Having the plague, I cancelled the dinner party I had planned for Saturday night so I could rest on the couch in front of a movie then head to be early where I hoped to wake as fresh as a daisy.
But Alfie was difficult to put to bed because he’d been up late watching the Titanic. And I suppose that’s a little inappropriate given it’s rated M15 and he has a few years to go before he reaches that age, but he has a Titanic sticker book with a zillion stickers you move into position to bring the story to life. And he wanted to do this project in front of the movie so I let him watch some of it. When I switched it off the questions started like, ‘How do you know how big an iceberg is under the water if you can’t see it?’, and ‘How deep is the water where the Titanic is? Would it be like walking from here to my school?’, and, ‘What sort of fish live where the Titanic is?’ and, ‘Is Rose real?’, and then, ‘But if the story’s real, how come Rose isn’t real?’
So I was pretty burnt out from question time and went to bed later than expected hoping for a sound sleep.
But Archie came home at around midnight and clomped inside with his heavy boots pounding the timber floors and went straight to the kitchen where he switched on all the lights and started rummaging through the fridge which is a sure sign he had enough money for a night out but not enough money to eat. Then I heard the bang of a plate hitting the glass in the microwave and the door slammed and the gadget whirled, then it was more slamming and drawers opening and then shut with great force while I lay there counting the minutes until he finished.
He headed back up the hallway and poked his head into my room and said, ‘Are you awake?’
‘Did I wake you?’
‘Well just letting you know I’m home and I’ll be up early because I’ve got work tomorrow.’
So Archie went to bed and I was almost asleep when the doorbell rang. It was Arabella. She’s been to an 18th and promised she’d be home by eleven but it was now 1am. I got out of bed and opened the door. ‘Where have you been?’
‘I couldn’t get a taxi.’
‘I thought your friend was giving you a lift home.’
‘Change of plans’, she said as she took off her platform stilettos in the hallway. ‘I have to pay the cab driver. Do you have any money?’
‘You caught a cab with no money?’
‘I knew you’d have some. I’ll pay you back after work tomorrow mum, but he’s out on the street waiting.’
‘For heaven’s sake’.
‘Where’s your wallet?’
‘Just a minute. I’ll get it’. So I went into the bedroom and found the money to give to the cab driver.
‘And mum, my alarm’s not working so can you wake me early because I’ve got to go to work.’
I think I was asleep by about 2.30am and was woken a short time later by two teenagers rushing to get to work on time.
Children living at home are there to thwart your best laid plans.
There’s a constant cry in this house of, ‘There’s nothing to eat’. I made this cake and iced it with cream cheese frosting to diminish those cries.
Banana and Walnut Cake
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: Minimal. This cake uses everyday ingredients and I only needed to buy walnuts and cream cheese so this was made for less than $10.00.
- 125g butter
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 very ripe, small bananas
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup self-raising flour
- 3/4 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven to 180C (375F)
Mash bananas finely with fork (you should have 3/4 cup mashed banana).
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add bananas and vanilla, beat on low speed until well combined. Stir in walnuts, then sifted flours and soda in two lots; mix well. Spread mixture into well-greased 20cm ring tin, bake in moderate oven 40 minutes or until cooked when tested. Stand few minutes, turn onto wire rack to cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 250g cream cheese
- 60g butter
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
Mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla essence until smooth, gradually beat in sifted icing sugar.
Ice over cold cake. Decorate with walnut halves if desired.
The banana cake recipe is from The Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Best Ever Recipes from the Weekly’ Cookbook that I doubt is still in print.
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