The picnic that never was ..

Despite the fine weather of late in Melbourne, the one day that the Commoner crew organized a picnic turned to absolute grey poo and alas it didn’t happen – next time, we’ll just have one on my floor I think!

Soaking dill for roast chicken, dill and aioli baguettes

Newly acquired (Cowes op shop) ‘picnic for two’ wicker basket with leather straps

My best cake:

Mandarin, almond and polenta cake


4 mandarins

2 cups of almond meal

250g softened unsalted butter

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup caster sugar

3 eggs

1 cup polenta

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

icing sugar to dust


– Cover the mandarins with cold water in a saucepan – bring to the boil, drain and cool – repeat process 4 times.

– Preheat oven at 170 degrees. Grease and line cake tin – 22cm deep round preferably.

– Once cooled, chop mandarins and collect juice whilst discarding skin, pulp and pips.

– Beat butter extract and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, add eggs, one at a time until just combined.

– Stir in polenta, baking powder, almond meal and mandarin.

– Smell – best smelling cake batter ever.

– Spread mixture in lined pan and bake for around 1 hour, checking with a skewer until cooked.

– Dust with icing once cooled!


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