Damask billows and falls softly to hug the corners of our well worn table. China in pastel hues finds its place with filigreed silver and cut glass. A freshly iced honey and lavender cake takes pride of place amidst all the splendour and I pause to drink it in.
An afternoon like any other bathed in the mundane of folding washing, windowpanes smeared with "who knows what" and tsking at the growing collection of crumbs and oddments on the timber floorboards. No visitors to be welcomed nor grand occasions to be celebrated. An everyday kind of day.
I call the babies and from down the hall I hear sock clad feet clomp their way towards me. Eyes sparkle and melodic oohs and ahhs fill the air. A tea party for us alone.
The bed still lays unmade and damp washing clings to the sides of the machine - a musty presence no doubt permeating the fibres, but for now I will drink tea with my babies. Together we will celebrate our little everyday story in all it's nothing special-ness and yet magnificence. We will avert our eyes from the grimy, the grating and the downright boring and cast them upon the multitude of little moments that we are so very blessed to experience. This is a time to laugh at silly knock-knock jokes and tousle copper locks. To hold up all that is plain and simple and beautiful in our day to day world and take our hats off to it. Time to exhale and revel in the everyday.
We made a beautiful honey and lavender cake for afternoon tea (a slight variation on a recipe from a most beloved book - Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros)
Honey and Lavender Cake
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I used rapadura)
1/2 cup honey
1 2/3 cups plain flour (I used spelt)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of finely chopped lavender leaves (the recipe called for rosemary)
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups icing sugar
100g butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Grease and line the base of a 22cm springform tin. Put the butter, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan and add I tablespoon of water. Heat gently, stirring once or twice, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Sift the flour , baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl and add the lavender. Add the honey mixture and eggs and beat until smooth.
Pour into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when you poke it into the centre. Leave it in the tin to cool completely.
To make the lemon icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the butter, lemon zest and juice and I tablespoon of water and beat until smooth. Spread over the top and side of the cake.