Sonya Louise Cake

My middle name is Louise, which I never liked as a kid. Funny how most kids hate their middle names. I quite like it now. Mum used to make this slice often when we were little, and I always wondered why it was called Louise Cake. It's a lovely afternoon tea treat.

Louise Cake (from the book Ladies, a plate)

For the base:
70 g butter
55 g sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tblsp lemon juice
140 g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

For the topping:
5 tblsp raspberry jam (or other tart, red jam - I used my homemade plum jam this time)
2 egg whites
115 g caster sugar
55 g desiccated coconut

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a shallow 30 x 20 cm tin with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well. Add lemon juice, sift flour and baking powder over and mix to stiff dough.
Press dough evenly into prepared tin. At this stage it will only be a thin layer, but it puffs up during cooking. Spread the jam evenly over the base.
Beat egg whites till stiff, then gently fold in caster sugar and coconut using a metal spoon.
Spread coconut meringue mixture over the jam, trying to keep it an even thickness. Sprinkle with a little extra coconut if you like.
Bake for 25 mins or until the coconut meringue is just turning golden brown.
Remove from oven and cut into squares or fingers while still warm. Leave in tin to cool. Store airtight.

Let's all go bush for the summer

The new issue of Extra Curricular is out! And it's a goodie. The theme is self sufficiency. There's honeybees and homebrew, sewing for yourself, soap-making, growing your own food, as well as recipes for sourdough, herbal remedies and iceblocks and even how to create your own little self-sufficient world with the terrarium tutorial.

I've got an article, some photos and some illustrations in there this time- and I helped out Jo with the tutorial. It was great to work on a few pieces, rather than be in the editor's seat... phew! Full credit to Ellie- so much blood, sweat, tears and love goes into every issue.

Everyone featured in this issue (and everyone who contributed) are all super people, doing super stuff. Now off with you, get a copy here and read all about them.

Sometimes my love of vintage goes too far?

Vintage picnic set? Check.
Handmade tea cloth? Check
Bacon and egg pie? Check.
Potato salad? Check.
Retro thermos of tea? Check.
Homemade fruit loaf? Check.
Strawberries? Check.

Someone sent me this the other day and I'm afraid it's totally on the money!

Afghan awesomeness

I picked up these two crocheted afghans at an op shop for a couple of bucks. Ok, they are eyewatering, bordering on eyesores maybe, but I just couldn't leave them behind. I know how much work it is to make something like this and I wonder about who made them. And whether or not they were colourblind.

My favourite running song

Every time I run through Western Springs I miss Vondelpark. I even miss running in the snow. But I don't think I'd swap, not now, not really.

Run fast for your mother and fast for your father
Run for your children for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind you
Can't carry love with you if you want to survive

Dog days are over by Florence and the Machine.

Fast forward

Max at about 3 hours old and at 13 months. When I run my hand over his head, his fontanelle is still open. It reminds me that even though he's becoming a little boy who points and demands and cries "mama" insistently, he is still a baby. At least just for a little while more.

Early strawberries

Early strawberries are ripening in my garden, having survived Max's watering attempts. This means two things to me: summer and Christmas.


Yesterday: a pink sunset, freshly baked ginger loaf and tiny basil seedlings.


Things have been quiet here on the blog because my little family has been a bit sick. The past couple of weeks has seen Max come down with a nasty bug, and subsequently so have Toby and I. Nothing very serious, but hasn't been much fun. But the good news is we're all on the mend. It's so good to have my noisy little boy back in action, into everything and telling me all about it in his funny little yodeling talk.

Not now

I have to go, it's gorgeous outside. There's a boy and a ukulele on a blanket under a tree that need me. Another time...