Not Too Bad…

Holy Saturday was a fairly quiet day for me.

I had no annual Easter Party to prepare for.  My brother was coming over for lunch so four of us were eating.  Easy peasy!

I did make my Italian Wedding cake which, when all decked out with cream icing and Cadbury mini eggs, looks as festive as can be.

Malia suggested I cut the ingredients in half, which for me is an impossible request.  I agreed to cut the finished product in half later and freeze enough for our last visiting family member who arrives at the end of the month.

Simple as the cake is to make for the umpteenth time in my life as a mum, having to use bowls that aren’t mine and utensils that are more for bread than cakes makes baking a bit of a chore for me.  The oven may be a wonderful convection, but it cooks too quickly and tends to swish the batter in the pans to one side so I have to turn them carefully every ten minutes.  The surface cooks too fast while the insides remain stubbornly gooey.  However, I had blended, beaten, stirred and baked three layers within the hour and they stood, cooling on the counter in a sweetly aromatic kitchen.  Not bad!

Malia and I made fruit tarts next.  Just three because my brother does not like whipped cream or custard, though he did say, when he saw them the following day,

“I probably would eat one of those!”  Too bad!


In the misty, cloudy, Spring afternoon I went for a walk in the park and listened to the strange sounds of the grey heron nesting, brooding and guarding their sanctuary on the island in the middle of the River Beck, named after the town (Beckenham) and running through Kelsey Park on its way for a quick cuppa with the Thames.

When I got home I decided to ice the cake, one less thing to do on my even quieter Easter morning.  Half way through the process I realised I had to find a cool, dark place for it.  There are only two of us but our fridge/freezer is full to the gunwales, all those irresistible choices I am confounded by at the supermarket.  I had to transfer jars of sauces and pickles to the patio where they could remain chilled in the frosty weekend weather.

For some reason I always need twice as much icing sugar than the recipe calls for, couple that with mentally converting grams to cups and my ratios flounder.  I add and mix, add and mix and end up dumping a kilo of fine confectioners sugar into my bowl and watch as a gentle film of white covers every surface of my kitchen.  Sweetness!

I iced the cake with an audience of one and each time I added a layer I heightened the risk of collapse.  The icing was not firm enough.  We giggled, I flourished my icing spatula, Malia added the colourful mini Cadbury eggs,

“This is the first time I’ve ever done this part,” she commented, placing each egg carefully and relishing the experience.  As the youngest, another family member had claimed the tradition before she was even a twinkle in her father’s eye!  His bad!

Decorated and sagging badly my impressive creation endured a brief photo shoot before being popped in the fridge.  Voila!


Hours later while Malia was showing off her art work on my crooked cake to her dad she had to stifle her laughter.  The cake had been transformed by the chilly atmosphere into a beautiful festive treat, perfect for Easter.

“Not too bad,” he said.

“Just one bad!” was our response!


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