The day that I graduated from my sponge cake “L” plates

Hi All,

Is it just me or do your senses become more finely attuned in winter? Aside from the obvious “cold neurons” going off at random intervals everything seems to be condensed down and sharper. I guess it’s our traditional time when we hibernate. I am not averse to staying in bed for the winter but it would seem that “The Man” wants me out of bed and actively studying for the future. Its Thursday already and Steve and I are wading through the mire that accompanies a Landscape Design. As with most things…it’s an iceberg. That lovely plan that arrives on your desk (along with a not so lovely discrete bill that you probably (trust me) don’t want to open…) is the culmination of some poor sods hard mental labour. We really don’t think about how hard someone has to work to get something like that onto our desks until we actively try to do it ourselves. The same goes for the production of food…how hard is it to keep everything that wants an advance sample of our fruit, vegetables and grains away from our food without rendering said food inedible? A life of conundrums and questions besieges me and occasionally leaves me mentally exhausted. When Steve and I started out on our horticultural journey it was with very tentative feet. We were not entirely sure if our decision to work with plants was going to be wise. It was Steve’s first venture into even considering plants as anything within his peripheral view and he was a bit incredulous to say the least as to whether he could find much about them to keep his mind active. 2 months later this man planted a tiny Sequoia Gigantea seed that grew and the rest is history. Today both Steve and I have succumbed to our plant masters and are their willing and compliant slaves. We tend them…prune them…water them…sometimes mindlessly following their silent but endless requests but at all times rewarded generously for our servitude.  We have melded with the plants and it changed our lives.

What happens to Brunhilda with her first few chunks of wood…I call this “tea futures”! This is an amazingly good stove and I can’t praise it highly enough. We have had this stove burning now for about 4 months without stop and haven’t had to use that packet of late autumn firelighters that we bought aside from it’s initial lighting. It slowly simmers all night and rises like the sturdy, reliable, little black phoenix that it is every single morning no matter how many embers remain in its toasty little fire box…”I love you Brunhilda!”

Obviously I am not the only one who loves Brunhilda. After their morning walk the boys can usually be found (especially Bezial) in the positions that you see them here. Earl is only still because I bribed him by giving him Steve’s music room door wedge…Bezial is entirely content and when I think back to this time last year and remember the 2 of them huddling next to a teeny tiny little 1 bar gas heater that was our ONLY source of heat I can see why Bezial is luxuriating in Brunhilda’s heavenly wafting heat. By the way…the ONLY reason that lime green wood basket is still alive is because I cut off its handles and it’s full of wood. Earls inquisitive beak can’t get a grip on the sides and so it remains alive so long as we remember to fill it up with wood on a regular basis

This is the kind of photograph that you get when you have told a dog that he is too fat and that you are going to put him on a diet. A diet that doesn’t include fresh spongecake with cream.

Occasionally we find it necessary to poke Earl gently to ensure that he is still alive… does this look alive to you? “POKE POKE POKE!”

Bezial in the throws of Brunhilda love…we should leave them alone now to enjoy each others company…

We have a forecast of rain…rain and more rain for the next few days. The potted plants that we selected for rehousing last week are all still alive and the Luculia is positively glowing. It didn’t drop a single flower bud and is now a mass of soft pink tubular scented heaven right outside our bedroom window. The irony is that Luculia flowers in winter…and the likelihood of us having our bedroom window actually open in the middle of a Tasmanian winter is as slim as Posh Spice. The rest of our potted plants are sulking in their over cramped pots and wondering just what they have to do to get planted out. We have no inclination whatsoever to get out into the garden in the freezing cold and rain so it won’t be for at least a few days. Our studies have taken over from our plant overlords at the moment and I never would have thought that I would hear myself say this…but I am actually enjoying the process. Familiarity breeds more than contempt in my case…it breeds a rare form of happiness that comes with the ability to understand and actually follow the process. AutoCAD is a program full of landmines that are just waiting to pull the rug out from under any unsuspecting (read overconfident) person attempting to use it for any purpose other than a door stop (in its unopened package that is…). We learned early on that AutoCAD is a law unto itself. It will do what it wants…when it wants and our particular version appears to have a very strong will indeed. If we forget to save anything it WILL freeze and make us do it all over again. We have taken to kidding ourselves that we are grateful for the chance to do some more practice…remember “there are NO learning experiences in perfection…” that’s what we tell ourselves through gritted teeth in a vain effort to show AutoCAD that it can’t beat us and make us cry. This year these moments of confrontation have been few and far between because we no longer fear AutoCAD and are able to navigate our way through the endless seas of “process” to at least find the ballpark that we want to be in if not the actual fix for our problem. I guess we are learning and learning from home gives you the best opportunity to really learn because you have to sort things out for yourself for the most part. I mentioned in my last post that we had put in an expression of interest to undertake an Art course next year. We realised quite early on in the piece that AutoCAD is a fantastic program for creating exact plans but it is lacking creative flair and it’s difficult to create concept designs (the “sell” part of the equation) that are aesthetically pleasing. We therefore decided to learn how to turn our plans into eye candy and that’s why we are going to attempt to crash the Arts department next year. Do you think that they will be ready for the Pimblett’s? Probably not…but ready or not…here we come!

