Weekend Reading, baking and lemons

15 October 2021

I don't remember if I told you about the American magazine Taproot's latest edition. The current edition features four simple living and minimalist bloggers and I'm one of the bloggers 🤔.  It's a truly lovely magazine that focuses on family, food, crafts and the values we hold dear. Welcome Taproot readers as you come through. I hope you look through my older posts too as there's a ton of information there that will help you simplify and live well. Taproot is available in Australia from Lauren and Oberon at Spiral Garden.



This isn't just a head with two legs, Gracie is trying to hypnotise me into giving her a piece of carrot cake.

It's been a busy week here but it's moved along calmly with most things falling into place. I always get more done when I work slowly. I drove Hanno over to see his eye specialist on Monday. He had another bleed into his eye recently and although it required a minor op, during Covid, the doctor is well set up in his rooms to perform these small operations. Hanno's eyes are still not right so I'm hoping another day or so will see improvements.


In my home I've been baking, cooking, putting up a single batch of lemons and making more 'paper' flannel towels, more on that in a few days. Readers sometimes comment that I do a lot of work in my home and I guess I do.  I want to live simply and that, to me, means doing most things from scratch.  I work to my routine, it all flows smoothly and the work is done without resentment. I'm in my mid-70s now and housework gives structure to my days while creating a warm and comfortable home that is a joy to live in. The alternatives for my age group of travelling around in a caravan, shopping and joining clubs I did when I was younger. Now I want to enjoy what I worked all those years for - my simple home at the end of a dead-end street, with chickens and a creek in the backyard. Bliss!








Cup cakes and carrot cake were on the menu this week. Jamie was here on Sunday so I sent him home with vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing. I like him to take something homemade to school and while his parents are working so hard, it's easy for me to bake a batch of something for him to enjoy during the week. I also made the best carrot cake I've ever made! Is was moist, spicy and delicious. Every time Hanno and I had a slice we both had to say how lovely it was. 🙄. The recipe is here at Grandma's Cookbook. As usual, I modified the recipe to suit us; I added an extra egg and left out the walnuts and sultanas. I also grated the carrot with a microplane to make sure the carrot melted into the batter without any hard bits.


I also made up a jar of preserved sweet lemons to add to drinks over summer.  Generally one jar does us the whole season. It's a quick and easy job that takes about 15 minutes. I used four sliced lemons, scrubbed clean with bicarb water. When I added them to a sterilised jar I poured hot simple sugar syrup over them and sealed the jar. They sat on the kitchen bench overnight and are now in the fridge. If you make them, when the lemons are all gone, use the lemony syrup in icy water for another refreshing drink. With the addition of lemon to the syrup, this lasts at least six months in the fridge.


Have you had a good week too? I hope you enjoy the reading list this week. xx


Weekend Reading


18 comments

  1. The current post is lovely, I was also hoping to read the links. Usually I can, but I am not being directed to them; only to a blogger page that asks me to list which blogs I wish to follow. This is confusing; I don't know which links belong to which blogs! Is this a mistake or am I missing something?

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Hopflower. It's all fixed now. Sometimes Blogger strips the links at the last moment and I don't notice. 😬

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    2. Rhonda,
      The link to Grandma's Cookbook doesn't work

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    3. Thanks Mark, it's fixed now.

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  2. I'd love to get that issue of Taproot - - can you let us know which number issue it is? Thanks . . . and now I think I will probably go to bed dreaming of carrot cake.

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  3. Your carrot cake sounds delicious. My mom used to get mad at her mother because she didn't "act like a grandmother." She didn't do the things that you do. She had terrible arthritis in her knees, and I think she was in horrible pain. After having them replaced she was much more comfortable. You sound very happy, busy and productive. I love being home after working for decades, too. Just got a new front fence and it looks fabulous! The old one was from the 1940's and beyond repair.

