decorating / homefront · good bad brilliant · kitchen capers · out and about

The good, the bad and the brilliant [1 September 2014]

A (roughly) weekly round-up of what’s got in my head, up my nose and in my heart.


My friend Prue grows perfect lemons. Yes, they’re perfectly perfect … for juicing, for zesting, for slicing. They’re a lovely deep saffron colour and the skin is thin – you get to the flesh fast. Prue’s perfectly perfect lemons arrive by the bagful. Discovering a new way to make the most of them is not only practical, it’s damned good.

Which brings me to the current “cake in a cup” or “brownie in a mug” craze. Yes, I’ve succumbed to a chocolate-y treat-for-one (once or twice). This single-cup bake-in-the-microwave concept is ideal for empty-nesters looking to satisfy a sweet craving without being left with an almost entire cake to devour over the following couple of days. This week, I discovered a lemon version over here: Lemon Mug Cake at Craft Habit.

A couple of things to note: I used self raising flour (not flower), no baking powder and a third of the sugar. I added a tiny slurp of vanilla paste to cut through the tang. And I didn’t go with the icing (sweet enough without).  I used a 350ml mug and this baby fluffed way up over the top like a chef-special soufflé < next time I’m going to use two smaller mugs and share.  Because this creation is worthy of sharing. Hoping you can achieve the same without Prue’s perfectly perfect lemons. And, yes, if you delve deep into google, you’ll find a gluten-free version.

lemons, lemon mug cake, lemon mud cake, being fifty-something, midlife, boomers



My moment of tooth has come. I’ve been avoiding the dentist for far too long, skipping check-ups, ignoring reminders. Now I find myself with a mouthful of toothy troubles – a small chip to a front tooth, a bigger chip to a back tooth and a couple of fangs that are more than “sensitive”.  I’m going to have to face my dental demons.

You’d think dentist visits would get easier with age. Instead, I find myself increasingly fearful (almost to the point of phobia). My feeble excuse is that I haven’t had a good run with dentists. My one and only root canal treatment developed into a painful infection that almost saw me in hospital. A couple of years later I instructed my dentist to extract a past-its-use-by-date tooth rather than do another root canal. I can still see his horrified expression when I suggested I’d rather give birth to a baby than go through toothy treatment again.  So he pulled the painful little bugger out and in some sort of dental karma I developed a painful case of dry socket  just a few days before Christmas.

I know – everyone’s got a hard-luck dentist story and a feeble excuse. Time to brace myself and face up to what needs to be done. Grrrrr!

smurf, dentist, being fifty-something, midlife



I’ve waited half a lifetime to see a production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

I’ve read about it, heard about it and even quoted it but haven’t managed to be in the right place at the right time to see it. Until last Saturday, when I sat amongst a matinee crowd (of mostly fifty-somethings, sixty-somethings and seventy-somethings) and belly-laughed my way through the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s production of this classic at Geelong Performing Arts Centre. With our own grand dame of theatre, Nancy Hayes, playing Lady Bracknell, the cast carried the audience with them through a witty, humour-filled plot of inexplicable twists and turns. It was artfully acted with timing and physicality laser-sharpened for maximum comedic effect. I give this one a brilliant big tick of approval.

the importance of being earnest, oscar wilde, geelong, GPAC, whats on in Geelong, Geelong theatre



Smurf Photo: photo credit: <a href=””>SanforaQ8</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

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