Proof that we do pound the pavements in order to give our dogs some form of exercise each day. Not that you would know it in Bezial’s case…

The boys eating their greens…when they find a good patch of grass it’s actually quite difficult to get them to stop eating. They are like mini cows

A nice shot taken from one side of Devil’s Elbow (the Rowella side) to the other (The Kayena side). We certainly live in a pretty place and are very spoiled with the scenery when we walk the boys

This photo was taken later in the day because in most photos you don’t get to see the detail of that bit of land covered in trees in the background but at a certain time of day in a certain light you can…I just wanted to share it with you all 🙂

We noticed (well Bezial the water dog noticed…) a little pathway down to the riverbank and decided to head down to see what there was at the end of the little track and found this delightful vista. Bezial proceeded to drag Steve into the water and Earl stood on the shore sniffing a dead oyster…dog heaven!

With the removal of the last 4 official roosters (I know that Effel has at least a couple overwintering in her flock) Big Yin has decided that he must have some sort of amazing powers as he just starts getting cranky at an emerging young rival and suddenly it’s gone. Using his amazing powers of chicken deduction 1 + 1 = KING OF THE WORLD and he has gone on an unprecedented nest building frenzy in a vain effort to increase the flock and fill it with little Yin’s. No doubt there are nests everywhere out there. We can hear chickens all over the place talking to each other in their nefarious chicken whispers. Big Yin can be heard making his “check THIS out baby…” sounds when he has rolled a bit of grass into a circle and thinks that it is nest worthy for his latest paramour. I must admit that having seen rooster activity on a somewhat large scale now Big Yin is an amazingly good rooster. He hunts for food for his flock, he warns them whenever there is danger and he gives the tasty morsels that he finds to his prize girls. He doesn’t hurt his girls either, unlike (tasty) roosters past and has earned his lifetime security here on Serendipity Farm. The problem that we now have is that our hens are getting wily. They no sooner start laying somewhere and we start collecting the eggs than they head off somewhere else and start laying there and Big Yin is ever ready to up sticks and make them another nest more remote and inaccessible than the last. I can see the day that we are actually overrun with chickens. Roosters will be crowing at all hours of the day and night and I will surreptitiously slip an anonymous note into Frank’s (who has been killing roosters since he was 10) mailbox saying “go nuts! You know you want to…”…until that day we will practice hunting eggs and will ready ourselves for spring and the oncoming onslaught of clucky chooks. I dare say most of our fecund flock will be laying low like brer rabbit in some form of briar patch but we clever humans have been active and have minimised those briar patches so that we can head straight to the remaining patches and be assured of at least 1 chicken occupant! We extracted Effel from her own personal briar patch just before winter set in and we can do it again chickens! Consider this war!

What to do with all those eggs? Make a sponge cake. The very first stage of making a spongecake…”First line your tin”…

At this stage I wanted to make sure that you got the gist that I am a darned good cake tin liner. This was to take your mind off the fact that I was, in fact, making an unassisted spongecake for the very first time…I have made spongecakes before and they have been sad sorry flat excuses for something edible that even the chooks refused. I wanted to break my losing streak and so put myself out there yet again to possibly fail…”Isn’t this tin lined beautifully?”…

These are the real reason why I decided to make a spongecake. 4 pristine duck eggs from our 2 girls given to us by Nat’s stepdaughter and suddenly starting to produce these. I know that duck eggs make amazing cakes because mum TOLD me that they did. I decided to find out for myself…

This mixer might be my handy dandy go to mixer that facilitates the manufacture of cakey goodness on Serendipity Farm but one day I am going to drop this thing on my head and kill myself! Perhaps a rethink of where we are currently storing this heavy metal mixer might be on the cards in the near future…

Notes about duck eggs…they are somewhat cloudier than hen eggs…the yolks aren’t quite as yellow…there were more whites in them and lastly the whites were harder to separate from the yolks but these eggs were uber fresh so perhaps that had something to do with it?

