Summer delivers an abundance of wonderful moments. One such a moment is enjoying a cake or tart with tea late afternoon. Outside, under the walnut tree. There was a time that I baked a cake or tart every Friday afternoon for the weekend. Everybody was very impressed with this tradition, believing it would never end, but as the girls grew older and finally left home, so did the cake and tarts on Friday leave too. A pity. Change isn’t always a good thing, I say. Now everybody has to wait for a whim on my side to have a cake on Friday. Yesterday was a whim day. Unfortunately I’m alone at home and me alone with cake is bad news for the hips. So I called a friend this morning. “Come pick up a whim cake“, I said… “You may never get this lucky again“..


  • Use freshly squeezed orange juice instead of lemon juice.
  • Add some grated lemon/orange rind to the mixture.
  • Top with some icing sugar of your choice, or serve without. I prefer without, since icing sugar makes it too sweet for me.
  • Decorate with fresh edible flowers.
  • The cake is even more flavorful the next day.
  • Use for dessert: break into pieces and serve, topped with strawberries, whipped cream and a berry coulis, OR serve with warm caramelized peaches and crème frâiche.

We all have stories to tell. Our own stories. The ones we are living each day. Stories with all the seasonings that make for a good read. It has sadness and happiness,  heroes and villains.  It has drama and suspense and it unfolds into unforeseen endings. We write “The end”, sign our name and start a new story.

We write on instinct, improvise while waiting for life to dictate the next chapter,  to channel our decisions and choices. Sometimes we plan ahead and witness  as it changes and adapts on the page, perhaps  taking a direction better than we originally envisioned. Sometimes writers’ block gets in the way – we stop and get trapped in I- don’t- know- how-to-live. Those are the times we need to let go and allow life to formulate its own phrases.  And every so often we get mixed up and confused with which story we are living and the past and future become the present.

Our life manuscripts are raw, unedited, original. Often unfinished,  with no ending. In a time where authors don’t write “The End”  anymore, the door is always open to the sequel.  We chew over our own lives. We brood over the last page which leaves only questions and an uncertainty about where the story is heading…can it continue to an end which all mankind is looking for; happiness….  contentment…a reassurance that all is well…that all will be well with our lives tomorrow…?

And so we continue writing because we exist. In search of recognition. Because we want to live a bestseller. And our bookshelves become filled with rows and rows of drafts and manuscripts, fresh starts and sequels…completed works; our stories…and somewhere in one of them will be an ending that assures us that all will be well. It will be our bestseller.

…the end..

16 thoughts on “Lemon cake and writing our stories.

  1. A beautiful post Ronell, and a gorgeous-looking cake! Love the bottle of ink next to the typewriter, what colour is it? Just bought myself to bottled of Rohrer & Klinger fountain pen ink on-line – green and red. Can’t wait for one of my fountain pens to be empty so I can try out one of the new colours! And are those Moleskines heaped up next to the typewriter?

    Happy writing!


  2. Oh, I so understand the need to write…to collect stories. I haven’t seen a typewriter like that since my late husband had an old Royal!

    And then there’s that cake….and the fact that I’ve got people who are depositing lemons on my desk – the overflow from their trees. Oh yummmm….


  3. Lovely cake and photos–we had an old timey typewriter just like theone you have. An oldie and goodie. Have a great week and thanks for sharing.


  4. Dear Ronell

    How refreshing it was to see your “whim” Lemon Cake tonight…it looks delicious and I am inspired to bake it for my family this coming week-end. Your photographs are beautiful as always…..I love the pink rose and silver leaf on the book…it is lovely! You have such a wonderful writing talent…I enjoyed reading your blog and have gained some energy now to go and clean up dinner plates etc. in the kitchen………


  5. Thank you Ronel for reminding us about the special things in life. Why do we stop baking when the kids leave home? Find a friend and continue to enjoy the conversation and the new story.
    Your gift to us is to remind us of these things.
    Thank you.


  6. ek onthou jou -ingewing -van -die -oomblik-gebak…ek onthou ook kardoesies vol suurlemoene,’n mooi teekoppie,’n verassings piekniekmandjie voor die deur gelaat…, ek weet hoe verras jou vriendin moes wees oor die bederf van ‘n suurlemoenkoek!!
    dankie vir al die lekker onthou en stories…


  7. Thank you for the lovely comments everybody!
    Maree…it is sepia ink fro Couleur Surfine. I luse it for drawing but it is also beautiful for calligraphy. And yes…I don’t like the moleskine for drawing/watercolor, but they are the only books I use for writing. And in your eamil you asked if this is metaphorically…and yes it is…about all of us living our lifestory from day to day.


  8. Thanks for sharing with us this wonderful post. You truly write beautifully. That is also a nice picture of a lemon cake. It looks very yummy. According to my friend who works for a coffee machine makers this cake would pair up beautifully with a cup of hot espresso. Kudos!


  9. A lovely & georgous lemon cake, my sweet Ronelle!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,…a lovely post too!

    many greets from sunny Brussels!


  10. I love every word, every image, every memory, and oh la la, the lemon cake, which I PROMISE to bake. I have two lemon trees loaded with ripe ones. I am picking them to take to Maine because there they are 2.00 each and sometimes more. None taste better than the ones I grow.

    Thank you for being you Ronelle,



  11. Hi, I love your site!!! Love your stories! And this lemon cake made my mouth literally water. But when I try to convert your measurements to American measurements, they don’t seem right. Can you change the measurements on them?


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