Swedish Pancake Cake (and the joy of getting older)

Swedish Pancake Cake

I just had a birthday.

Another year gone where I have taken breath, a breath that has been held while diving into the oceans, a breath that can hasten while riding up steep hills on a bike. A breath that can sing songs with my kids for no other reason than it feels good to sing with them. That same breath that has been granted to me, just got to blow out a candle that signified another year passed, and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

I don’t begrudge the late thirties grey hairs, I don’t shower hate on the lined page on which I write my age. I love that I am here. I could easily not be.

With my accrued numbers, I’ve played, learnt wonderful new things, talked deep into the night, eaten dishes that have delighted the taste buds, sobbed entire afternoons away, drunk deep weekend coffees in my favourite cup, had three kids that have pushed me to dizzy limits I didn’t know existed, while they’ve also exploded my heart with delirious happiness and exquisite divine love.

All of these, along with 68790 daily other things have helped create the evolving lucky layered person I am today.

Luck yes. I do feel lucky to be here as so many people who wanted to be, simply aren’t. To be able to age it’s a wonderful and curious thing. So how does it feel to be in my late 30’s?

Well at this age, choices can be contemplated and ideas are challenged, (and I love that.)

At this age I’ve got a fair idea of what I like, and what I don’t like, (which makes things a hell of a lot easier.)

At this age, I know what my body needs and what it doesn’t, (I just have to make sure that I listen.)

At this age, it feels far more confident than 28 ever did, (and hooray to that I say!)

Now I know at whatever number my age may sit, there will always be an endless supply of curiosities to discover, of thoughts to think, and of a diverse array of people to learn from. And with the time that I’m granted? Well I intend to go seek out as many of them as possible, until that simple act of getting older, well it just isn’t an option any longer.

swedish pancake cake 1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

A Swedish Pancake Cake seemed like a sensible idea to celebrate another year gone by. 

This was the first time I had made one, and I’m quietly hooked. Layered, pancakes, berries, no sugar and a second slice yes please.

Swedish Pancake Cake

What you’ll need:

your favourite pancake/crepe recipe (keep them fairly thin and then build them up)

mascarpone and cream whipped together with some vanilla and honey to sweeten

mixed berries

and some extra honey drizzled over the top

A call for kindness

candle || cityhippyfarmgirl

I had another post already for today, and yet at this particular moment, it just doesn’t seem to fit. For today’s post it seems far more fitting for thoughts and words to be directed towards others that could maybe use support in a variety of ways.

So that’s what I’m doing, pointing you in a couple of directions where things can be done, words can be read and actions can be taken. What just happened in the last few days in Paris and Beirut is deplorable and after some hand wringing and emotive words exchanged, it’s time to work out what can be done, what I can do in my context.

I can have an opinion, stay informed, remain involved in our community, be generous…and at the end of the day just remember to be kind. Here are a few others that could maybe use some of your support or kindness.


Eco Toys Detention Centre Christmas Toy Drive

“Imagine having to flee your hometown to save your own life? Or having to witness the death of loved ones in your community? Imagine having to walk for days, weeks or even months with little food, no shelter and the lingering fear of how to keep your children safe from harm? This is what thousands of refugees face every day. It’s something that we could simply not even begin to imagine but this Christmas Eco Toys is gathering hundreds of toys to deliver to refugee children arriving into Australia for Christmas and to kids in detention centres. Now imagine the smiles on the children’s faces when they are given your toys?

Eco Toys is local toy company with a difference. “All our toys have been made ethically using sustainable and quality, natural materials.” Says Director & founder Melinda Bito. There are no batteries or mass produced plastic toys in our toy store because plastic is such a huge waste as it never completely breaks down and particles end up in our beautiful oceans destroying marine life.”

One of my favourite charities. I have a huge amount of respect for these wonderful people….Donate to Medicins Sans Frontieres

Blood. Donate it if you can and if not there are plenty of other ways you can donate to the Red Cross. Someone, somewhere will always be in need. If you do decide to give blood it’s pretty easy and quick to donate a bag. (Plus you get bonus quiet time afterwards. Time to sit down, read the paper and have a few crackers ‘n cheese. That’s a win right there in my book.)

Also important when staying informed as to what’s going on in the world, choose your news sources wisely. Some alternative news sources (Australian based):

The New Matilda, The Saturday Paper, The Guardian Australia

And Edith, there will always be Edith….

Top Tips for making Beetroot Kvass

how to make beetroot kvass || cityhippyfarmgirl

Whether you are are just starting out on your fermentation journey, or have been dabbling in the delights of beneficial bacteria for awhile now, making beetroot kvass should be on your to do list. Here’s a couple of quick wonderful reasons why.

It’s Easy- Really, dead easy. Doesn’t require any crucial measuring of ingredients and is incredibly satisfying seeing the fermentation process begin within a relatively short space of time.

Your Liver- Will thank you, yes it will. Lots of info on what it does can be found here.

Probiotics are your friend- That’s good bacteria in a nutshell. You want your gut full of this stuff, full of a wonderful diverse array of different bacteria and enzymes. (Anything naturally fermented helps with this.)

seasonal beetroot || cityhippyfarmgirl

Now importantly how does it taste?

