Promise me pie-crust

I am a little funny about my pies. I love a good pie. Sweet, savoury, chicken and leek, apple or cherry. I love them all. That isn’t odd. What is odd is that I like the pie crust as much as, if not more than, the pie filling. While I see some people scrape the chicken out of the pie, I will leave the largest and best pieces of crust until last, with a taste of filling for flavour balance.

That is my odd thing about pies. I am happiest when I work towards the crust of a pie (or tart) and I see a tasty line of biscuit, shortcrust, flaky or filo waiting for me. I know I am not alone in this.

I rail against new-fangled ‘pies’ that are a sloop of filling with a piece of baked filo pastry on top. It’s not a pie!

The pie has a noble culinary heritage and like the sandwich, it’s traditional construction is born out of function and practicality. Everyone knows that good design follows function, and this principal is true even when talking about a simple pie.

A pie was way for a worker to get a solid, generally meaty meal when away from home – working on a farm or in a field for instance. A pie kept all the meat and gravy together in a nice neat package. No mess and easy to eat with your hands.

The nouveau ‘pie’ or the artfully placed filo square is the antithesis of this, and so prevalent, that pie-lovers such as myself can’t order pie outside the home unless you can see it in a window in all its crusty glory.

The quality of a crust can do so much for a pie. A pie (or tart) isn’t just about the filling, it’s a whole package meal, and should be enjoyed as such. I don’t like promises to be like pie-crust but I do like a pie-crust that promises much.


Which are you – aisle or window?

Just as the world is divided into folders and scrunchers, biters and suckers, so we can also divide ourselves into ‘aisle’ or ‘window’. Whichever you prefer, chances are you’re pretty determined on what you like.

Strangely enough, it isn’t a question of seasoned vs. first-time travellers. I imagine first-time travellers want the window seat more than people who are on planes every month, but each option has its benefits and drawbacks that make you fall into one or other category.

View from a window seat

View from a window seat

And let’s be honest: there are only two seat preferences on a plane. No one chooses the middle seat. Middle seats are for people who lost the allocation lucky dip; they are for the sacrificing half of a couple who gave up the window or aisle to a loved one or for the small child seated between their parents in order to prevent them from running amok all over the plane (thank you to those parents).

I am a long-term fan of the aisle seat. It is a preference passed down to me from my parents and I stick by it. The advantages are numerous. You can get up and stretch your legs anytime you want and are never trapped by large or asleep strangers. You can peer up the aisles to see what’s going on or catch a peak at someone else’s meal to see what looks edible. Historically, it was also the place to get the best view of the one television up the front showing the in-flight entertainment. That shows how long I’ve been flying for.

Lately though, I am coming to appreciate the benefits of the window seat. On long-haul flights the benefits seem greater, I admit. Being able to lean your pillow against the window and those few extra precious inches can be wonderful. The view of course, becomes a real selling point, particularly when flying over central Asia.

Kirst is a window seater from way back – mainly because of the view. As a child she flew over the North Pole and after seeing it from the sky there was no going back. She loves the feeling of extra space and the teeny bit more privacy it offers, plus – no banged elbows or people constantly brushing past.

Interestingly, my Husband has recently informed me that he is converting from a window to aisle preferences, persuaded by my arguments in favour of the latter. This should make picking seats for our next overseas holiday interesting.

Where do you sit? Aisle or Window?

Sunshine and Gin has moved!

Check out our new blog site at

Big News! Sunshine and Gin has a new, more swanky looking home! We’ve been thinking about moving for a while now, and have spent the last week going a little nuts moving content, editting and getting everything looking beautiful. So today we are very proud to be announcing to the world our new location.

Please head over, check it out and make sure you’re still subscribed to receive updates from us. We love being part of a blogging community and hope you will take the time to check our our new site and click ‘Follow’.

Thank you ,

Birgit and Kirst

Kirst and Birgit

Reading Challenge 2015 – before Easter

I am off to Maleny for Easter, which will pretty much three days of eating and reading. So I’m doing a quick update on my reading challenge. We’re a third of the way through the year but I am Not a third of the way through the list!

