After 3 weeks, the boys are back from holidays tomorrow, and my stint Russell-sitting will be over. I have to say that I will miss him. Sure, he gets me out of bed every morning by 6.15am to feed him, plaintively mewing until I give in, even on weekends. However, I love him chatting to me when I come home - it doesn't matter that I don't know what he's saying. I also love him jumping on my lap for a cuddle, asking to be brushed, and purring like a little motor as I tickle his tummy on both sides while he flips from side to side on the floor, presumably so that I don't miss a spot.
To welcome the boys home, I have made them a banana cake. I used a recipe that I found here. Hilariously, I left out the brown sugar, and I didn't even realise it until I came to write this post. The cake was plenty sweet enough without that extra half cup, so it just goes to show that you can take tremendous liberties with some recipes and still end up with a good result. It's gluten free and dairy free so that both boys can enjoy it - I subbed in gluten free plain flour, soy milk and Nuttelex for plain flour, milk and butter. I also used lime juice in the icing instead of lemon juice, as I had half a lime in the fridge to use up.
I was rather bemused to find on my final baking outing at the boys' place that they have baking powder. I had been studiously avoiding recipes with baking powder or using self-raising flour instead, and had even found out how to use baking soda and cream of tartar as a substitute, when all along, I could have been using baking powder.
I made two little muffins out of the batter as well as the cake so that a friend and I could try it without me cutting the cake itself.
My verdict on this cake, even sans the brown sugar, is that it was delicious. It is light and fluffy and not overly sweet, but the icing gives it that extra little sugar and citrus kick to lift the cake from pedestrian to really good.
I had some incidents while the boys were away - the fuse in one circuit flicked and I couldn't find the fuse box and had to ask the nice lady across the way where it was; I had a grand argument with the boys' ailing vacuum cleaner; I set off the burglar alarm a couple of times, including once when I couldn't get the device to switch it off to work for about 20 minutes at 10pm (the neighbours would have loved me!); I continually bruised my leg for the first week on the pointy edge of the bed; and as a grand finale, last Sunday afternoon, the safety switch in the power box burnt out and failed, so I had to pronto find an electrician to come in and fix it (not easy on a Sunday!) before the tropical fish I am also looking after and the boys' freezer full of meat became history.
However, I also had a marvellous time with Russell, having a friend over to dinner, drooling into the beautiful shop windows on Armadale High St every day on the way to work (Amaline Vitale is a favourite, with her gorgeous dresses), and on my last Tuesday night, finally having the $18 chicken schnitzel and wine special at Morri's Place (which was wonderful by the way - it was served with chips, salad and sauce, and there was so much food I barely made it). Here's hoping that I have some good times in my new flat, which at the moment resembles a warehouse full of boxes more than anything else.
Have a great weekend folks!!