Wednesday, 28 October 2009
I walked over to the cookery section to pick up my sadly unloved cake. A woman there seemed to feel it was vital that she told me what the judge had said, so much so that when her phone rang and I tried to make my escape, she grabbed my wrist and would not let go. I gave in and waited but I did get some funny looks. Was I an apprehended cake thief?
She told me that my presentation had let me down (Hmm? Didn't they notice my fancy plastic plate?) but that the cake did taste good. So they do taste the cakes, that's a relief. They take a tiny little sliver out, like a core sample of earth. You can sort of see it here. It's like the slice of cake Posh would cut if she was on a food binge. Apparently the issue with mine was the crack. I had a feeling about that when I made it but then aren't all cakes baked in loaf tins supposed to have a crack, especially lemon syrup cakes so all the lemony goodness can soak into the cake? I think next year I'll try something else instead of just cooking it ten degrees lower as she suggested.
I then picked up my winnings. Six dollars and then splurged on a DVD for S for the night.
By this stage the cake was a bit dried out, but you know it's cake so I cut a piece for Jack for morning tea. He turned to me and said, "This cake is old Mummy."
Everyone's a critic!
Friday, 23 October 2009
Early on Friday morning I dropped off my entries (a cake, a cot quilt, a bag and a little green monkey). In the pavilion, pandemonium was the order of the day and as I waited I caught a glimpse of some of the amazing creations.
When we told Jack we were going to the show, he thought we meant a show on stage like Thomas, so we explained that there would be rides and animals. When we parked the car and he glimpsed the showground he exclaimed,"party!party!" a much better way of describing it.
The first thing Jack spotted was a Thomas show bag, but we told him we'd come back after the rides. S thought Jack would like a go on the big slide. We paid the money and Jack hopped on. Then he looked up and turned around and hopped off again. The guy kindly gave us our money back and suggested some smaller rides. I can understand his reluctance - look how high it is. We saw a big caterpillar thing and thought Jack might like that. Does anyone else find it weird that you enter through the caterpillar's bum? He disappeared inside and we could catch glimpses of him some of the time but at others we weren't sure where he was. Pretty soon I could hear a plaintive little voice coming out of the grub's bum wanting out. He tried another slide and seemed to have more luck with that. Then he tried this ride and this one, which he really enjoyed. Then he had a go at those clown thingies, but we chose the (slightly) less traumatising version that had Mickey mouse and friends. He also tried his luck at this fishing game and won a small plastic truck that fell apart after exactly 3 seconds and a spongebob squarepants ball. Then, in danger of burning through all our dosh we decided to look in the pavilion. We searched and searched for my cake and finally found it shoved into a corner. We admired the fruit and veggie creations made by local kids and then we checked out the sewing. I was wondering if yours is the only entry in a category if you automatically get first prize (like some restaurant reviewing that I do) as S had suggested last year when I won first prize for chocolate muffins. Lo and behold there was my quilt with a first prize certificate and my bag and my monkey! Three firsts!Talk about your cup running over. I took some photos, but the bars hindered any good shots (that's my excuse anyway).
My friend and blogger Amy arrived with her kids and we were introduced as Jack and Mr and Mrs D. After we stopped looking for my in-laws (though I've never heard them called that) we realised that was us. I'd been thinking about this lately, when talking to Jack about my friend's or his friend's mums. Do I call them Mrs ..... like my parents always taught me to or do I go with first names. I'm not sure how I feel about being called Mrs D (old?) but I can understand where Amy is coming from - teaching her kids to be polite. After each ride we made Jack thank the operator and I have to say they looked surprised.
We ducked back into the pavilion to admire the cakes (and saw some we missed the first time). Jack spotted this one (I can't imagine why) and we also admired (tittered) over these ones (Amy had to explain to me that this one was a butterfly). I'm not sure about this one but does it have boobs? Then we walked past the beautifully fragrant roses to have a look at the wool and wheat and drawings. By this stage Toby was very keen to go on a ride, so we decided to do just that. We toyed with the idea of the trampolines but then settled on the dodgems. At first it looked like it would just be the 3 cars with Jack, S, Amy, Bethany, Toby and Jossie, (I was fulfilling my role as official blog photographer) but then people appeared from everywhere and all of a sudden the gentle little spin around the floor became very bumpy. Jack's initial smiles disappeared after some not so accidental collisions and so he and S made a hasty retreat. Amy and her crew battled on, turning in circles and having a ball.
