Sunday, January 31, 2010

This delicious cake comes from my friend, Mary Robinson. She's had this recipe and used it hundreds of times for the past fifty years.

Quick Fresh Apple Cake (Freezes well)

½ c white, ½ cup brown sugar 2C unpeeled chopped apples
½ c oil ½ C raisins
1 egg ½ C walnuts
1 ½ cups flower
1 t baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
1 t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
½ t allspice

Mix first 3 ingredients .
Add dry ingredient, fruit & nuts. Stir &
pour into 8” square pan.
Bake 350 deg for 30 – 35 mins

I’ve used this recipe for over 50 years.
It was given to me by our minister’s wife.

To send in a recipe: Send it as an attachment to an e-mail with RECIPE on the subject line.
Send it to me at:

My granddaughter, Taylor, reminded me of a chicken recipe I've had since the 1960's. It's called "Communist Chicken" or "Little Red Hen" and there's a story to explain the strange names. I'll post it in the future. In the meantime, please send in your recipes. This is a wonderful place to collect recipes that have been used over the years by families like yours.


Saturday, January 30, 2010


When I started this blog I hoped to receive lots of recipes to share with everyone who reads my blog. Very few so far. My blog itself is copyrighted but the recipes are yours to copy and enjoy. As promised at the beginning here is my sister's CHOCOLATE CAKE recipe. It dates back to the early 1960's when I ask Helen Edna for it.


1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Cocoa (the real thing! I use Fry's Cocoa)
1/2 cup Boiling water
Boil these three ingredients together until smooth and set aside to cool

1/2 cup Shortening or Butter (I prefer butter for the delicious flavour)
1 1/2 cups flour ( I used Cake flour)*
2 tsp. Baking Powder*
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda*
1/2 tsp. salt*

*Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together
1 Tsp pure Vanilla
1 cup Brown sugar firmly packed
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
3/4 cup Sour Milk (I squeezed some lemon juice into the milk to make it sour!)

Cream the shortening, add vanilla, the brown sugar and egg yolks. Mix well!
Add the cocoa mix. Add the flour alternately with the milk. Whip the two egg whites to soft peaks and add with the last of the flour.

Bake in a 8"x8" greased pan at 350 deg. F for about 50 minutes or until done.

Enjoy my sister's recipe. Let me know how it turns out.
I'd love to hear from you who read my blog. I want lots and lots of recipes! I have many I could add but this is for YOU not me.


Thursday, January 28, 2010


My niece, Allison, sent me this recipe. It's one of her mother's recipes. Allison is Helen Edna's daughter. The recipe dates back to the 1970's. Thanks for sending it Allison.

Easy Apricot Chews

½ cup of finely cut up dried apricots
½ cup raisins
1/3 cup of water

1) in a large heavy pot simmer the above ingredients until the water is absorbed
2) add 1 cup of white sugar
3) slightly beat 2 eggs and add
4) mix 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp. of baking powder + ¼ tsp. of baking soda and add
5) add 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
6) add ½ cup of crushed pineapple
7) add ½ cup of chopped nuts ( optional – I didn’t use this time but pecans or walnuts work well)

Mix all together in the pot. Have a 9 x 9 prepared pan ready for the mixture.
Bake at 350 f for 35/40 minutes.

This is a really easy recipe except for chopping the apricots but watch the top of the pan in the last 5 minutes or so as they are suddenly done very quickly and you don’t want the top to brown too much.

Note: To my readers. The recipes are not copyrighted but my blog is. Please copy the recipes and enjoy them. There are more on the way.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I am the keeper of my sister's recipe for Chocolate Cake. Helen Edna gave it to me when my children were in their early teens many moons ago. I copied it on a file card and stuck it in one of my untidy recipe note books. I am blessed that my untidy recipe books hold small treasures from years gone by.

The file card with the chocolate cake recipe is spotted with chocolate, egg and cake batter. Almost good enough to eat! As I searched my note books for the missing file card I came across recipes from friends long gone with their names and the cities we lived in. It was like going back in time when I was years younger with a growing family.

I wondered if other recipe collectors like me have recipes they will share. My sister's chocolate cake recipe has never failed me. Please join me in A STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE and I will share my cake recipe with you.

I feel as if I'm following in the steps of "Julia and Julie," but strolling down memory lane is much easier than tackling The Art of French Cooking. My tattered and spotted collection of recipes make me feel as if I'm sitting in my kitchen with friends and reminds me of joyful moments in the past.

If you wish to take part, please leave a comment and jump on over to my web site for my email address. Attach your recipe in Word format and please make sure there are no viruses lurking on your computer or the cake might fail!

To encourage participation, I'll send a copy of my historical romance, A Very Difficult Man, to the person who sends in the fifth recipe that arrives in my mail. Thanks for coming by.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Tomorrow I am detouring away from the Slow Lane to, A STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE.

