Sage Words – It’s Back!

Slowly unbuttoning yourself from one community and getting to know another doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, and energy, and several loaded-to-the-gunnels Frew’s stock trucks worth of being brave.


Putting aside all the huge mistakes just waiting to be made right here on the Homestead, there’s all those decisions you need to make. Which of the three local mechanics will we go to have our vehicles serviced? Who do we trust with shearing the human Homesteaders? What about local medical and dental care, plumber, electrician, builder, where should we grocery shop, get to tend our sick animals, get a decent cup of coffee? And this is made all the more difficult because that wonderful collection of experts we’d tried and tested over the years are now 60 odd kilometres down the road.

To keep or not to keep, that is the question.

Now, ten or so weeks down the track, some of those decisions have been made, some are pending, and one or two we are simply hiding from (we’ll decide when the need arises), but something that was felt long overdue was a bit of family time centred around just being together rather than thrashing out the pros and cons of yet another one of those gut-wrenching decisions.

What we needed was Sage Words.

Farm Girl proposed an immediate start with the order of hosts determined by names being pulled from a hat. Freakily, we all pulled our own names and are now left wondering whether this used up all our lottery-luck for the rest of time; a hideous thought considering the size of our dreams.

Today it was the turn of The Milk Maid who laughed smiled politely in the face of her pastry fear and constructed a kiwi classic


The humble custard square (we’re talking proper custard made from Homestead-fresh eggs, and home-made pastry) made her heart sing and the rest of us smack our lips. Her gamble paid off, her bravery was rewarded,


and her chosen words underlined the lesson.

14 thoughts on “Sage Words – It’s Back!

  1. How timely – I was just thinking today about how I was missing the Sage Words and feeling slightly selfish, knowing how crazy nuts busy you all must be, and how possibly Sage Words was just too much effort compared to things like building fences…and how you might even be tired of doing it (the blog, not the fence. Although maybe the fence). So I for one am very very pleased to see this post.

    Custard squares! I’ve never had one, never seen one, but read about them, and they look delicious. I will get the resident baker to give them a go when she’s done making the chocolate zucchini brownies she’s about to attempt.

    Frew’s are a great example of your collective bravery because (I looked them up – it’s a compulsive library lady thing) their trucks can handle almost anything. Just like you Homesteaders. So may I paraphrase Churchill, keep with the Frew’s theme, and say “just keep trucking on”. 🙂

    p.s. 60km is not completely out of reach for favourite barbers, but coffee, that’s more serious. Good luck.

    • It feels good to be back on track again. I am very flattered our sage words have been missed. That zucchini plant must be doing ok if you’ve got a zucchini brownie planned! Give the custard square a go…they’re a kiwi institution

  2. The custard squares look fabulous, will expect some on our next excursion. 😋 Well done. Oh your poor followers, never having experienced such a delight of custardy goodness, I hope they get to try one sometime.
    Great to catch up the other day and share many sage words over another kiwi fave, the afghan biscuit. Great fun.
    Keep calm and eat custard! 💕

  3. Hi, Vanilla slices —yummmmmyyeeeee!! My particular favourite vanilla slice has passionfruit icing – but sigh, the baker who made this heavenly treat moved on. There is fierce competition among regional bakers to make the perfect vanilla slice. Apparently men have been moved to tears on winning a vanilla slice competition.
    Do custard squares arouse the same passions in New Zealand?
    Hats off to The Milk Maid for making them at home!

    • Actually, the custard square/vanilla slice creation was inspired by a very wet Sunday afternoon during which we discovered the Australian series Back Roads and the fierce competition surrounding which vanilla slice was Australia’s best.
      I’m not aware of it being so hotly fought over on this side of the Tasman.
      Passion fruit icing…yummmm.

  4. Yes, daunting to have to figure out where to go for various services, all of them essential. Bad enough when you have to do it for just one thing, never mind everything. That custard slice looks scrummy!

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