Tea and Cake under the Trees – What’s on your Plate?

Salad or Cake?

What would you prefer?

I had a lovely salad recipe I often make during summer to share with you this month. I thought it was a special only I knew about recipe, but when I went searching, apparently it’s everywhere! It includes baby spinach, feta cheese, chorizo, beetroot wedges and roasted pumpkin and it really is delicious – just do a search!

So I changed tack for this post (at the last minute of course) and that’s why we’re having tea and cake under the trees instead 🙂

Welcome to another edition of What’s on your Plate #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge

A birthday gathering for the old boy

The Mathematician on his 65th birthday
The Mathematician on his 65th birthday

As it was the Mathematician’s birthday on the weekend, I arranged a few friends to join us for tea and cake under the trees in the backyard. But first we did a 30km (return) bike ride to a cafe for a yummy snack – as you do!

We had about a dozen friends come over for an informal gathering (outside) in the garden.

garden party under the trees
the garden party was held under these trees

Apart from offering tea and cake what else did I provide?

  • Camembert cheese and water crackers
  • Beetroot dip
  • Carrot and celery sticks
  • Pepper cheese and biscuits
  • Fruit platter – watermelon, grapes, apricots
  • Vege chips – lime and chilli
  • Honey soy flavoured chips
  • Chocolate covered blueberries and raspberries

All washed down with copious cups of tea or bubbles. The Mathematician is known for his love of tea so that’s why we had a Tea Party!

fruit platter
fruit platter

We didn’t let the weather dampen our spirits

As we finished our bike ride just after lunch, the sky became stormy and thunder growled in the hills around us. There was some light rain but it didn’t bother us too much. By the time everyone turned up at our place mid-afternoon, the sun was shining again but the thunder continued to roll around the surrounding hills. We were very lucky!

Recipe for Olive Oil Blueberry Cake

My friend Cathy (who features in most of my What’s on your Plate posts, due to her culinary prowess), offered to make a birthday cake which suited me just fine. With the Mathematician being lactose intolerant it can be hard at times.

This Olive Oil Blueberry Cake was just perfect and serves 10+ . The cake is so moist and delicious I can highly recommend it, so much so I asked for the recipe, and I will make it myself one day!

No singing of happy birthday was allowed (Covid restrictions, according to some friends) and the candles wouldn’t light in the breeze anyway!

We toasted him with bubbles and then ate the cake with cream and fresh blueberries 🙂

Blueberry cake
Olive Oil Blueberry Cake


  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vaanilla
  • 1 cup light olive oil
  • 1 cup apricot nectar
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 300gram fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Icing sugar to serve
  • Serves 10

What to do?

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line a 4cm deep 28cmx22cm cake pan.
  • Using electric mixer beat eggs sugar and vanilla on high speed for 3 minutes or until mixture is pale and thick.
  • Stir in oil and apricot nectar.
  • Sift in flour and baking powder over egg mixture and gently fold until all ingredients are combined.
  • Pour half the mixture into prepared pan, top with half the blueberries. Pour over remaining batter and top with blueberries.
  • bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Serve warm, or at room temperature dusted with icing sugar.
  • Blueberries can be replaced with canned fruit if preferred.

Feel like joining in?

So now you know what I’ve been serving up to a summer tea party in the backyard. You’re welcome anytime!

It’s always fun joining Canadian bloggers Donna and Deb for their What’s on your plate challenge series each month. These posts go live on the first Wednesday of each month and you can join in too by adding your link to the link party in their posts.

It’s not a hard challenge and I can assure you it’s not just for ‘proper’ cooks – I’ve been joining in for a few months now, so how hard can it be and I always learn something new.

You can see Donna and Deb’s posts here – thanks for hosting the link up!

Deb the Widow Badass (co-host)

Donna from Retirement Reflections (co-host)

What's on your plate contributor
What’s on your plate contributor badge

A close encounter with a brown snake

Oh and I nearly forgot to tell you the most interesting that happened on the bike ride! On the way back I was riding along chatting to a buddy and didn’t realise that I was about to ride over a brown snake on the trail. I had seen it and thought it was a piece of bark or a twig from the nearby trees.

But NO!!! It was a brown snake and it was not happy with me at all. I screamed as I went past it (over it, it’s all a blur), and lifted both legs as high as I could off the pedals, as I was convinced it was going to strike me.

My heart was racing and I can still see it rearing up to get me as I went over it. I kept screaming because that always helps in these situations and rode away as quickly as I could. Another rider coming up behind me had seen it for what it was, a snake, and came to a screeching halt before it slithered off into the grass.

And yes brown snakes can be dangerous so I was very lucky not to be bitten as I rode over it, not to be overly dramatic about it all, on the day that belonged to my husband 🙂

Hope you enjoyed your visit! Let me know if you’d prefer cake or salad – with or without the snake 🙂

Deb xx

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Debbie - mother of a 40 year old

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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28 Replies to “Tea and Cake under the Trees – What’s on your Plate?”

  1. What a wonderful gift to your husband! Your eats sounds really delicious – I love a cheese and fruit platter (especially now that it’s so hot here in SA). As for the snake … not a fan and when we go hiking, I must try hard to forget about them and rather enjoy nature.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy belated birthday to Grant and you did a lovely birthday party feed. I’m sorry but I snickered a little at the picture in my head of you with your feet in the air barrelling over that poor snake – it obviously survived to scare the next unwary cyclist. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Leanne, the get together was very last minute but it went well! I don’t mind you snickering at me, I’m laughing all the time when I think back on it – wish I had video footage!


  3. Hi, Debbie – I loved this post from start to finish. The Chorizo Salad tease, the impromptu party, the bike ride, friends gathering in the garden, someone else making a delicious cake, The Mathematician’s huge smile…and the happy ending of the snake slithering away (with no bike riders harmed in the process). Sincerely, what’s not to love about this entire day?!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Donna, I love having you in my blogging world and your comments always make me smile – thank you for that! It really was a good day and perfect to share for What’s on Your Plate 🙂


    1. I think apricot hector is a thick type of apricot juice. We can get it in a tin here. No fruit in it just a thick juice/nectar.

      Glad my screaming cracked you up, I hope you can visualise exactly how I did it 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely birthday treat for your Mathmetician…the cake sounds wonderful(now) I know what apricot nectar is as well…the snake not so much although I get used to them here but keep my distance…Cake or Salad…both please! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great post Deb! So much fun and celebration. Your special salad sounds delicious and I will try that and also the Olive Oil Blueberry Cake. the fruit platter and other dips on the menu certainly made it a birthday party feast. Happy birthday to the Mathemetician. Loved your WOYP contribution. Thanks! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the invite to the celebratory Tea Under the Trees: happy birthday to The Mathematician! He sure does look very chipper and well and ready for a party!

    You described the event so vividly I could hear the thunder rumbling in the distance, smell the rain from earlier and feast on the buffet you served. I am so glad to be at your gathering.

    But oh my goodness! that Brown Snake! I am so relieved you managed past it without much incident! That’s the challenge with nature: it appears when it will.

    Liked by 1 person

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