A juxtaposition in the cost of an item. The blender (admittedly only the base is present in this photo) cost just on $1300 and the packet of sugar was so cheap as to be negligable. Just a note to readers in the U.S. our sugar is manufactured from sugar cane where yours is mainly corn based or beet. The blender is amazing, high speed and can turn this sugar here into icing sugar in a matter of seconds. It can also (using the additional expensive goblet) turn grains into dust in a similar time frame. I bought this years ago and have only just started to use it to its full advantage. One of those “why on EARTH did I spend that…oh wait a minute THAT’S why!” moments. I also wanted to point out that buying sugar in a paper bag is better for the environment however the day that they make paper from bamboo is the day that I am going to be one happy camper…let’s all stop cutting down trees for newspapers eh?

This is the first sift of the dry ingredients (1 of 3) and has been undertaken using one of the sieves that I found in a cupboard after we moved in. I would like to continue using these older kitchen items as aside from being made to last, it gives a continuity to my dad’s partner Val who never had any children of her own.

If it acts like a spongecake…it sounds like a spongecake…it smells like a spongecake IT’S A SPONGECAKE! :)…Wait a minute…”thats not a spongecake…THAT’S a spongecake!…”

No words people…just get a fork!

By the way…the cake is curiously decorated because one half is Steve’s (thus the chocolately maltesers) and the other half has been designated “the dogs”

I was just thinking about winter again and how in winter we tend to become more insular along with better insulated. We look inside ourselves and the cold weather constricts our physical and mental boundaries. Come spring and everything starts to become active again and we look outside ourselves but in the middle of winter when it’s cold and rainy and bleak outside there is nothing so desirable as a nice warm spot and a good book. I have fallen by the reading wayside of late. I haven’t even finished my copy of “Tuesday’s with Morrie” and I have to take “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café” back on Friday unread. I am drawn more to homesteading books at the moment and a fantastic book that I discovered entirely by accident whilst reading a blog feed was “A Householder’s Guide to the Universe: A Calendar of Basics for the Home and Beyond”. By one “Harriet Fasenfest”. I have mentioned Harriet before albeit fleetingly and mostly because of her chuckle inducing name but this lady is no one trick pony and this book is gold! I have taken to channelling my envy and lust for buying books into a more productive (and less expensive) hobby of trying to gain access to these books through the library. Most of them soon lose that glittering “MUST HAVE” promise when you have waded through the bampf and found them more hype than hope. This book, however, is amazing. It’s one of those books that are actually worth lusting after and indeed pulling that moth eaten sock out from under the bed and extracting the readies to purchase this gem for yourselves. Aside from being one of the most elegant over 50’s women, Harriet has an amazing ability to write what we want to hear. No garbage…full of good humour and actual knowledge gold. What more could you want? (Take note girls who are reading this…my birthday IS coming up soon and aside from wanting a renewed subscription to “Feast” (cheers in advance Bethany…) this book would be most gratefully accepted as a token of your undying love Madeline. Go to “The Book Depository” as it ships fast, costs less and there is no shipping)…I love having adult children ;).

What do you do when you have been given a pile of lemons and you don’t actually use lemons for much and they have been sitting in a bowl for a week and are dangerously close to going over to the dark side…you preserve them for future lemony needs is what you do… first you get yourself a microplane and you remove the zest…

Aside from a boon for the compost heap, these lemon skins made the house smell amazing

Some more tools of the trade with the end results that I batched up into small bags and stored flat so I can chip some off whenever I need it. I love it when my practical side broadsides my lazy side and it is happening more and more often these days. The feeling of putting something aside for future use is exciting and hits just the right spot in this little black ducks homesteading heart 🙂

This was Steve’s tea last night…one home made chicken and mushroom pie in home made cheesy shortcrust pastry accompanied by oven fried chips in olive oil…all of the “Goldens” on one plate! Slather it with salt and vinegar and you have an expat’s chips shop dream on a stick 🙂

