A cup of tea and a slice of Lady Cynthia cake

Cynthia Reyes:

It’s apple harvest time. Which means apple pie time. And apple jelly, apple butter, apple crepes, and this wonderful apple cake. Thanks to Marilyn at Simply Splendid Victorian Afternoon Teas for the following autumn recipe. It’s been enjoyed by many over the past year.

And what a privilege to have a cake named for me.


Originally posted on Simply Splendid Victorian Afternoon Teas & Events:

The apple crop is bountiful this autumn.

Green grocers, famers markets and supermarkets are awash in local apple displays.
This situation calls for afternoon tea with an apple. We did just that. Yesterday.

agoodhome_cynthiareyesToday we are far more adventuresome with apples. After a quick consultation with broadcaster, author and fellow blogger Cynthia Reyes about apples and how to cook, can and consume them, we have decided to adapt one of Cynthia’s recipes for an apple cake. 

You will recall from earlier bogs that Cynthia is the author of A Good Home, a very good home indeed which boast a couple of heritage apple trees.

As we’ve toyed considerably with the recipe, we have re-christened it Lady Cynthia Cake.

Lady Cynthia cake w trimmings

200 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup cooking molasses (treacle)
2 large eggs
350 grams self-raising flour (or regular four plus one tablespoon baking powder)
100 gram rolled oats

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Filed under A Good Home

Update From The Home Front

Two things to know:

Thing 1: My husband takes excellent care of his health. A former 400-metre hurdles champion, he cross-country skis each winter, is a dedicated long-distance cyclist and follows a balanced diet.

Thing 2: He hates going to hospitals.


He’d collapsed while doing yard work. Could hardly breathe.

via creativefieldrecording.com

via creativefieldrecording.com

On the way to Emergency, my good man declared pessimistically: “No-one ever emerges from Emerg!”

Incredulous, I replied: “Most people DO emerge just fine!”

In reply, he gave me instructions for his funeral.

“NO open casket! NO long speeches!”

“And NO talking about death!” I said.

I patted his hand and prayed.


Blog Photo - TWN Nurses

From the moment we arrived in Emergency to the moment my beloved left the hospital, he received the kind of care one prays for. The hospital staff impressed us.  All, especially the nurses, were kind.

His specialist, Dr. Herbie Ho Ping Kong, showed up often to check on him and thank the staff. It’s no wonder this man, author of bestseller The Art of Medicine, is a legend in medical circles.

Blog Photo - TWN Dr HPK and Patient

All the doctors, particularly Nadine Abdullah and Ezra Hahn, were great.

One morning, Dr. Abdullah and a group of doctors visited my husband’s hospital room and…. found him lying on the floor. On closer inspection, he seemed alive — and exercising.  They sent him back to bed, reminding him that he was seriously ill. (I understand this tale has since made the rounds at the hospital.)

Blog Photo - TWN Hospital Bed

“You did WHAT?” I asked him shortly after. “You’re at death’s door and you’re doing the plank?”


Our older daughter and her husband were in Asia, celebrating a special wedding anniversary.

“Don’t tell them!” her father pleaded. “It will ruin their vacation.”

I understood. But younger daughter said they’d want to know, and she was right.


Blog Photo - TWN Chair Bed

Every night, I lay on a chair-that-turns-into-a-bed.

Awake, watching him breathe.

At first, the chair-contraption wouldn’t recline. Since only one of my arms works well, a nurse assisted.

“I’ll help!” said a voice from the bed. The nurse thanked him politely and wisely ignored him.


Blog Photo - TWN Dr Ezra Hahn

Comic relief: Two of our close friends – a well known couple on the Canadian arts scene — greeted Dr. Hahn warmly: “Got any good drugs to share, Ezra?”

Luckily, I wasn’t there to hear it. And luckily, Dr. Hahn has a sense of humour.


Blog Photo - TWN Hands and Laptop

My good man requested his laptop.  Younger daughter and I refused, then gave in, warning: “Don’t look at work email!”

He obeyed.

We think.


“Goodbye, and thanks for everything”, he told the nurses.

He meant it.

Blog Photo - TWH Nurses2

We returned home, thankful.

He was improving but exhausted from the drive.

“Time to rest,” I said.

He complained  – half-heartedly – about my bossiness.

“Probably the only time I’ll get to do it,” I smiled.

He rolled his eyes and smiled back.


Blog Photo - TWN Post Flowers

Family and friends sent food, prayers, flowers and good wishes.

The food helped sustain our bodies. The prayers, flowers and good wishes from everyone – from church-members at St. Thomas’ Anglican to blogger friends around the world – helped sustain our spirits.

He’s still improving. But I’m still being bossy.


 Dedicated to the staff of Toronto Western Hospital.

And to everyone who supported us at this challenging time.


Filed under A Good Home, Faith, Family, FEar, Good wishes, Healthcare in Canada, Hospital, Illness, Life Challenges, Nurses, Prayers, Recovery, Toronto Western Hospital