The formal drama is not over.
Yes, I was blessed with a few days reprieve, four to be exact, but yesterday it started again.
Just to refresh your memory, Arabella’s formal was last Thursday but that boy, Flynn, who has invited her to his formal, is cranking up the drama.
Flynn is ‘just a friend’ (unlike ‘special friend’) and he and Arabella have known each other for a long time and they get along very well and he is lovely and tall which is great when your daughter stands at six feet. Flynn took Arabella to his Year 10 Formal and when they arrived at the venue Arabella was wearing the same dress as one of his female friends. (Flynn is at a co-ed school). That was awkward but it happens and the girls survived.
Arabella then invited Flynn to her Year 11 Formal that was fancy dress. Not only did I have to buy the tickets, I had to beetle down to the fancy dress hire shop and linger and loiter there while Arabella tried things on and eventually chose outfits. She decided Flynn would go as a race car driver and she would go as the girl that stands on the track and waves the checkered flag.
We brought the costumes home only for Flynn to phone a few days before the formal and announce he was no longer coming because he was ‘sick’. I did think it would have been appropriate for his mother to have phoned me and at least offered to contribute towards the non-refundable expenses but no such phone call ever occurred. While I was furious about the wastefulness of it all, Arabella was crying about her lack of date. At such short notice and according to Arabella, there was not one available tall, handsome and datable boy left in Sydney. I did offer up a few sensible suggestions but these were all rubbished and met with a rolling of the eyes. So she went to her formal on her own and everyone noticed she had no date and so she had a miserable time, left early and came home in tears.
Mind you, she was in tears before the formal even started because she’d had her make-up done by Napoleon and that set off the tears as she said the make-up artist had made her look like a clown as it was all too bright. As soon as she walked through the door she took it all off and applied her own make-up but the night just unraveled from there.
Not to mention Arabella had asked me to host the pre’s and that make-up artist took so long applying rainbow colours to Arabella’s face that when we arrived home there were already mothers and their daughters waiting by the front door. It was a circus.
So now it’s Flynn’s Year 12 Formal and Arabella will be wearing the Sass and Bide dress we bought three months ago.
Now Flynn is a very nice boy but yesterday, he started the dramas. For some reason known only to himself he sent Arabella a text message letting her know, oh so casually, that a girl from his Year will be wearing the same Sass and Bide dress.
I heard screams coming from Arabella’s room and rushed in to find out the latest upset. After she’d spat it all out I said, ‘That’s life Arabella, it happens to everyone, even celebrities’.
‘But what if she’s at the pre’s. That’s a bit awkward isn’t it. I’ll have to wear something else. I’ll get another dress.’
‘Arabella, you won’t be getting another dress. For my formal my mother went to a sewing shop, bought a Vogue pattern and the water-mark taffeta and made me a dress. I turned up to the formal and at least five other mothers had done the exact same thing and made the same dress. We got over it’.
And Arabella agreed that yes, it was ridiculous to think about buying another dress and she really should wear the one that’s just been sitting in the wardrobe going no where and all was good.
Until the facebook message.
The girl who has bought the same dress found Arabella on facebook and sent her a message. In her ‘greeting’ she advised Arabella that this was her formal and that she had purchased her dress three months ago and had been the second girl in her year to post a photo of her dress on facebook to make sure no one else bought the same dress. And now, just a week before her night of nights she finds out that a boy in her year is bringing an outsider to her formal who intends on wearing the same dress. And she added, ‘we’ll be sitting at the same table’. So she asked Arabella (as it is her formal), if she would consider returning the dress and wearing something else.’
We are back at drama central once again.
Arabella sent the girl a return message advising the dress cannot be returned for a refund and that her mother was insisting she wear the dress as it was also purchased three months ago for the same event. Arabella told the girl that if she liked, she wouldn’t wear the belt therefore giving the two dresses a slightly different look.
There has been no follow-up message at this stage.
I too would be upset if I found out there would be someone at the same event as me wearing the same dress but I don’t think I would have the nerve to send the other person a message asking them to wear something else. Very bold!
We don’t know anything about this other girl except that she is quite short in stature with dark hair and very different colouring so I am quite sure the two girls will be able to give the same dress two completely different looks.
I am on stand-by for the next development.
Arabella loves Chinese so I thought I would spoil her with a Kylie Kwong recipe from her book Simple Chinese Cooking of Sweet and Sour Pork. The only thing is Arabella saw the ingredients on the kitchen bench and asked what I was cooking. When I told her she said, ‘But that’s the Chinese dish I don’t like’. Never mind, I like it!
Sweet and Sour Pork
Degree of Difficulty: 3/5
Cost: I served this with Fried Rice and fed the family for around $30.00.
- 1 1/2 tbspns cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 tbspn cold water
- 2 x 300g (10 0z) pork neck fillets, cut in half lengthways and then into bite-sized pieces on the diagonal
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3 tspns light soy sauce
- 2 tspns sesame oil
- 1 tspn sea salt
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1/4 cup cornflour (cornstarch), extra
- vegetable oil for deep-frying
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1/4 small ripe pineapple, peeled
- 1 small carrot, peeled
- 1 small cucumber, peeled
- 3/4 cup malt vinegar
- 5 tbspns shao hsing wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tspn sea salt, extra
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbspns ginger julienne
- 1/2 medium-sized yellow pepper, julienned (I couldn’t buy yellow so I bought red)
- 2 small tomatoes, finely sliced
- 2 tbspns light soy sauce
Blend cornflour with water in a medium-sized bowl until dissolved. Add pork, egg yolks, soy sauce, sesame oil and salt and mix well. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight (I didn’t have ‘overnight’ up my sleeve so marinated my pork for about 4 hours).
To make the Sweet and Sour Sauce, remove core from pineapple and finely slice into pieces. Using a vegetable peeler, finely slice carrot lengthways into ribbons. Cut cucumber in half lengthways, slice on the diagonal and set aside, together with the pineapple and carrot.
Place vinegar, wine or sherry, sugar and extra salt in a medium-sized heavy-based saucepan and stir over high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add garlic and ginger, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add reserved pineapple, carrot, cucumber, pepper and tomato and simmer for a further 3 minutes or until pineapple is tender and tomato has broken down slightly. Stir in soy sauce, remove from stove and set aside.
Combine plain flour and extra cornflour. Add to the marinated pork and mix well. Heat vegetable oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Deep-fry pork in batches over high heat for 1 minute, then reduce heat to medium and fry for another 2 minutes, or until pork is almost cooked through. Remove from wok and drain on kitchen paper. Gently reheat Sweet and Sour Sauce. finally, return all pork to the hot wok and deep-fry for a further 3 minutes, or until lightly browned, crispy and cooked through. Remove from wok and drain well on kitchen paper.
Serve with Fried Rice.
Want to keep in touch? Join the fun on the Hotly Spiced Facebook page!