and eat it too with this super easy and extremely delicious orange cake recipe! I swear I have never come across a cake that is so quick to make with such impressive results. It has the texture of a torte - rich and moist. You need to try it to believe it! The recipe comes from my mother's very dear friend, Nerea. Do let me know if you give it a try. Here's the recipe:
Nerea's Orange Cake
1 cup of sugar
185 gr. softened butter
1 1/2 cups of self raising flour
Chop up the whole orange and put it in a blender with the sugar. Pulse until it has a sorbet-like texture. Add the eggs one at a time and then the softened butter. Fold in the flour. I take the mixture out of the blender and fold the flour in carefully. You could probably do it in the blender if you pulsed intermittently and briefly. Put the mixture in a greased and floured tin and bake at 170 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Voila'.
is what the birds are getting through at the moment. There are barely any apples left on the tree despite the net!
The extreme heat of the last few weeks has killed all the flowers. They haven't just wilted, they have dessicated. Just as well I am a huge fan of vegetable blooms. If truth be told, I find these the most interesting of flowers. Although their presence means the vegetables are well past their edible prime, they are resplendent with their crown of seeds atop their very long stems.
Morning tea with friends at our newly renovated chicory kiln house on the island. Phillip Island, that is. A special thank you to the amazingly talented and patient photographer, Peter Bennetts.
Erroneously sold to me as Eryngium Maritimum, I only recently found out that what I have in the garden is actually Eryngium planum "Blue Hobbit". This is a rare plant and I just love it! The stems practically glow silver-blue and the umbel flowers are so unusual. I did try growing it from seed a while ago, but alas, no success.
Can you tell what other umbel flowers are in the basket?
Like many other Australians, I have decided to do Febfast again this year. It came as quite a revelation last year to discover that I could go without a drink for a week, let alone a month! This year the good people at Febfast have introduced the no sugar option. Having had my fill of cakes, puddings and all manner of sweet things over the holidays, I have decided to cut out all of those, without going so far as to cut out all sugars. That would simply be too hard! Anyway, because it is Valentine's day today, I am thinking of the zucchini cakes I baked this time last year with the zucchini I had in the garden. Alas, none this year. Fruit shop zucchini will taste just as sweet when you make the cake with this wonderful recipe (click on it):
Barb's zucchini cake
I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
Henry David Thoreau
Well, to be honest, I am not sure that I totally agree with Thoreau on this one, although I am a fan. He certainly made his point clear - he yearned to be alone in nature and didn't care for the company of many of his contemporaries or for the luxuries that life afforded in those days. But how about linen cushions? These super sized ones were commissioned by dear friends of mine for their apartment in St. Kilda.
Well, only for a moment really. This gorgeous specimen delighted us, bursting out of the ground of its own accord and trumpeting its arrival confidently.
It made me think of one of my favourite Dylan Thomas Poems:
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
As was to be expected, time didn't tick a heaven around the stars for this one, the fruit buds (I don't know what plant it is and am not sure of the proper name for floral anatomy), were gone by the next weekend, sadly eaten up by our hungry wallabies or possums.
Christmas wouldn't be the same without mamma's home made tortellini in brodo. Never mind the heat, this winter dish is always delicious.
My husband and I are longing to become dog parents. Lack of proper fencing at our island abode and apartment living in the city with no garden is making it just a little too hard at the moment. We are always happy to welcome doggy guests, though, as we have these past two weekends.
Augie, named after Hanna-Barbera character Augie Doggie, is the most handsome young Briard you will ever see. Here he is taking a drink what was once was the chicory washing trough on our property.
We are all familiar with Brie, the cheese coming from the region near Paris that the Briard breed takes its name from. I don't know why we are not more familiar with the Briard which has a noble and dignified history, gracing the Emperor Charlemagne and Napoleon as well. I wouldn't have thought that herding dogs were such strong swimmers, as Augie proved himself to be. A true lover of the water!
When I am not busy sewing down at our island retreat, I love spending time in my organic edible garden or in the kitchen.