Ok it’s time to head out into the oncoming rain and possible hail, sleet and snow to walk the dogs. It’s not worth trying to reason with those seal eyes Steve…just get on your jacket and head outside.  It’s now Saturday so I guess you figured that we got back from our walk in one piece physically (but perhaps not always mentally). I am going to make this post a bit less wordy today because I have a lot of photos that require “ploise asplain” sotto voce Pauline Hanson style. To those of you who are not aware of who Pauline Hanson is (and let’s face it guys, most Aussies would rather forget her) she was a politician who was the face of a political party called One Nation. Her party was so popular because many Australians were feeling very frustrated about the liberal politics that were allowing Australia to be hurled down the politically correct line without thought of consequences but the party took it too far and ended up being more of a sad joke than a force to be reckoned with. Pauline was most noteable for her “Please explain” statements whenever she wasn’t quite up to scratch with what was being asked of her and she came off looking like a quintessential “Dumb Broad” and most certainly didn’t do women in politics ANY favours in their desire to be taken seriously. I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason that she was allowed to advance so far up the political ladder was so that she could be used as a reason why women shouldn’t be allowed into the upper echelons of politics…so…what have we done over the last few days?

  1. Walk the dogs…we ALWAYS walk the dogs…
  2. Study our brains out including plotting out a planting plan for our latest Diploma design that we are suitably proud of and will attempt to share with you AFTER our lecturer gets it first
  3. Cooking and preserving all sorts of things

That would be about it aside from playing Zelda (me) and watching horror movies on the television (Steve and Earl) and sulking (Bezial). We haven’t had time to solve world problems, find a solution for peace in the Middle East or re-inventing the wheel but we HAVE found a fix for Brunhilda’s metal firebox handle that has burned us for the LAST TIME! We have stayed cosy and warm through these short winter days and long winter nights and we have been industrious little beavers with all sorts of fixes etc. I have attempted to give my daughters strong mental and blog posty hints about my rapidly advancing birthday wish list and hopefully they have heard me…if they haven’t…here is a VERY good reason for you to get me the Harriet Hasenfest book “A Householders Guide to the Universe” from The Book Depository Madeline…Its under $20 with free postage and you can’t get a cheaper gift than that (aside from a bag of flour but you just KNOW which one I am actually going to like ;)).  Please feel free to ignore that bit of gratuitous gift wrangling…it’s one of the perks of being the mother of adult children…you get to give them a taste of what it was like when they were kids “MUUUM I NEED a Dr. Dreadful kit…I NEED a Stretch Armstrong…”… Cheers girls 😉

I think that making things for yourself is only hard until you get into the habit of doing it. Here we have the fixings for sesame milk (in the jug on the left) along with the wine bottle that I am storing it in until I can find a suitable container at the local thrift shop…almonds soaking for almond milk (my new tea topper of choice) and the container at the rear has the feral chooks bread cut up ready for early morning degustation and the crust free butter sandwich on the top is Pingu’s breakfast treat. They all get left overnight to be used and processed the next day…easy peasy!

2 of the “Must have” books on my list of “To Buy” books in the near future. I take them out of the library…I go through them with a fine toothed comb (my mind…razor sharp lol) and I ascertain whether or not the information contained within is valuable and precious enough for me to want to hock my right leg and if it is…I buy it…if it isn’t I take what I want (typing 101 and fast fingers Fran) or I just drop it back to the library with negligable cost to the moth filled sock under the bed. I have also found The Permaculture book of Ferment and Human Nutrition has been reprinted! No more lusting after this amazing tomb for me, I can buy myself one for my birthday…I LOVE books! 🙂

Even with his winter wool Steve’s large head is NO match for Earl and his enormous bonce. He accidentally headbutted me this morning…Earls love knows no bounds and he gives it generously…and I am lucky my nose wasn’t broken. Every single part of Earl is solid and weighs a tonne. Here you see him assuming his night time position on the back of Steve’s sofa unless he manages to wedge himself between Steve and the chair and lay full length between the two. Uncomfortable for Steve but HEAVEN for Earl 🙂

Well that’s it for today guys…we have some projects on the burner that I can maybe share with you on Wednesday but for today that’s all folks! Have a great weekend and I hope that Monday finds you

  1. Alive
  2. Happy
  3. Fully functional and able to get out of bed
  4. Finally and most importantly in a good mood and fine spirits ready for doing whatever it is that you are doing this week