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    1. We're all different. Everyone does what they think is right for them. I'm glad you're maintaining your home as you go along. It's the sensible thing to do. xx

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  4. I always love your words and photos of your simple home Rhonda. Now I have a new cake recipe to try as well as the lemons which I have never tried. I have been following Donna for a few years and it's great to hear you have been chatting with her. I hope Hanno's eye settles down too. Enjoy your weekend xx

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  5. Hello Rhonda,
    Well, I’ve just made two jars of your lemon syrup. Thank you so much for the recipe. We have a soda stream for Soda water and with a little of the lemon syrup, it will be such a refreshing summer drink. We are officially out of lock down now, however with all the visitors expected over the summer holidays we will, like you, be enjoying our little nest. Our veggie garden is going well and we now have 4 young hens happily enjoying their new home. I do hope Hanno’s eyes start to improve soon. Take care of yourselves.
    Blessings Gail.

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  6. Julie from MooroolbarkOctober 15, 2021 10:20 pm

    Hello Rhonda. Your carrot cake looks absolutely delicious and thank you for the link to the recipe. It will be a tasty treat for the coming week. Keeping very quiet this week. So much turmoil with our heightened covid numbers in Melbourne and stepping to far from home there is almost a certainty that a exposure will result as it happened with me on my rare supermarket visit. Negative fortunately but my well researched shopping list has made sure that I will shop in my pantry for the next few weeks.
    After my week of plumbing issues last week I took the opportunity to empty my under sink kitchen cupboards. My word what a feat. On my hands and knees -with a cushion for the knees I might add and the resulting organized clean cupboards still delight me when I open the doors and see everything sparkling clean and orderly.
    Your included photos are an absolute delight Rhonda. I love reading your reflective comments particularly how you arrive to your present enjoyment and contentment. For a thinker like me that resonates. I sincerely hope Hanno eye condition improves with treatment.
    Finally we are having a vast amount of rain with warming days now. I have enjoyed seeing daily a family of helmeted doves who have brought their two offspring to fossick around the patio area where little bugs and worms reside. I now am taking a tally of our rainfall with my new gauge. We have much more than Melbourne out here and it will help me organize the watering of the garden better during summer and the usage of water from the water tanks. Have a wonderful week Rhonda. Julie xx

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    1. Thanks Julie. I'm glad you're hunkering down and staying in. These coming months will be a trial, I think. Good news on your rain. We've had a bit here but not nearly as much as the surrounding areas. We always seem to be on the edge of a cell.

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  7. Great links as usual! Thank you so much for finding such diverse and interesting articles. Did Gracie get a bite of cake?

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    1. You're welcome. I actually don't go looking for articles. This is my normal weekly reading but after I finish reading an article I add some to the reading list and go back to reading. How could I resist that face? She did get a small piece but it's never as much as she wants. 😐

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  8. Good morning Rhonda,Hanno and Gracie. Best wishes to Hanno hoping his eye improves. As with Julie our lock-in restrictions are opening up while covid numbers in the community rise. It is all very unsettling. Lovely looking carrot cake, now I feel I must find out that favourite recipe and make it again!! The rain has been good for the garden, with spring flowers everywhere, have a lovely,safe week.

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  9. I hope Hannos eye improves. It must be so trying for him and you too. I´m certainly going to try that carrot cake recipe. Now when the cooler weather has arrived, I´m doing more baking. Of course you couldn´t resist that beseeching look from Gracie.....
    It´s been a good week here. The shift in the 4 seasons is very distinct so there´s really a sense of closing the garden and greenhouse down for the year. We keep part of the greenhouse well insulated but that´s all the gardening that will be done till March. Only one job left to be done today - plant the garlic bulbs, In this part of Sweden we must wait until the soil temperature is around 6C. This is to ensure that the bulbs are not tempted to start sprouting now. They will start showing their green sprouts in Feb, March and be ready for harvesting in July/August. My aim is to be self-sufficient in garlic. We´ll see.
    I´m looking forward to Thurs/Friday this week. Our eldest granddaughter in Melbourne will be graduating from school. It´s going to be streamed live and we´ll get the link. Here´s hoping it works. We´ll be watching whatever time of the day or night for us it´s shown.

    Enjoy your week too and keep safe
    Ramona

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    1. They're rejoicing in Melbourne with the end to lockdown on Friday. Congratulations on your granddaughter's graduation. It's been tough for them going through the final year of school during Covid. I hope she has a lovely day. xx

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  10. I am so happy you have found your "bliss." That is beautiful. That's what I'd hope for everyone!

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