If you are already accustomed to the earthy tones of raw beetroot in fresh juices, this stuff won’t be pulling any surprises. Seeing as though I’m a relative newcomer to actually liking beetroot in it’s (ahem) uncanned state, to me it tastes like…licking dirt.

Being an avid fan of anything fermented though, I shall persist and my liver will thank me for it. (Or it had better, there has to be some perks of drinking this garden tasting juice.*)

Making Beetroot Kvass || cityhippyfarmgirl

Beetroot Kvass

3 medium sized beetroot

1.5 litres cool boiled water

2 pinches of salt

Peel the skin off your beetroot and dice them up, approximately 1cm squares, if they are 2cm it wouldn’t be a tragedy however.

Pop the beetroot in a large clean glass jar, something with a wide mouth. You need the air yeasts to get to the kvass, so a large wide mouth jar is great to use. Add your salt and water, give it a little swish around to make sure the salt is dissolved and cover with a square of muslin (or paper towel) and a rubber band. Now to get things cracking a little earlier, I did add about 1/4 cup of sauerkraut juice to kick-start things a little, you could also add whey (as per Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions) or nothing and just be dependent on the air yeasts that will get things fermenting.

Have a good smell of it before you put the muslin on. Your nose, eyes and taste buds are the key to great fermenting. Smell the changes as they take place, see them and lastly give it a taste test. Let those three things guide you.

I started seeing bubbles with 24 hours surprisingly, however I let it ferment for a further few days. The length of time is going to depend on the season and how warm it is in your kitchen.


If you are new to fermenting I highly reccommend Sandor Katz’s book The Art of Fermentation it’s easy to follow and really is a ‘forever’ book that you’ll keep dipping into dependent on what you’re interested in at the time.

* You can add ginger lemon rind etc as a second ferment to tweak the flavour a bit.


Unshackling Ideas and the Art of Daydreaming

duck feet boots || cityhippyfarmgirlcityhippyfarmgirl.com

Daydreaming, completely underrated.

A few weeks back I did a post with a link to the Susan Cain TEDx talk on The Power of Introverts. There were lots of parts of the talk that had my head nodding but there were four words in particular that stuck in my brain….”the transcendence of solitude“. Now I’ve often thought this, often talked about this, often simply just wished for it, but I’d never quite described it like that.

Listening to those four little words in her 20 minute speech?

She had nailed it.

Not always does solitude and transcendence go hand in hand, actually in my experience it’s not often at all, but then again it’s not particularly often in this stage of my life do I get to be alone. But when it’s there, when it happens…

It’s exquisite.

That’s when ideas flourish, when creativity sparks, and that’s when problems get turned on their head. If our brains are constantly being switched on and running at even a low-level concentrating point (facebook I’m looking at you), you don’t get that. You won’t get that, (or if you do I’d love to hear from you.)

In my view it’s unlikely that scrolling through your FB feed you’ll suddenly exclaim, I’ve got an idea!!! Or be inclined to go create something incredible. While I’m not squashing the merits of FB, I do think we need those blank spaces to be able to get more out of life, to do more we need the “trancendence of solitude”, and that’s especially important for our kids. We need for them to know what to do in those pauses.

To be able to let your mind wander.

To let your subconscious run free.

To let your ideas…



If truth be told, sometimes it gets exhausting being inside my head. There’s a lot to be thought in there. Juggling, like with 10 balls in the air kind of thing.

Sometimes it’s a beautiful mix of shades, words, colours, and wonderment.

Other times it’s just down right bloody messy. Doing posts like this is good for me though, it slows things down, words that aren’t in a hurry, pictures that have no purpose other than them being a moment…

a tiny moment in a swirling mind, that paused for a second, and I’m loving that.

little bird sings || cityhippyfarmgirl

the smallest of small birds singing at sunrise, singing with all it’s little heart


What are you loving at the moment?

[“Often life’s pleasures pass us by simply because we don’t take a moment to focus on them… Make a point of noticing everyday something that uplifts your spirit or tickles your heart… Stop to breathe in the joy of this moment and then tell someone about it. Share your joy and revel in it. When your joy is savoured, and then shared, it is magnified…” ROBIN GRILLE]

A tiny garden unfurls

nasturtium || cityhippyfarmgirl

It being October and all, it seems Spring has thrown a little of it’s extra super growing power into my tiny potted garden.

At night when we sleep, everything seems to power on ahead. Green-berries become blue, nasturtiums run rampant, cumquats multiple, and volunteer tomato plants declare any unclaimed space their own.

For a tiny garden that comes from a few plastic and ceramic pots in a shaded concrete courtyard, well, I’m absolutely delighted to watch the unfurling.

What are you growing at the moment?

permaculture in pots || cityhippyfarmgirl

mint || cityhippyfarmgirlblueberries || cityhippyfarmgirl

It being October also means, the nation wide Garage Sale Trail is coming up this weekend. An easy way to sell on a few things you don’t need anymore, get to know your neighbours, make stronger ties in your community and perhaps even schnaffle a few bargains for your self.

The Garage Sale Trail is on this Saturday 24th October.