As I was saying my goodbyes at work and preparing to embark on a year of writing, a colleague of mine wished me happy “slow living”. Those two words captured my attention. I was winding up a two-year period of extreme multitasking and fast-paced decision-making and task execution, and that was just in my 9–5 job. Schedules had crept into my evenings and weekends too — they seemed to be the only way to keep on top of a life that was filled with non-stop activities.
Things like ballet classes, renovating, exercise and even catching up with friends shouldn’t need to be scheduled, but that’s where my home life was heading. The realisation that things were getting out of hand hit me the weekend I scheduled our downstairs guest room and home office renovation around ballet class, a long overdue dinner party and a park play date with my daughter. It was time to slow down!
I’ve only just started reading about slow living and, like with most things, my view is to adopt those aspects that ring true for you. If meditation and growing your own food don’t take your fancy, that’s okay. There are other ways to incorporate a slower pace into your lifestyle. For me, slow living means being fully present in the moment with my daughter, eating meals as a family around the dining table, spending time outdoors, lazy Sunday mornings, and cooking and baking with enjoyment instead of out of necessity at the end of a long day.
This recipe for individual carrot, apple and walnut cakes is one I find I turn to whenever my life slows down. I recommend baking a batch, pouring yourself a cup of tea, putting your feet up and browsing the slowliving hashtag on Instagram. A perfect, slow afternoon.
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated apple
2 cups oats
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup canola oil
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cases.
- In a food processor, grate the carrot and apple. Add the other ingredients and mix until well combined. Alternatively, grate the carrot and apple into a mixing bowl. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Roughly crush the walnuts and add to the mixture. Add the other ingredients and combine well with a wooden spoon.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
- Bake for 20–30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a cake comes out clean.