on citrus cakes and tea and how things come to be

hi, hello!
how are you?
happy middle of the week.
hooray, that.


it’s rained here the last while.
but the sun shines today.
that familiar feel of spring floats in the air.

i’m all about anticipation these days.
the anticipation of spring.
of dinners taken outside,
of strands of twinkly lights.

like the feeling
just before the spinning wheels
of your aircraft connect with 
the dark and worn of the ground.
those few seconds you hover there,
suspended and waiting.

i love those moments.
the anticipation of them.
anticipation of landing.
and anticipation of a season about to change.

it’s those days

the ones just before spring, that i find myself 
all but absorbed, in the season before.
momentarily stuck in the last legs of winter.

and it’s then that i bake with citrus more,
and i drink, so many cups of tea.
 i fiddle with flour and sugar
and rinds of pithy fruits.
i bake lemon loaves
and pound cakes
and citrus-scented puddings.

the last bits of winter baking,
 before the tart curds of spring. 

it’s more than the change of season though.
my fondness for citrus grew someplace else.

perhaps you remember
a man i told you of once before.
the one who taught my father
to prune a tree.

well, he taught me too.
he taught me, to listen.
oh and to always add, an extra lemon.

he was right on both counts.
when all else fails, listen.
and every other time, just add more lemon.

i smirk, saying that to you now,
 becasue, he really believed it so.
and i love him for that.

i remember the
wooden of his pick-up truck,
filled with that days market goods.

cardboard boxes brimming.

 lemons and grapefruits and oranges.

the sounds of its tires
bouncing down our gravel drive.
as clear today,
as when i was ten.

he’d take water from our well,
and he’d chat with my father outside.
and then, he’d come in for tea and a game.
and for my favorite bit, 
the bit where,

we’d trade stories over cake.

he’d tell us of the bees he kept.
or of his days in asia.
he’d tell us of
the cold mornings in saskatchewan.
or the days, as boys when they collected
mushrooms for pocket change.
he’d tell us of
his friends lost at war.
he’d teach us their history,
we’d learn about life.

and it’s becasue of him
that today and any old day at all
i’m happy to trade cake 
for a story.

this weekend,
i baked vanilla sponge.
i cooked yuzu custard,
and i whipped eggs for icing.
and you know what else,
i ate three pieces in honour of him.

happy almost spring friends.
hope your day is grand.

xox, n.


love. yup, i said that.
a gentleman’s tie.
nail polish.
a print.
 sandals. i think they’d wear well.
(i’m imagining them in 5 years)
chairs and light. love.
the grey brooch.

[and in hg news]
next update, march 21, 5pm est.
including these cutters and oh, these too.
and yes, the pretty pedestals.


posted on March 17, 2010 by Nikole


  1. Marthe says:

    I love your posts.


  2. The Yellow Door Paperie says:

    This makes me happy, add more lemon, listening. these two things would make even the dullest life brighter.

  3. shanna murray says:

    This post of yours is one of my favorites. Thanks for the smile, and the push I needed to take Ollie out into the sunshine for a walk. xo

  4. Little Nutbrown Hare says:

    Love your story, thanks for sharing. The cakes look beautiful.

  5. tara says:

    So right. On all accounts. I have a bit of a crush on the men in your life. They're pretty special.

  6. kenzie says:

    thanks for your beautiful images and words. Your cakes are indescribably beautiful. I definitely will add another lemon.

  7. Suz says:

    Thanks for sharing.

    Remember to smell too! I pull in our drive eve, as I was walking to the house I could smell the soil/ dirt. I am done with winter. So ready for the sunshine and warmth.



  8. ♥ Stevi says:

    Nikole would you please please please pretty please post your cake frosting recipe? Thank you!

  9. Char says:

    your blogs always make me happy.

  10. daysofserendipity says:

    You weave such lovely stories. I would like to hop into your world – and have a lemon.

  11. braiseandbutter says:

    reading a post of yours at the end of a long, stressful day relaxes and calms me. absolute poetry, and loving all the citrus dessert ideas.

  12. jbrain says:

    Thank you for the spring mood! ^_^

  13. Annika says:

    This just made me smile and dream of a piece of your cakes! Thanks!

  14. Italian Country Cooking says:

    Brilliant as usual. Stories. Why am I so fascinated by stories. Telling them and listening to them. To me life is simply about collecting stories.

    I want to hear more. I want to see the image of the story dancing through my head and feel it in my heart.

  15. Molly says:

    "if all else fails, listen. and if that fails, add lemon." i think this may be my favorite bit of wisdom, ever. better than the golden rule, possibly. more golden, anyway. thank you, to him, and to you, for sharing it.


  16. jonahliza says:

    your photographs are always so inspiring <3 thanks for letting us in a bit <3hearts

  17. Mandy says:

    Great post, as always !!!

  18. Fee-AMore says:

    Heh, love that 46! And the last yums.

  19. Cookie Cutter says:

    The going of one season and the coming of another really reinforces the sense of time passing, doesn't it? And it evokes so much thoughts. Love your words and your images.

  20. Yishey says:

    Your cake inspired the one I baked for my son's first birthday. Thanks for sharing!

  21. beauty comma says:

    dear nikole, thanks for writing posts that bring a little tear to my eye to accompany the smile… thanks also for the link to lorena arance, which i ended up blogging on sunday!

  22. Bridget says:

    lovely post, lovely cakes, lovely pedestals.

  23. read me... says:

    sometimes I dream about your wonderful, beautiful creations… ooh, just to be able to have a slice!