Do you all have morning drama? We have it in spades.
This morning Arabella had a very important interview. She had to be in the city and ready for her appointment by 9.30am. That shouldn’t be a challenge. But when she woke, first she had to go out for a takeaway coffee and then she was hungry so she ate Alfie’s left over ravioli from the night before. ‘Not having muesli this morning?’
‘I like pasta’. Fine then.
‘And mum, can you just help me with what I have to say. I’ve written some things down. What do you think of this…’ And she started reading out practise answers to imagined questions and meanwhile I was watching the clock and starting to get slightly itchy about how I still needed to have a shower and get dressed and be ready to walk Alfie to school on time.
The question and answer time came to an abrupt stop with Arabella realising she only had 20-minutes remaining to make it to the bus. She flew down the hall and into the bathroom where minutes later she emerged showered but naked. ‘Mum, what should I wear?’
‘Haven’t you sorted an outfit?’
‘I’m looking for my black top. Have you seen it?’
‘I wouldn’t know where it is. Wear that new white blouse, it looks really smart’.
‘It’s dirty’. So I went up the hall to my bedroom and pulled out my own, newly dry-cleaned dress.
‘Wear this’, I said, handing it to her.
‘I don’t like that dress. It’s okay on you but it’s not for me’.
‘Arabella, you’ll look neat, tidy, sophisticated, clean and professional which ticks every interview box. You don’t have time to mess about in your wardrobe; just wear the dress’. And she reluctantly put it on.
‘You look great. It’s perfect, now hurry to the bus because you don’t want to miss the bus’.
‘I won’t make the bus; I’m too late. Can you give me a lift to the city?’ It just rolls off the tongue.
‘Arabella, you know I don’t have a car; remember the whipper-snipper? Of course I can’t drive you to the city’.
‘Fine, I’ll call a taxi’. And off she went with me yelling out things like, ‘They’ll love you’, and ‘Just be enthusiastic’, and ‘Sit up straight’, and ‘Don’t fiddle with your hair’.
Then Archie came down. He had to be in the city for an audition. ‘Mum, I’ve got to get to Chippendale; can I take your car?’ Am I the only one who remembers a whipper-snipper hurling a rock at record-breaking spread through the rear passenger window of my car?
‘Archie, I’ve got one word; whipper-snipper’. Realisation set in.
‘Isn’t it fixed? How long’s that going to take?’
‘No idea’. And then I looked at his face. ‘Are you going to your audition with that moustache?’
‘Mum, I’ve spoken to my agent and he’s saying it’s fine. I’m playing someone obnoxious so he thinks the mo probably suits the character’. That’s a shame.
And as he hurtled out the door, Alfie looked at me and said, ‘Am I going to be late to school? Again?’
I try; I really do try.
Here’s a great Christmas baking recipe for the time-challenged. This cake from the Australian Women’s Weekly is really simple to make. It requires no week-long soaking of fruit, it only takes about 20-minutes to make and it doesn’t need to be iced or decorated. It is however, full of Christmas colour and flavour mixing the traditional ingredients of nuts, glace and dried fruits, and of course, rum.
- ½ cup (115g) coarsely chopped glace pineapple
- ½ cup (125g) coarsely chopped glace apricots
- 1½ cups (250g) seeded dried dates
- ½ cup (110g) red glace cherries
- ½ cup (110g) green glace cherries
- 1 cup (170g) brazil nuts
- ½ cup (75g) macadamia nuts
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (110g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tbspn dark rum
- 110g butter, melted
- ⅓ cup (50g) plain flour or GF flour
- ¼ cup (35g) self-raising flour or SR GF flour
- Fruit and Nut Topping:
- ⅓ cup (75g) coarsely chopped glace pineapple
- ¼ cup (55g) red glace cherries, halved
- ¼ cup (55g) green glace cherries, halved
- ¼ cup (40g) brazil nuts
- ¼ cup (35g) macadamia nuts
- Toffee Topping:
- ½ cup (110g) caster sugar
- ¼ cup (60mls) water
- Preheat oven to 140C/275F.
- Grease 20cm-ring pan or 2 x 8cm x 26cm bar cake pans. Line bases and sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm above long sides.
- Combine fuit and nuts in a large bowl.
- Beat eggs and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until thick. Add rum, butter and sifted flours; beat until just combined. Stir egg mixture into fruit mixture. Press mixture firmly into prepared pan.
- Make fruit and nut topping. Gently press topping evenly over cake mixture; bake, covered, in slow oven 1 hour (for both ring tin and bar cake pans). Uncover, bake in slow oven for 45 minutes (ring tin) or 30 minutes for bar cake pans. Remove from oven and stand cake in pans 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the toffee topping. Turn cake, top-side up, onto wire rack; drizzle with toffee topping.
- Fruit and nut topping:
- Combine ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Toffee Topping:
- Combine ingredients in small saucepan, stir over heat without boiling until sugar dissolves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, without stirring, about 10 minutes or until mixture is golden. Remove from heat; stand until bubbles subside before using.
Store covered in the fridge as it will keep and slice better.