I used to be much more enthusiastic about gardening. In the first year we moved to our current home, I spent a few months designing our garden boxes, sourced heirloom seeds and grew a number of my veggies during summer. It was an exhausted process. We inherited a concrete backyard, and had to place garden boxes with organic soil on top. But it was good. We had an excellent summer with broad beans, tomatoes, eggplants, and Jerusalem artichokes.
Then I lost my major. I got exhausted with duties, work and other leisure in life. Gardening was no joke, it required real efforts.
But I was reminded of the great bounties of gardening time and time again. Last year, after a month in Europe, I came back to a front garden full of rose blossoms. Herbs were re-seeded and shot up again, so as Jerusalem artichokes. I made much less of an effort than the first year, but we still enjoyed a good supply of tomatoes and herbs among other things.
This year, I once again missed out the window to grow herbs and plants from seeds. Yet in my garden, parsley is growing wildly. And the forgotten kale patch too is ready to harvest. Herbs are going well. What happening is truly inspiring, and I was once reminded of the great bounties and joy of living closer to nature.
The just-passed winter brought me the first few fruits from my lemon tree. Finally! My tree has been doing quite well in a large pot. It was such a joy! Admittedly, the harvest of a few lemons wasn’t much (I got about 10-15 juicy fruits).
The recipe today is in praise of lemons. It is a fail-proof recipe, yoghurt lemon cake from Donna Hay which I have been making a lot lately…
Donna Hay’s lemon yoghurt cake (From Fast, Fresh, Simple)
¾ cup (180ml) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup (280g) thick natural yoghurt
1¾ cups (385g) caster (superfine) sugar
2 cups (300g) self-raising (self-rising) flour
¾ cup (120g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Place the oil, eggs, rind, lemon juice, yoghurt and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Sift over the flour and stir until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a greased 24cm fluted ring tin and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
While the cake is still hot remove from the tin and place on a plate.
To make the lemon frosting, gently stir together the sugar and lemon juice.
Spoon over the cake and allow to set. Serve warm..
I also recommend this lemon chiffon cake! I love it so much I actually made it in a video for Kitchen Art’s Living Series. Do watch the video below, you will see my lovely lemon tree!