I did tell you that this post was going to be photo intensive…I have 2 photos lastly that I would like to share with you. My mum died in January this year and it was particularly difficult to take in because she had just spent time with us over Christmas and then suddenly she was gone. She filled her suitcase up with home made Christmas cakes and preserves and when she died I didn’t have much of “mum” in my life any more. She had been my champion blog poster and is still the third highest on the list and loved all things Serendipity Farm. I had 2 little pots of jam that she had given us…1 she had made the week that she came over here that I couldn’t bring myself to use. I remembered them languishing on the back of the second shelf down in the fridge and decided that mum wouldn’t want that “sunshine in a jar” strawberry jam cram packed full of her own home grown strawberries and gelled to within an inch of its life (thanks to a batch that had been watery the attempt before…) to be stuffed to the back of the fridge…she would have wanted it out there on the counter top, slathered all over some heavily buttered toast and so today I let go of my need to keep my mum in a small jar and opened her memory up to be part of the day to day machinations of Serendipity Farm…welcome back mum…I missed you 🙂

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kym
    Jul 14, 2012 @ 19:40:02

    Oh Fran there I was all ready to give you a good telling off for giving half that wonderful spongecake to the dogs and then you go and make me cry. Yes she would have loved you to use her jam for sure eh. Once it is all gone you still have the jar 🙂
    I love the photos of your dogs, such characters! So spoilt too. I think I will come back as one of your dogs lol x


    • narf77
      Jul 14, 2012 @ 19:51:12

      lol yes…I cried too. I wasn’t even sad and I was trying to say that the rawness of grief heals and I bloody well ended up making myself cry! Oh well… I won’t appologise for being a quintessential sooky la-la :). Bezial was actually sulking badly when I took that photo as Earl had turfed him off his sofa and was attempting to eat the cushion! We soon put paid to that but Bezial wouldn’t talk to us as he considered that we hadn’t acted fast enough and should form an armed guard around him to prevent Earl attacks at all times. He appears to have forgiven us now but is ready to sulk at the drop of a hat. Earl is a mad cork who is always ready to fly around like a champagne cork that has been released. The only problem with that is that he weighs just on 35kg and something that size and solidity hitting you in the back of the knees because it isn’t paying attention to where it has directed its rocket fueled mad rampage is going to take you out…no questions! Have fun tomorrow at the food and wine festival and make sure to have a glass of wine and something exotic on a stick for me 😉


  2. christiok
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 02:00:20

    Good Saturday morning to you Fran from Olalla, WA, USA! I laughed so many times in this post. We have the same age children and amazingly enough, even on opposite sides of the planet, I KNOW who Posh Spice and Dr. Dread are! lol Annie loved the Spice Girls, and Austin spent many hours making Dr. Dread pops or whatever they were. He even gave a Dr. Dread kid to the little girl who loved him in Kindergarden and invited him to her all-girls birthday party. When is your birthday, my dear?? And I, too, felt the poignancy of your mum’s jam. Sweet.:)


    • narf77
      Jul 15, 2012 @ 09:12:12

      Yeh…Dr. Dreadful eh? They have started putting the kits out again so that a whole new generation of parents that played with them (and ate the hideous creations) can get them for their kids or more likely… the grandparents will buy them to torment their own children ;). Stretch Armstrong only lasted for a week before he burst through overenthusiastic stretching (“Let’s see if we can stretch him from one side of the yart to the other….”) and the girls got a dollhouse that they then promptly let one of their new little guineapigs into and it decided to move in and we couldn’t get it out. We shook it…we tipped it upside down (have you ever seen a guinea pig bracing itself inside a plastic house with all of its feet?!) and in the end that Christmas present was very short lived as we had to cut the noncompliant guineapig out of the house with tearful hystrionics resonating in my ears…sigh…The son and heir is back in Australia in a couple of days with his paramour and hopefully when they get back to reality life settles down into happiness for them both. It’s cold but bracing here and I have 2 dogs demanding a walk so I guess I should honour the silent creed that dogs and people end up signing where the humans shall
      1. Walk us every day no matter what
      2. Sometimes walk us twice a day if we can grizzle enough to get out there again
      3. Make spongecakes and special treats for us because our seal eyes are so VERY large and pitiful
      4. Maybe put our leads on us at night time and head off down the dirt road to see if they can’t get killed by a massive container truck of wine, salmon (fish farm around the corner) or milk in the name of possum, wallaby and rabbit sniffing
      5. Allow the dogs to sleep in the bed with them and when we say “sleep” the dogs will be the only ones partaking of this luxury…

      I hope you have a lovely Sunday with plenty of love and laughter and a bucket load of happiness. We plan on doing sweet bugger all today and enjoying every single minute of it 🙂


  3. Pinky
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 10:07:50

    Love you Fronkiilicious! Made me smile seeing that old jar of Mums jam. Tahlia got mums last jar of jam that she gave me. I still have 4 rumballs in a jar in the back of my fridge of hers. I think they can stay there for a long time. They’ll certainly not go off with the amount of rum she put in them! Hahahahahaha.


