You will all be pleased to know that Arabella is safely ensconced in study camp. She left on Saturday and she’s gone for the whole week. It’s a lovely Christian camp that’s in an isolated spot in Sydney and there’s nothing to do there except six hours of study per day, some daily devotions and a fellowship disco on the last night of the camp.
As Arabella was cramming her enormous pile of necessities into a regular sized suitcase she turned to me and asked, ‘Will you miss me, mum?’ And I looked at her and paused for a moment and said, ‘Well no, actually, I won’t.’ And she looked at me with a blank stare and then burst out laughing. She yelled, ‘Dad, I’ve just asked mum if she’s going to miss me when I’m on camp and she says she’s won’t’.
So her father came running in and asked, ‘Did you really say that?’
And I said, ‘Well yes, I did. After the week we’ve had I’ve been really looking forward to her going away. She’ll be in good hands and she’ll enjoy it. What’s the problem?’
And Carl said, ‘Well, you didn’t need to be honest. You could have at least pretended you’ll miss her.’
‘No, she’ll appreciate my honesty. And she knows I actually will miss her, it’s just while I’m missing her I’ll be at peace knowing she’s in good hands and is actually doing some study.
And then Arabella’s lift arrived. I did, for the record, help her out to the car with all her luggage. And I did give her a hug and I did tell her I was happy she was going, and that I was sorry the moment didn’t tug on my heartstrings, it’s just that the prior week’s events had encouraged me to look forward to this moment immensely.
Arabella arrived at the camp safely. She has texted me a few times, mostly to let me know what she managed to forget to bring. I gloss over those messages. The good news is she’s back on track with her studies, working hard and missing me! Wants to go out for dinner with me on her return! Me! While she’s out in the bush, I didn’t tell her I was down on the beach enjoying a bar-be-cue with friends and a glass of wine while watching the moon rise over the ocean.
And that I’d cooked some individual gluten-free zucchini and walnut cakes with cream cheese frosting to enjoy while there.
We can save that news for another time.
Zucchini Walnut Cakes
Makes: 12 cakes
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: This recipe requires just basic ingredients and I only needed to buy zucchini and cream cheese for the frosting.
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup oil
- 125g walnut pieces
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 3 medium zucchini)
- 3 cups gluten-free flour (or ordinary flour if you don’t require gluten-free)
- 3 tpns baking powder (gluten free)
Preheat oven to 180C (375F).
Take 2 cake tins that make 8 individual cakes and grease 12 moulds.
Combine eggs, sugar and oil in a mix master and mix until mixture is changed in colour (this only takes a short time). Stir in walnut pieces and zucchini, then sifted flour and baking powder. Spread mixture into cake tin moulds and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked. stand for a few minutes, turn onto wire rack to cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 125g cream cheese
- 30g butter
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 2 tspns vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter in a mixer until smooth. Gradually beat in icing sugar and vanilla extract. Spread over cakes. Decorate with walnut pieces if desired.
This recipe has been adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly Best Recipes from the Weekly cookbook.