Bake Your Own Water

Bake your own water sponge cake. Rhodie recipe for sponge, happiness and resilience.

Hard times have always been with us. The world has changed a lot over time, but some truths prevail. I’m thinking about people. No matter how much we indulge ourselves in fun, shopping, complaining and other entertaining distractions – We become brave pioneers when adversity stares us down.

Wonder and Water Cake

I have heard people reminisce about wonderful childhoods packed with lavish parties, idyllic holidays, huge homes and even bigger cars, only to discover that their family life was often plagued with some kind of trouble. The tales are true because someone cared enough to wrap bankruptcy, ill health, relationship breakdowns or other disasters in love, and present them with laughter.

Mothers are the most talented people on earth.

Rhodesian Childhoods

Rhodesian childhoods, I am told, were universally wonderful. The details vary, but only slightly – A combination of crisp white linen, perfect golf courses, great pubs and a sun that shone endlessly on abundant wildlife, cooking fires and wide smiles.

Rails and Ranches

In fact, more men worked on the railways than on private ranches, money and supplies were often short, many children did have two homes (when you count the school hostel) and there was the war – and all that came with it. Rhodesian childhoods were also universally wonderful.

Corona / Cholera

Back then, Corona was an imported cool drink – cholera was a sickness that had people boiling their water and washing their hands.


We face different challenges today. At least I think we do, sometimes. Our lives are comfortable. When we can’t afford a luxury, we might find a matching cheap import that looks the same in our pictures and posts on Facebook. When only a brand will do, we might use a credit card if it’s worth the worry.


The hints of adversity that stare us down haven’t yet been sharp enough to reveal our inner Superhero, but we know the wind has changed. The ice is thawing, locusts are swarming we might need to brave again some day soon.

Lose Loos

Our resilience is stirring. We recycle, sew buttons back on and tackle DIY projects instead of calling a contractor – Then I heard about the shoppers madly buying up toilet roll because of a virus that attacks people’s lungs and I realised we could have lost the knack of dealing with adversity.

Knack Back

Isn’t it funny how everyday things reflect our thoughts back at us? I saw a post from Ernie – Could a simple page from his mother’s old cook-book contain our lost knack?

Water Sponge Cake

Simple truths to help us through our next adversity

Ingredients & Method


Write things down so that you can understand them. Work things out for yourself, not to impress others

Stained Paper

This book has been very well used. Once you get a handle on something, apply it. Knowledge is useless until it is applied


When you know what works, stick to the formula. Tweak it to use the resources you have, to fit an event or to reach a person, but be sure to get the basics right


Share, enrich and nourish others. We only know what we are given and what we learn. Nourishing others with what we have could be the thing that created those happy childhoods – The glue that binds us together, and generates resilience. (Yes, thanks Ernie – I do get that Man cannot live by bread alone.)

Mothers really are the most talented people on earth.

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