful for Kerry and Sunny that you are able to support them during difficult times that everyone faces sometimes.

    What a gorgeous gift from Gerri - a lot of love and care went into stitching that! It's just perfect for you too.

  2. oh Rhonda - what a worry for you all.

    I hope Jamie is okay now, but I am sure it will put everyone on alert for a while

  3. I'm so glad he's okay. How scary for you all! And my goodness, that embroidery is incredible!

  4. So glad your little grandson is okay! And what thoughtful gifts you have received. Judy xx

  5. You can also find Grandma's German Cookbook at Fishpond, the Australian online retailer. I just bought it there, for a very good price and free delivery in Australia.

    They always have a great selection, often things you can't find anywhere else, and always very economical buying.

    1. Rhonda, I am also pleased that Jamie is okay. Did he have a high temp before convulsing? Poor little guy. I have two questions for you..the first is, does the German cookbook have a sauerkraut recipe in it and the second is...where do you buy your celery seed which you mentioned in your post about pickling as I have been to three shops today and can't get hold of it. I ended up buying a packet of pickling spice. What a beautiful gift you received from France!

    2. Chel, his temp was only 37.5. The doctor said it not so much the temp being high, it's the temp going up fast that causes a convulsion. I'll check out the sauerkraut recipe tomorrow and let you know when I answer your PM on the forum. Sorry, I'm too tired to do it now.

      I buy mine at the bulk food store I get my baking flours from. The pickling spice would be excellent. It has a good range of seeds and spices.

  6. Hello Rhonda, what a beautiful stitchery picture. Glad your grandson is going to ok. I found a lovely embroidered picture today in the hospice shop .it is a scene of a farmhouse and garden, someone must have spent hours lovingly creating it, i love it. sue~nz

  7. I'm so glad that you were able to join together so quickly for little Jamie. He is very lucky to have such a loving supportive family. Also very happy to hear that he is on the mend.
    What beautiful gifts you have received! The cookbook looks like it has delicious recipes. Lucky Hanno!!! :) The cross stitch is absolutely beautiful.

  8. Oh Rhonda, so pleased to hear that your little Jamie is okay. I did wonder where you were this morning :)

    Those are such beautiful gifts to receive.


  9. Oh Rhonda I am so happy things turned out with Grandson that is very scary. It is great that you live not very far away that makes it easier in these cases.
    I love that book my Grandmother was German and she was a fabulous cook. My Mom asked me to make her German Apple Cake the other day, always a favourite.
    The needlepoint is beautiful I am sure it is in the perfect home. B

  10. Glad to hear Jamie is well. I bet that was a scary time for you all. Sending love your way. Xxx

  11. Hi Rhonda, your embroidered gift is lovely. I had a shock at work this week when a painter used a beautiful crocheted blacket as a drop sheet. I threw my hands up in the air and screamed "STOP". I shouted, "Look at it, someone made that with love and care!" Lucky, im the one who pays him and he handed it over. I packed it up and carefully picked off the paint and hand washed it. It almost like new and I am sure that someone will be kept warm next winter by this blanket made by unknown hands. I'm passing it on to my church charity.

  12. glad to hear your grandson is ok, with this crazy hot & cold weather i'm surprised there aren't more casualties.
    both beautiful gifts rhonda

    hope all stays well with your little one

    selina from kilkivan qld

  13. I'm so glad Jamie is feeling better. My youngest daughter had to be rushed to the hospital when her temp spiked from an ear infection that came back (antibiotics round deux!)

    That cross stitch is Gorgeous! I'll be checking out that cookbook as my hubby is half German. The recipes look delish!

  14. Febrile convulsions can be so scary- my son had one aged 9 mths and was in hospital for several days. Luckily he never had another although we were super careful for several years afterwards. I hope little Jamie will be just fine too.

    On German cooking- I recently thrifted an as-new clay pot/dish stamped
    KNUSSPERFANNE. It is round, lidded, made of clay with a glazed interior in the base. I have googled for recipes /information- but came up with absolutely nothing. Have you any idea what it is intended for? Its got to be more than just a lidded pie dish! I cook chicken and pot roasts in my regular clay pot quite often, and am so curious about this dish. Gill.

  15. Very good on Jamie's condition. I bet it was a scare for everyone. I am glad he is well now.

    Happy Christmas to you and yours, Rhonda.

  16. Hi Rhonda,

    Relieved to hear that little Jamie is doing well. Scary, scary thing - a convulsion. One of my grandsons had a convulsion when he was about the same age as Jamie and it came about because of a spike in his temperature. I just know that Kerry and Sunny are so thankful that Hanno and you can come at a moment's notice.

    As to the beautiful cross stitch picture, it brings back such memories. Years ago, probably late seventies or early eighties, I swooned over this very Eva Rosenstand cross stitch pattern. It requires a HUGE amount of thread and at that time, I couldn't afford to buy the kit or the thread. What a treasure you have. Eva Rosenstand still offers this very kit entitled, "Kitchen", but it is out of stock right now. I just love the way the curtain is blowing in the wind. What a special present from Gerri. She knew that you'd treasure it!

    Diane in North Carolina

  17. I was very surprised to see something I know very well on your blog today!!! This is too much honour!
    I am very happy that your little treasure is doing well again. You must have been very afraid.
    Love, Gerri from France

  18. Hi Rhonda. Very pleased to hear Jamie is okay now. It can be quite frightening when little ones are suddenly unwell, or convulsing as he was.

    That book looks lovely, and the embroidered piece is beautiful.

  19. I've just ordered the German cookery book from The Book Depository in the UK and look forward to receiving it next week. If only they stocked your book as well Rhonda. I hope that I may be able to buy a copy in NZ in early 2013.
    Helen in France who does patchwork but not embroidery.

  20. Glad to hear Jamie's OK -- always a bit scary to see little ones' when they turn unwell so quickly.
    I'll be checking out the german cookbook. It's funny because it was only yesterday that I thought I must ask if along with your theme of self reliance in cooking you might include some of your favourite (fail proof) german festive recipes. I love the simple things like apple strudel that is tasty & actually has apples in it, not just a 'lick & a promise' with stacks of pastry like the supermarket ones.
    The embroidery is beautiful. I've been blessed with a sister who has made me 3 beautiful ones depicting children playing on the beach.

  21. Pleased that your little Jamie is back to normal. What lovely gifts you had.

  22. Though never having experienced one with our kids I can only begin to imagine how scary a convulsion would be. Glad to hear he is okay. Those German recipes do look good. My mum was friends with an older German lady many years ago, and she was the most amazing cook. Her specialty was a rum cake, a rich moist butter cake with rum in it. The embroidery is gorgeous!


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