    • narf77
      Jul 15, 2012 @ 12:02:58

      Did you like my spongecake?!!! No-one said anything about my spongecake! I thought it was pretty shmich actually lol ;). We delved into the Boysenberry jam (foolishly) the other day and aside from it being somewhat like the toffee on a toffee apple the day after you leave it out on a plate in the kitchen…I had to sieve all of the seeds out of it for fussy boy Steve and do you KNOW how hard it is to sieve seeds out of toffee?!!! I rest my case!


  4. Pinky
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 17:00:11

    I loved your spongecake, or at least the look of it. I’m guessing it tasted pretty damn good as well. Now I gotta get back to finding everything I have collected over the past financial year to do with houses and work for tax time. bleh.


    • narf77
      Jul 15, 2012 @ 19:25:58

      Mine is done but for the miniscule amount that I had taken out for tax that we get back at tax time it took 2 hours on the stupid darned E-Tax to do it! You would think that it would be a simple process but since Stewart has done it every year for as long as I can remember I had to do it myself this year and so I had to start from the beginning…sigh…I bet Jim has a bit of a tax kerfuffle this year!


  5. Katie Glenn
    Jul 16, 2012 @ 08:45:10

    Oh that picture of Earl is TOO funny! …still laughing. 😀


  6. Kym
    Jul 16, 2012 @ 12:04:59

    Oh Fran I did say, and I quote, “wonderful spongecake” 🙂


  7. nat
    Jul 16, 2012 @ 13:29:59

    Hi Fran and Steve

    I am hungry after reading your blog and i have already had lunch. The sponge reminds me of the sponges we had as kids as we also had ducks and their eggs are great for sponges. A belated big thanks for the eggs, free range are so nice. I am really glad to know how much you are enjoying your studies and i miss seeing you guys on Fridays. Nick is starting to look a little chubby ( don’t tell him i said that) from all of the treats that you bring for him. No wonder you will have to put Bezial on a diet when he has such wonderful sponges to eat. I too would like to come back as one of your pets (not rooster) in my next life.


    • narf77
      Jul 16, 2012 @ 17:18:38

      Lol so long as you are not a rooster you should be fine…by the way Nat…Nick has the address to this blog and who would know if he reads it? I severely doubt that he would read it though…but you never know (LOL!). I am thinking about which cake to take on Friday this week. Probably something chocolate this time. Sue told me that she was getting fat also so you had best pop in on a Friday and grab a bit of cake to save them from themselves lol. I hope everything is going well at Polytechnic and that James is better now. We rarely see anyone any more at Polytechnic but occasionally we get a comment from Codie on Facebook and we feel “connected”. Have a great week and hopefully your students are behaving for you and you have no geneveives this year 😉


  8. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 11:23:30

    Now that is a sponge cake with impressive height! I can only imagine how fluffy the crumb must be in such a tall structure. Nice compromise on the decorating front, too. 😉


    • narf77
      Jul 17, 2012 @ 12:15:54

      I think it was all about the free range duck eggs and the terrified over measuring that did it Hannah…now I am basking in the warm glow of kudos given to me by someone with an amazing blog…I follow your blog eagerly and pilfer so many of your recipes that I am ashamed to admit it. Cheers SO much for the kudos as it really means something coming from you 🙂


  9. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 07:30:50

    Lovely sponge cake Fran. Love your cake tin lining. I used to do all that for my Christmas cakes.
    Thanks for the tip about using up your lemons. I hate wasting food.
    Best wishes.


    • narf77
      Jul 25, 2012 @ 06:33:08

      The reason that I line my cake tins so well is because I HATE cake sticking to the tins. They don’t make cake tins like they used to and finding good pre-seasoned heavy cake tins at the thrift shop is like finding hens teeth (although…that clucky witch of a chook hogging one of the nesting boxes at the moment most certainly is aspiring to teeth and giving my hand the old college try every time I put it anywhere NEAR her!). I am going to make a Christmas cake this year. My mum died in January and she was the Christmas cake queen. She had only visited us at Christmas time and had made sure to give me the “family Christmas cake” recipe that my uncle pinched from the Mills and Wares factory that he worked in for a while in Fremantle (W.A.). She didn’t get around to giving me the recipe for the almond paste but I am going to give it a go this year. It’s the first year that we won’t have one of mums Christmas cakes. I will line the tin the best I can on that occasion and try to do mum proud 🙂


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