Sunday, 12 July 2020

Carrot Oat Slice and random moments

It was over a month ago I baked this carrot oat slice and haven't baked much since.  Back then, there was a feeling that as we were starting to get out of lockdown, it was uphill all the way.  The diagnoses has reduced to single figures and days with no new cases.  Everyone was hopeful back then.  Sadly life can change quickly these days.  One week of alarmingly rising numbers is all it takes to catapult us back into lockdown.  So I am writing this with a more sombre tone than I expected when I baked the slice.

The slice was made after work when I felt the need to bake but wanted to keep it healthy.  It was made to use what I had in the house.  I have not been using enough carrots or oats or nuts and dried fruit.  I had leftover tinned peaches which seemed as good as applesauce.  I found it quite zen to be chapping up the ingredients (I even chopped the rolled oats to make them into porridge oats) while I watched the third season of Killing Eve.  It is a show I have a love-hate relationship with.  Jodie Comer is fascinating to watching but also horrifying.

It might sound a bit odd to say it, but I loved the slice because it was satisfying rather than amazingly moreish.  It was the sort of slice that I could have for breakfast and snacks and feel better for it.  Which is what I needed after a couple of months of lockdown.  I keep telling myself it is ok that we are going back into lockdown but I do I miss the socialising and being more active when we could get out of the house. 

Then today on Insiders (current affairs tv show) we were told it could be October until we are getting out properly again.  IF the numbers ease.  On Friday, Victoria had 288 diagnoses which is a far more than any daily diagnoses before our first lockdown.  Makes me wonder how many lockdowns there will be.  Meanwhile we have ordered washable masks and are have just heard that kids are back to remote school learning again.  We have proven we can cope.  It helps that we have seen family and friends, and Sylvia's teacher was happy with her remote learning last term.  But it is still a long slog. 

There is a part of me that wants to scream about what I still haven't done: I haven't had a swim for so long, I couldn't book to go to the zoo because I lost my membership number and you don't just walk in any more, I have friends I wanted to catch up with and I missed going to the cinema.  I want to eat out and ride my bike to work and plan travel.  We just need to breathe and know that it could be a lot worse!

Meanwhile as I haven't had much time or energy to post here lately, I am sharing a few random moments:
  • I am brewing my third batch of kombucha.  It is still a mystery to me.  Sylvia thought my last batch had a bitter after taste.  I want it more fizzy.  Perhaps this is why when I picked up my computer to find my kombucha recipe I got distracted and did my tax return instead.  Tax this year wasn't simple with al the working from home time I had to sort out.
  • It seems everyone has developed a new skill in lockdown.  I dreamed of taking up piano again and travelling to the UK this year, but my achievement is darning.  I should not diminish it so.  I have long wanted to know how to darn so I was actually excited to learn how from a video posted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  I am pleased to have rescued a few favourite jumpers.  Sadly some of them are now only fit for lockdown and not wearing out.  I never said I was an expert!
  • The weekend before lockdown I was lucky enough to have dinner with my family at the Fyansford Hotel in Geelong.  It was great to see my family there (who are luckily now outside the lockdown area.)  We were celebrating my niece's and nephew's birthdays.  As you can see above, we had sparklers not candles on the cake!  I had  soup with some nachos on the side that I was told were starters but they would have served a couple for dinner.
  • It was nice that my neighbours shared some cake they baked in the first lockdown.  A couple of weeks back one of these gifted me some plain flour, caster sugar and icing sugar because although she had made a really good sponge cake (especially considering she had not baked a cake before) she decided she would not be baking another cake.  When we heard we were going back to lockdown, I offered her to take back the ingredients but she said she would buy a packet mix if she baked again. 
  • During lockdown, the library gave us an extended due date for our books.  Last month as the library started to open they were due.  When I gathered our library books to take back, I included the library book that E had given me to read.  When I told him how helpful I had been, he was not so happy because it was actually a decommissioned book he had bought from the library.  Oops!

There are small differences with this lockdown.  Last time it was across the country but this one is just for our Melbourne metropolitan area and an adjoining local government area.  My colleagues who need to be in at work to get on with their projects were locked out of work last time but we have now had permissions sorted for those who have to be there - much to their relief.  Even at home, I have set myself up better than I was at the start of the last lockdown.  And the supermarkets are much better stocked.  I feel happy to see piles of toilet paper and flour and know I can buy it when I need it rather than in some dog-eat-dog act of desperation.  But it is harder to plan ahead knowing that one lockdown was not enough and even two lockdowns might not be all.  I hope there will be more healthy baking ahead and I hope everyone will be careful and stay safe!

More healthy slices on Green Gourmet Giraffe:

Carrot Oat Slice
Adapted from Wee Little Vegans
Makes 36

Wet ingredients:
2 tbsp ground flax seed
4 tbsp water
2-4 carrots, finely grated about 1 cup packed
1/2 cup mashed peaches - or banana
1/4 cup maple syrup

Dry ingredients:
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder

Optional add-ins:
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup prunes, chopped

Preheat oven to 180 C.  Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.  Soak flax seeds in the water and set aside.  Put together wet ingredients and then stir in flax seeds.  In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients.  Pour in wet ingredients and mix gently, then mix in optional add-ins.  Pour into prepared tin (it is quite a wet mixture) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool and cat into 36 squares, or to sizes you desire.

On the stereo:
The Secret History: The Best of Divine Comedy


  1. Which is worse: to be unlocked and then locked down again (you), or to keep being locked in (us)? The world is full of unpleasant alternatives with no end in sight. I try to live only in the present moment. Doesn't work.

    Your carrot-oat squares look good.

    be well... mae at

  2. Deleted the first comment due poor spelling! i am sorry that you at a sombre place at the moment. I saw on the British news a few days ago that lockdown had been implemented again in your area due to the increase in cases, its happened in some parts of the UK too. I haven't made my weekly flapjacks, but have decided against them tomorrow as i am now planning to make your carrot oat slice with banana (as i do not have peaches) and nuts and dried fruit and seeds (as i don't have walnuts). I haven't watched season 3 of Killing Eve, don't think i will. Like you, i miss 'the socialising and being more active' by doing ordinary things like going physically into work. Sending you a big virtual hug Johanna.

    1. I made your carrot oat slice and the last line of the instructions made me smile, Shadow is def. on your mind.
      'Cool and CAT into 36 squares, or to sizes you desire'.

  3. I can relate to what you're feeling! Here in the US the situation is absolutely exploding. I feel very pessimistic about the future. But yes, I am living in the moment and making good things for my family to eat. Your cat is so cute!

  4. This slice sounds really good - I’d like to make it. I had not thought of subbing mashed banana or tinned peaches for apple sauce but why not - I usually have those but never buy apple sauce. Love the photo of Shadow batting at the wool. I feel deflated this time around too.

  5. My thoughts are with you and family - I'm in Newcastle and even here people are worried about going back to lockdown. I hope you find lots of self care things to help get through this tough time. Piano sounds like a good fun activity!


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)