Strawberry Gelato and The Costume Department

We don’t have a Costume Department.

And schools seem to think that inside every home, there’s a Costume Department.

Arabella is performing her Group Performance and her Individual Performance in front of the Board of Studies on Friday.  This is a very nerve-wracking experience and will make for a stressful week where we will tiptoe lightly around her and do our best to not make any sudden noises.  But in the meantime, she needs two costumes.  In one performance she is playing a male and needs a suit.  Knowing I don’t have a room set aside for costumes, I suggested she wear her father’s trousers.

Strawberry Gelato with Smashed Strawberries and Chantilly Cream

‘Don’t be silly mum, they’re too big, I can’t wear those’.

‘Well what does the school expect, that mother’s breed daughters the size of their fathers?  Of course they don’t fit but why would I have a male business suit that fits you in my wardrobe?’

‘Mum, this is serious, I have to bring in the costumes tomorrow.  The teacher needs to see what we’re all wearing’.

‘So it’s 8.30 at night, you’ve only just told me and I now need to think of who I know that’s a tall willowy male with stick legs and no bottom with a spare suit’.

‘Archie has a suit doesn’t he?’

‘Yes, but Archie has taken his one and only suit to his mate’s place for their rehearsal because tomorrow the two of them are performing Sinatra songs so he needs his suit for that performance’.

‘What about the neighbours?’

‘I’m not going door knocking at this hour of the night asking for suits.’

‘Well what shirt am I going to wear?  I need a white button-up shirt.  Do you have one?’

‘When have you ever known me to work in an office?  Of course I don’t have a white shirt’.  What about a pair of my black pants and…’

‘That won’t look right’.

‘And you could wear it with your white blouse that…’

‘That blouse doesn’t have a top button and I’m wearing a tie’.

‘Whose tie?  Where are you getting a tie?  Do you have a tie?’

‘Archie gave me one of his old school ties’.

‘Well Archie wore white shirts to school.  We must have one of those somewhere.  Check in the ironing pile’.

‘What about the jodhpurs?’  Jodhpurs?  I was reeling.  In Arabella’s other performance she is riding a horse out on a fox hunt.

‘Mum, I need jodhpurs’.

‘When have you ever seen anyone in this family on a horse?  Of course there’s no jodhpurs’.

‘I can wear the same white shirt and I’ll take off the tie because I need a cravat.  Does dad have a cravat?’

‘A cravat?  He’s not Matt Preston‘.

‘The script says I’m wearing a cravat.  Do you have a scarf?  I could make a scarf look like a cravat’.  I found a scarf and gave it to her.

‘That won’t do, mum.  It’s too long.  Look how bulky it is down my shirt’.

‘Well you’re wearing a jacket, put the bulk of it down your back’.

A comfort dessert

We were both exasperated.  Arabella is challenging but resourceful.  While her own mother was unable to help with any of the things she needed, others came to her rescue.  A friend has a brother who’s on the small and thin side and he loaned her his suit.  She borrowed a white shirt from another friend’s mother.  A friend of hers is in the school’s Equestrian Team and she let Arabella wear her boots, jodhpurs and riding jacket.  She found she had a scarf of her own that she could use as a cravat.  Thank goodness for community!

Meanwhile, Archie has performance assessments this week.  He needs some props.  If you can imagine it, my Props Department is smaller than my Costume Department.  Here we go again.

But I do feel for Arabella.  The people on the Board of Studies are scary creatures and performing in front of them is not pleasant.  I made her a delicious dessert.

Make my day!

Strawberry Gelato with Chantilly Cream

This is not really a recipe.  The strawberry gelato I made was from the Queen Make at Home Gelato range that is simple and easy to make.  In the last part of the churning process I added some finely chopped strawberries.  I served the gelato with some smashed strawberries mixed with a little icing sugar, a splash of lemon juice and some finely chopped mint.  I topped the gelato with Chantilly cream, some strawberries and a sprig of fresh mint.  Arabella loved it!

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  1. See what they can do on their own. thank goodness you are there to make them feel better and feed them with this little beauty.

  2. Glamorous Glutton says:

    You’re so right. Why do they think we have all that stuff at home? I’ve had to come up with a Mayors robe trimmed in ‘ermine’, a black tie formal suit for an eight year old! And a dustman’s outfit complete with hard hat and reflective jacket! Really where would I put my own clothes if my wardrobe was full of that stuff and it’d be very weird if it was. GG

  3. foodrehab says:

    Hilarious! Loved reading this. And just looking at that, I’ve come to realise that I dusted off a punnet of strawberries in a flash tonight LOL

  4. Joanne @ Eats Well WIth Others says:

    Oof. I am so glad I never had to go through that! I’m sure she’ll pass with flying colors, though, especially now that she’s all decked out in her suit and scarf/cravat!

  5. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    So teenage typical, to come to the mom at the last minute and ask for help. Been there, done that. Glad it all worked out in the costume department.

  6. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Who wouldn’t love that yummy looking gelato? And pink, too!

    The thrift shop was our costume closet a few times, or when really desperate, I’d pull out the sewing machine, but only if there was lots more notice than the night before!

