I was lucky enough to given Julia Child's book for Christmas last year. Obviously her recipes are really good, and it's an easy way to access to French food, but I have to say the way she presents her recipes is a bit weird, they read strangely, with equipment instructions mixed up with ingredients.
Anyway, Julia's favourite cake of all time was her colleague Simone Beck's Queen of Sheba cake or Reine De Saba. I've been planning to make this cake for ages (on the list!) and as we had special guests coming specifically for dessert last night – old friends who had been traveling for the last three weeks – I decided it was the day.
Here it is, photographed last night.
Being in Australia I was uncomfortable leaving something with that much butter in it (and on it) out on the bench, notwithstanding the fact it is May. So I stored it in the fridge.
This morning, having had a bit of a late night waiting up for our guests, the kids both slept in. I had to wake them to get breakfast in them in time for school and tried to get them out of the door early enough to catch the end of the big mother's day morning tea at school, before the bell.
As we walked into school I realised we'd forgotten Henry's hat. A big deal for him. So we bypassed the morning tea, to his dismay, and went to the uniform shop as I needed to get his winter uniform anyway and I figured one spare school hat wasn't a bad idea.
Henry and Tilly hate lining up at the school uniform shop. So they nicked off to find Henry's friends. Tilly reappeared a short time later and just as I was at the front of the queue placing my order Henry appeared, very very upset, with blood all over his knees. A bit of a fall.
Managed to collect the order including hat (all in stock, a miracle), and made our way outside to inspect the damage. We needed the sick bay, and (of course) today, only for today, the school office and sick bay were closed for renovations.
A Kindy Mum who'd seen the fall found me juggling uniforms and Tilly and a sobbing Henry and directed us up to the library where we found the lovely school receptionist with Dettol, Savlon and bandaids. Bless her. Got him patched up and into assembly and ourselves off to meet a friend (late) at a nearby park. Back at home, found they'd given me the wrong size trousers and the wrong long sleeve shirt altogether (i.e. they'd given me a t-shirt.)
It was lunchtime, so I thought about the cake.
I got it out and took another photo, this time in natural light.
So it's Friday night dessert night.
The kids and I decide we want lemon and pea risotto for dinner. 'Cept when I go to make it, I find I'm out of frozen peas and, more significantly, arborio rice. That never happens. Crap.
So I improvise and make it lemon and broccoli and make it on brown rice.
I stir it for whatever, 45 minutes? I add lemon juice and think it's a bit lemony. Add cheddar to round it out, add it too early and it goes a bit granularly. Rice not properly cooked. Broccoli's lost it's colour. I serve it anyway hoping for the best. Henry tries it and screws up his nose and asks (politely) for the left over pumkpin soup in the fridge. Tilly tries it and decides (less politely) that toast is the only option. Adam tries it and valiantly has a few forkfuls. I say, 'it's a bit too lemony, isn't it.' One of Adam's eyes is involuntarily squinting as he chews. I can't even eat it. I suggest we bin it. Adam very kindly takes the plates away and comes back with pumpkin soup and toast with avocado.
And at least we have dessert.
I am so not Julia Child.