Jack's tears were quickly stopped with the purchase of an ice cream and a freddo bag (don't worry the freddos will be rationed out over the next two weeks). The kids all had an ice cream and Amy and S and I (in spite of our diets) got a sausage sandwich. Mindful of my reunion related dieting regime S suggested we share one (outrageous!) but then when I saw that the sanger consisted of not one but two slices of bread and two sausages I had to concede that it may have been the better option. Amy even stopped to take a photo of hers for her blog and we joked that Lorraine from the food blog notquitenigella would be jealous. If you want to see a pic have a look at Amy's blog. Somehow we managed to eat them all and then we admired the baby animals (ferrets!) and vintage cars and then we called it a day, leaving Amy and her clan to enjoy the Beaut Ute competitions and all the other delights of the Junee show that lay in store for them.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
The bike was an amazing $5 and Jack couldn't wait to get home and try it (though saying that he still had time for cake). We bought trainer wheels yesterday, but in the meantime we took turns pushing it and he loved it yelling out, "Again! again!"
And as for the pop up Sound of Music? As soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect for Craig. He has a heightened sense of kitsch and I knew that he would truly appreciate the spinning Maria with vast mountains in the background and the pop up Nazis.
Jack and Scarlett ate their lunch at the little table in the living room and from the dining room where we were all squeezed in (in the nicest possible way) we could hear much giggling and chatter. Scarlett, unimpressed with her meal of lasagna took the opportunity to transfer most of it into Jack's plate. I don't think he noticed.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
We made sure that we arrived in plenty of time at the Acer Arena, parking next door in the handily located parking station and joined the throng massing towards the entrance. We paused to admire the poster for the upcoming Wiggles concert (on Mum's birthday - wouldn't that be fun?) and made our way inside. As S and I paused and goggled at the prices of the merch Mum purchased two programmes (one for Jack and one for Scarlett) and we found our seats. Then my brother and Scarlett appeared (who made a beeline for uncle S) and Jack and Scarlett inspected the ceiling (I have no idea wha was so fascinating, but there was lots of gesticulating and perusing) and had a catch up. Nonno reappeared after a short absence with Thomas caps
and these wild spinning light Thomas things. Big hit!
And the Show? Jack was delighted when the trains stared appearing, pointing and enthusiastically calling out their names (my son the trainspotter) but it did go for a looooooong time. And then it stopped for an interval (so Craig could buy churros) and then it stared again. At this point Jack started crying and saying, "no, no," and in between the songs you could hear the wailing of small, overstimulated children.
We were pleased when it finished and we could head back to the car park and get him home for a nap, except that when we got there we found puzzled parents wandering around holding small tired Thomas lovers. We were duly informed (by a sort of weird game of chinese whispers) that there was a bomb scare and we could not return to our cars. What is scarier a bombscare or an arena full of frazzled parents and their feral offspring?
We headed off in search of food, but with all those 'masters' getting ready to compete and other parents having the same idea we didn't have much luck. After Jack had a meltdown we decided to take a chance and try the car park again. We sailed on in, no police no security and reclaimed our car. Jack was asleep before we drove out the exit, no doubt dreaming of Thomas.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
After some discussion over tea and pinwheel scones we decided to make gingerbread. I liked the idea of testing it because it differs lightly from other recipes with ingredients like cardamon and orange and lemon zest. The ones in Sabrina's book were in the shape of snowflakes dusted with icing sugar but we decided to go with rabbits, ducks, butterflies and bears.
Bethany had great fun with the flour sifter while Jack just tried to introduce a steam engine into the proceedings at different times. The recipe seemed quite easy, in spite of my being a tad vague, and Bethany assured us that the dough was very tasty. She (and Jack) checked several times just to make sure. We couldn't wait so we immediately rolled out some of the dough and cut it into shapes, while the remainder rested in the fridge.
They turned out really well and were tasty, with the lemon and orange giving the gingerbread a nice flavour and cutting some, but not all of the sweetness. Now when Jack is 'making a cake' and I ask him what the ingredients are he says, "butter, sugar, flour, eggs, ginger..." That's my boy.
Thanks to Amy and Bethany for visiting and helping us out. Enjoy your holidays.