The deal was that Arabella would wake early in the morning, make the icing, form the cakes into a fish and decorate it.
I left the house well before she woke to have a swim at the local pool where for 60 minutes I could be under the water and not be bothered. I came home to find the house in almost total silence except for Alfie sitting up in my bed with the two dogs beside him and playing on his i-phone touch.
I ventured further down the hall and found Arabella lying under her doona in an intense coma.
‘Arabella!’ I screamed, ‘What is happening with the cake?’
In a dazed state where I could tell her eyes weren’t even focusing she replied, ‘I got up early but no one was here to help me so I went back to bed’.
‘Honestly; I’ve got half an hour. What time does the cake have to be there?’
‘In about an hour.’
‘One hour and you haven’t even started?’
‘It’s a double period, mum, I could just get there late’.
‘Oh, get into your uniform and I’ll start making the icing.’
Somehow the cake was made. Given we had no pattern or design I thought it turned out really well. As the class had been studying the Great Barrier Reef, she wanted to make something that you could see up there and I do believe this rainbow fish is typical of the tropical waters of Far North Queensland.
For those wanting to replicate this original design it’s packet chocolate cake mix cut into the shape of a fish then covered in vienna cream (250g butter, 4 cups icing sugar, 4 tbspns milk,) coloured blue, then decorated with marshmallows halved with the sticky side dipped into different coloured jelly crystals to make scales, a cut-up jube for the mouth, a chocolate button for an eye, a blob of edible gel for the eye-ball and edible glitter on the tail.
The geography teacher felt very honoured that one of his students cared enough to create something memorable and topical for their final lesson. Well done to Arabella!
The rest of the day was spent organising spray tans, canceling doctor’s appointments, (who’s got the time), booking in for hair and make-up, sorting out shoes and accessories for the ‘other’ formal, purchasing a few birthday presents, taking Alfie to swimming lessons, putting a pasta on the table for dinner and gently letting Arabella know that airline tickets for a holiday in the US will not form part of her birthday packages.