A few things have been going on with the offspring.
Archie had planned a weekend at home. A weekend where he would be unusually attentive and focused and clean my car (fulfilling the promise he made back in MARCH) and having fulfilled this promise he would study in preparation for his final semester at uni.
Some friends called at the last minute causing him to reshuffle his plans because they invited him to an exhibition in the city that surprise surprise, was the one he was most desperate to see. While at the exhibition some other friends phoned and invited him to their property in the country for the weekend.
‘But what about my car, Archie?’
‘Don’t worry, mum, it’s all sorted. I’ll be back late on Sunday afternoon and I’ll do it then. The boys and I are just going to the country to ride motorbikes and all that sort of stuff’.
And that didn’t worry me one bit.
‘And I’m taking my guitar and we’re going to make a big bonfire and I’ll sing some songs’.
‘Oh, okay; well make sure you pack something warm. It gets cold in the country’.
But Archie didn’t listen. He went away and had the best time. ‘It was so good, mum’. And they stayed up all night sitting around the campfire as the temperature plummeted and Archie strummed his guitar with nothing on but a loose fitting shirt.
Fast forward 48 hours and Archie has man-flu. I know it’s man-flu because he made me go out and buy $200 worth of pharmacy goods when all he should have done was pack his $7.00 singlet. And he asked me to take his temperature and he doesn’t have one. He looked positively disappointed. Nothing wrong with him except stupidity. He couldn’t even get to uni today and spent the day in this room with his doona wrapped around him. Moping. On such a death bed he couldn’t possibly clean my car.
If it was me, my condition wouldn’t even rate a mention.
On a happier note (but I am just a little sad), Arabella had her last day EVER in school uniform. She had her final HSC exam and so at 5pm today an enormous chapter in her life closed and her schooling finished forever. Her father bought her a little gift to celebrate the occasion and I took photos of her in her very smart school uniform – for the last time! And her comment to me upon returning from school for the last time was, ‘I just don’t know what I’m going to do with myself’, which had me burst into laughter as she’s been talking about and planning and looking forward to this moment for the longest time.
And as for Alfie, he’s just super-excited that tomorrow is Halloween. Only because he gets to go from house to house begging for lollies. ‘It’s the best day, mum, except for Christmas’.
I live in a street where there are lots of families so I’m expecting my share of ‘trick or treaters’. I don’t want to be handing them more lollies so I’ve made some spooky spooks. Mind you, once you eat all the food dye these red velvet cupcakes contain you probably might just be better off eating store-bought lollies. But tell me these look better!
Degree of Difficulty: 3/5
Cost: Hmmm, the red velvet cupcakes are inexpensive but the bought icing and little eyes were expensive.
- 350g (2 1/3 cups) plain flour
- 2 tbs cocoa powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 315g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
- 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
- 185ml (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 3 tsp red food colouring
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- black icing
- icing eyes
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Line eighteen 80ml (1/3-cup) capacity muffin pans with paper cases.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar.
Whisk the buttermilk, oil, eggs, food colouring and vinegar in a jug until combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the buttermilk mixture and stir until just combined.
Divide the mixture among the prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Roll out icing until a few millimetres thick. (You don’t want to use icing sugar as this will make the black icing turn grey). Just roll out and cut into a square. Using a spatula, scrape icing off bench and place over the cupcake. Take 2 eyes and press into icing. Repeat until all 18 cupcakes are decorated.
Hand to those who say, ‘Treat’.