Cake and Herbs: Recipe and Retrospect

It’s the weekend, and oh my goodness am I ready for this week to end!

You know how some weeks are just a big challenge? This was one of those weeks. It started Sunday with family exhaustion after Yarrow’s Saturday evening dance recital and just continued on through the week with a bout of sickness, kids who can’t settle into their schoolwork or play well together, mopey goats, and craziness at my side-job.

But now it’s Saturday, and we’re working through the behaviour issues, feeling well again, and trying to get a Summer Rule of Life written out and implemented! And I’m tired..

So, of course, I’m baking seed cakes for afternoon tea. We love tea time, we love having simple, hearty little cakes in the house, and we’ve been trying to get back to our roots a bit as far as our family culture is concerned by resurrecting some old recipes we used to bake all the time when we were first out here. This seed cake is one of them:

  • 12 Tb soft butter
  • 1 cup fine sugar (I’ve used Turbinado with success as well)

cream those together ’til soft and fluffy then beat in..

  • 3 eggs

when all is evenly mixed. Add the dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Tb caraway seeds

and if you have it, add a splash of cream or a big scoop (up to 1/4 cup) of plain yogurt.

This cake bakes well in a loaf pan at about 350 for almost an hour. And it pairs so well with the smokey, Russian teas.

We’ll be eating it at tea today, and possibly having another slice late at night, when the kids are in bed and I’ve got the lamps lit and my drafted Rule on the table. Because it’s unlikely I’ll finish it before dark today. Not with schoolwork to manage, herbs to transplant, and order to restore to the souls of my children.

I’ll be making lemon balm – lavender-yarrow tea for them this afternoon, to help with the restoration of order in their souls. Our yard used to be over-run with lemon balm, and it’s such a lovely, soothing herb. Gentle and kind and delicious too! You can make it into sun-tea with honey in the summer then freeze the tea into popcicles for an amazing summer treat, or steep it in honey to help with insomnia. Like lavender and yarrow it helps calm the imagination too and gives adults and kids a like a sense of contentment and peace.

I think the latter is what my kids need most right now. After a couple weeks of indulgence and excitement, they need to enjoy quiet and structure again. So I’ll being gathering herbs with them before tea to welcome contentment again.

And this weekend, we’ll be staying home as much as possible to reclaim the order of our daily life!

What do you do to reclaim your homelife when things get too busy, or after a holiday season?

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