  7. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    Looking forward to Arabella’s reviews.
    🙂 Mandy

  8. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Oh, this made me laugh and laugh. Thank goodness Arabella is so resourceful–I truly would have been at the end of my rope. But how like the young to assume we can create miracles on short order. Really, it’s a compliment.

    The gelato looks yummy.

  9. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    If this is a duplicate message, please excuse. I seem to be computer-challenged these days. This post made me laugh and laugh. Truly, Arabella is resourceful, which is a great thing. Why do the young imagine that we can create miracles at the last minute? Really, that is a compliment of the highest order.

    The Strawberry gelato looks fabulous–I love the idea of the mint.

  10. Oh my, that does indeed sound like a challenge Charlie. I was away for the weekend and am just catching up. The dessert sounds great.

  11. gardencorrespondent says:

    A dessert like that should erase any anxiety about joyless asessors. For my part, I’m very happy to have learned who Matt Preston is!

  12. Haha. Your kids crack me up 🙂 And you deal with it all so well! This dessert sounds like a great one.

  13. Every day is an adventure at your house. 🙂

    Yummy gelato.

  14. Every time I;m reading you, I imagine me in your shoes. You are such an understanding person for real.. Love th Gelato.. well who doesnt!

  15. Choc Chip Uru says:

    Can’t say I haven’t done the same to my mum 😛
    What a story!
    And what a dessert 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. The more stories I read of your kids, Charlie, the more I think my Mom should be recognized as a Saint by the Church. The “Mom, I need such-and-such!” in less than 12 hours is a classic. I doubt that any of us would have made it to university had our Moms not been there to answer that call, again and again and again.

  17. I wonder if Arabella had all of it lined up to begin with, and just enjoys torturing you? 😉 I noticed you stopped short of telling us Archie’s prop requirements – can’t wait to hear about them.. 😉

  18. Suzanne Perazzini says:

    Oh yes, any mother can identify with this conversation. We make the suggestion, they shoot it down and so it goes on until they tell us we are useless and they sort their own problems. Why not skip the first part?

  19. InTolerant Chef says:

    I remember my daughter once needed to come up with 8 different types of insects for a school project. She kindly informed us of this fact at bedtime and needed them for the next day. You should have seen us scramble checking behind doors for spiders, window sills for desiccated flies, I even added something that could have been a cockroach but might have been a raisin if closely checked. These all had to be scientifically labeled and block mounted- but we pulled it off! Luckily I don’t think the teacher checked the authenticity of every squished smear pinned to cardboard 🙂
    I sure could have done with one of these when it was over though…… Perhaps with a dash of rum? 🙂

  20. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Oh Charlie you had me laughing out loud at the conversation. Our school used to expect we too had costume departments at home. I was pretty impressed with mum’s creativity.

    The dessert looks fantastic! I’m glad you’re enjoying the gelato!

  21. Oh wow that must’ve been a bit of a stressful moment for you Charlie…at 8:30pm when Arabella needs all these things, but thank gosh for friends and definitely community 🙂 It’s nice when others are willing to lend a helping hand hehe ~

    Do you have photos? Would be nice to see how Arabella’s outfit turn out 🙂

    I’ve seen the Queen Make at Home Gelato at the supermarket, but I haven’t had time to try it out….faillllll 😛

    Hope you had a lovely weekend xox

  22. Good luck to Arabella! Your dessert looks gorgeous and delicious…I certainly know it would make me feel better!

  23. I loved last-minute notifications too. It just makes your night go so smoothly and sleep is so restful. not. I would worry all night about how I’d let them down because at 11pm I didn’t have a crown and scepter stashed in the back closet for use at 8am.

    I could have used one of these strawberry gelato things. Hey, I’ve got one in the pantry. I will be “desserting” as finely as Arabella tonight!

  24. Juliet Batten says:

    Your default prompted Arabella’s resourcefulness. She deserves top marks for that. The desert looks very comforting.

  25. I’m sure this dessert went down well with Arabella and indeed with everyone in your house (those at home that is!). What a challenging task and thank goodness for community as you say.

  26. says:

    And I thought I was alone in the costume and last minute department. My costume department consists of a black afro wig and a long pair of white gloves…not sure what that adds up to except they need to ask about costumes at least 1 day ahead of wearing them

  27. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    I often wonder how parents come up with those costumes! Some of them are so elaborate, you’d swear Martha S. was in the back hemming up the pants 😛

  28. Clever girl, she is, and with that dessert, lucky too 🙂

  29. is that my daughter?? Mine will wear me down and then turn around and figure it all out on her own!! The joys of motherhood! Makes you want to dig right into that gelato! And indeed I would!!

  30. Why do these things come at us always at the last minute! I have never understood how we don’t get more warning! I would agree with you that Arabella is resourceful, and I am sure she has learned that from you. The gelato looks so refreshing. We are having quite a heat wave and I’d love one right now! 🙂 Your children do have a lot of performing opportunities. I find that so interesting!

  31. yummychunklet says:

    Recipe or not, this dessert looks fantastic!

  32. How much I love your blog to visit… You are amazing again. Thanks and Love, nia

  33. Conversations with Kids can be so entertaining! I love the simplicity of your recipe, but yet it looks so elegant! Hugs, Terra


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