Showing posts from September, 2005

Bodacious Banana Cake

There have been some excellent animals that have transitted in and out of my life since I was three years old. Scrunch the Sydney Silky, Bill the black cat, and Angus the ginger manx. And for the last almost nine years there's been Derek Dog, a mad mini-foxy who isn't very mini at all and to my knowledge, isn't really aware that he's a dog at all.

Derek carrived at a time when I really needed a friend. He was so insane as a puppy, he was an extremely good diversion from the woes that characterised that period of my life. He ate anything - my Converse One Stars, my best black lace bra, even the stone feet on my magazine rack! In fact, he was so crazy, I'm not even sure I really liked him until he'd clocked up his second birthday.

But these days, Derek actually astounds me with his complexity of character. He is very cleary an individual with his own agenda and his own preferences. His daily antics never fail to infuriate and amuse me all at the same time.…

Traditional Christmas Cake

In my family there is no greater tradition than the Christmas Cake. Unless of course we're talking about Christmas Pudding!

As a little kid, I had absolutely no interest in either of these fruit-laden, booze laced Christmas staples. Their flavour was far too complex and mature for me to appreciate. It wasn't until well into my twenties that I started to take an interest in the fruit cake and puddings my mother makes. She and her sisters had obviously learned the art of Christmas cookery from my Nana, who cooked a wicked fruitcake in her heyday, if I do say so myself.

But my interest in Christmas cookery always lay with the sweeter delicacies we liked to enjoy on the day - rum balls, coconut ice, mixed spice biscuits. I appointed myself at a very early age to cook the Christmas fancies, and took great delight in seeing my family devour them and grow fat as a result!

A couple of years back, my dad suddenly passed away. When Christmas came round that year, my mother arrived …