A book set somewhere you’ve always want to visit – 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (Edinburgh)

This book is a little different. 44 Scotland Street started out as a serial in The Scotsman, similar to a lot of Dicken’s works.  It is therefore a novel of perfect one-chapter stories held together by the intriguing line up of characters who inhabit number 44 Scotland Street. Easy to read, digestible, with a real mix of characters and mishaps, this was my first Alexander McCall Smith novel and it won’t be my last.

Side note: I have wanted to visit Scotland for a very long time and finally in 2015 I am doing it! As part of a trip to Europe later this year I am spending four days in Edinburgh. Hurrah!

A book with more than 500 pags – A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Continue reading

Wedding 101- Wedding Fever

As I prepare for my wedding in October this year, I thought I’d bring you all along for the ride. This is the first of a few posts on my wed-ventures and planning – with the hope that it assists a few of you out there in engagement land or at least gives you a giggle. Enjoy!

Many women dream of their wedding day for years, conjuring up images of the perfect dress, flowers and cake in their minds.

I was never one of those girls. So when Tom proposed to me last June aside from feeling deliriously happy I also freaked out a bit.

What style of dress would suit me? Where would we have the wedding? What about Bridesmaids and Groomsmen? I had no idea where to start! Unsurprisingly, in my quest to find answers, I descended into a crazy wedding induced fever.

I devoured bridal magazines with fervor and spent hours pintrest-ing my life away. I meticulously compared  venue after venue and vendor after vendor.

I’m not going to lie, there were (and maybe there still are) spreadsheets involved.

For a while it was quite fun curling up on the couch and pouring over Polka Dot Bride and Style Me Pretty for inspiration. But ultimately, it became exhausting and led to a bit – ok a LOT – of overthinking.

Thankfully, I snapped out of it before my fiancé had to stage an intervention, but what I took away from those few weeks of craziness (aside from the fact that wedding videos are EMOSH) was that I wanted my wedding to be easy.

Spectacular, fun,  bursting with love and easy. Not too much to ask right?

I didn’t want to have to organise a million suppliers or feel stressed when thinking about the big day. I just wanted to feel excited and happy and relaxed.

But hooooooow do we do this? I mean we are organizing a WEDDING! We need a bunch of money, and ideas and white doves and a horse and carriage and…well actually, all jokes aside it can be quite easy. We are just under 7 months away and we’ve pretty much got our sh*t sorted. From our celebrant to our photographer to our DJ, it’s all done and now it’s just the fun stuff like cake tasting and dress fittings to enjoy…oh and that whole writing vowels thing but that will happen in time. Stay tuned for more Wedding 101 over the coming months (it will culminate with wedding photos I promise!) and in the meantime why not tell us about your wedding planning experience? Was it six-weeks of quick decisions like B’s or did you spend a lot of time and consideration on all the elements? Feel free to share – we’d love to hear for you!

Travel Bloggers Share: The best piece of advice I’ve ever received…

Travel Bloggers Share: The best piece of advice I’ve ever received….

Kirst has some amazing advice from her Mum, I from my Grandma. Though truth be told, I always find I give myself the best advice.

Check our what we and other amazing travel bloggers say is the single best piece of advice we’ve ever been given.



A wrinkle in time – when did you start using face cream?

Last month I celebrated my 31st birthday. I had a terrific week of celebration and not a little indulgence, my favourite birthday pastime.  However, the week before my birthday, classic freak-out time, I started to get the feeling that time and aging were creeping up on me. Clicking over the decade into my 30s-proper got me wondering and worried.

I have no desire to look young forever. I have no problem admitting my age. I have no intention of pounding pavements and drinking endless green smoothies to fight back the years and preserve my body at some yet-to-be-determined premium age of youthful yet mature perfection.

What I want to do is take care of myself so that while I may look my age, my wrinkles are from smiling, not skin damage. Though looking on average 5 years younger wouldn’t be a bad thing either. Continue reading