With the success of the movie, Julia and Julie, cookbooks and cooking have taken on a new life. I'm going to join the parade with a new blog. Not about baking, frying, steaming and roasting - about remembering.

And to keep my writing to the fore front, here is the cover of my time travel romance, Ring Around The Moon. My hero travels from two hundred years ago to the present time in Cornwall. When he meets my heroine and they fall in love, she
has to figure out who to find documentation for him. He has no passport, driver's licence, a health card or all the other necessary pieces of paper to live legally in present day England.

He doesn't have a twenty-first century identity. As the author I had to think through how to make my hero legal. I wakened in the night and the answer came to me. Writing is a creative endeavour involving both sides of the brain. The right side came up with the answer. For an excerpt go to my web site:

Thanks for dropping by. Make my day. Leave a comment.


Friday, January 22, 2010


Life in the slow lane seems to be winding down and falling off my blog. It's the weather here in Victoria. Mild sunny days. The sea and sky are ever changing. Views of the Olympic Mountains on the other side of the strait are gorgeous. People are walking on the path by the sea with their dogs, children, friends and keeping an eye on an elderly relatives pushing their walkers.

It's enough to take my breath away and lure me away from my writing. That's my excuse.

In the meantime I continue to write my memories. I don't call them "Memoirs." To me, that means a more structured and chronological precise type of writing. Mine slips into a rather gossipy mode at times - but what the hell, I'm writing them and can do anything I like. My Memories are going to my immediate family. I am the last living member of my family whose memories go back to the thirties.

However, I also want to remind anyone who clicks on to my blog deliberately or in error, if you enjoy a rather mysterious contemporary romance, try my book, Isabelle's Diary. It takes place in and around Llandrindod Wells in Wales and Toronto. If Isabelle's Diary intrigues you, buy the sequel. It's the story of the girl who wrote the diary. It's easy to remember the name, Isabelle's Story.
Here are the covers of both books. Both have received excellent reviews. Go on over to my web site, for excerpts and reviews.
Thanks for dropping by.



Friday, January 15, 2010


I thought about writing about the tragedy unfolding in Haiti and decided it was time to leave the horror for the next hour or two.

My writing muse is sitting on my shoulder telling me to get on with it. To get on with my story about three sisters, ranging in age from mid fifties to late sixties, who decide to try living together in the old family home. Rose, Daisy and Lily - three different personalities. Will they or won't they be successful? It depends on how they cope with the sudden arrival of a complete stranger who disrupts their lives and leads them into danger.

Yes, there will be a love story. The sisters' courage will be tested. And during it all, Daisy will find time to work on the afghan she's knitting for the church bazaar. This is the first book in a series. The second book, The Cruise Ship murder, is unfolding inside my head.

Three sisters like three Miss Marples, Agatha Christie's wonderful sleuth. I dream of being the next Agatha Christie.

Visit my web site, to read excerpts from my five romance novels published by Cerridwen Press. Here's the cover of Isabelle's Diary, a contemporary romance. I loved writing this story and it's companion, Isabelle's Story.

Thanks for dropping by.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Vancouver is hosting the Winter Olympics! It all starts on February 12. I think NBC will carry some of the events but the best coverage is on Canadian CTV. If you live close to the border you can pick up the signal.

Canada is expecting medals in long track and short track speed skating. Like cross country skiing events it's not wildly thrilling to watch.

My great niece, Jennifer Oakes, entered an essay with a sporting theme in a contest sponsored by The Globe and Mail, a major Canadian newspaper. Jennifer tied for first prize and won a laptop, an all expenses trip to the Olympics with her husband and tickets for various events.She has to send reports to the newspaper while she's at the games.

A new blog idea is dancing around my head. Like a good recipe it has to cook a while until it feels right and tastes right, like making jelly, it has to set or it will fall apart. Do any of you make jam or jelly? Do any of you knit, crochet or spin?

Thanks for dropping by


Monday, January 4, 2010


Good Grief! What next? My historical romance, A Very Difficult man, has been pirated and copies given away free by five pirate sites I know of. A site in India has pirated my book and is selling it! Of course, I get no royalties.

I report the pirate sites I discover and notify my publisher. The publisher has real legal clout and sends Cease and Desist Orders to the pirate sites. So they remove my book but within weeks it will be back again.

It's bare faced theft. Ethical behaviour has disappeared from the Internet world. Stealing my work that I spent months researching and writing is immoral. It's cheating and I am helpless to stop it.

The music business has been through this for years and years. Their losses have been in the millions of dollars.

It's enough to make me roll up my keyboard, turn off my monitor and go find something else to do. But what?

LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable and then a black thought clouds my horizon. With the e-readers on the market, the Kindle, the Sony and the Nook, more and more e-books will be stolen and downloaded to the new devices.

Share my pain! Leave a comment. Soothe me.