Day 130 10 May – chociwokiduda

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Another day, another fundraiser. This time for the kids’ senior school camp.

Dipping into this box like there is no tomorrow.

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Day 90 31 March – carrot fusion

As part of a fundraiser for the kids’ school, the PTA organises parental help to marshal at a local cycling event. The school receives $50 for every volunteer marshal. Now that is easy money! Seeing as I can’t provide my time I decided to rather bake for the cake stall the school is manning during the event. Again, easy money raised!

I found a recipe for small carrot cakes (carrot cupcakes) with a zingy cream cheese icing. It is a recipe from Nigella Lawson, one of my favourite female chefs. I love reading her cookbooks as it reads like a storybook. For those who have seen her on television you would have noticed how she speaks with great passion over the dishes she creates and that is exactly how she writes her cookbooks. It is filled with her wittiness and love for food.

This recipe was easy to put together and I enjoyed baking it more knowing it is going towards a good cause. The only change was setting the oven to 190C as our oven is a bit wonky and baking it for approximately 16 minutes instead of the full 20 minutes. What I like most about carrot cakes/muffins are the spice infusion! I often replace the cinnamon with a spice mixture of nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon.

There’s always a reason to bake!

Carrot Cakes with Cream Cheese Icing:

For the cupcakes
100g light muscovado Sugar (you can use soft brown sugar)
175 ml of sunflower oil
2 large eggs
225 g plain flour
3/4 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
zest of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 orange
2 medium carrots grated
scant 1/2 cup walnuts chopped 
12-cup muffin pan lined with 12 cupcake cases

For the icing
125g cream cheese
250g icing sugar sieved
1-2 tsp of lime juice
12 walut halves

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Beat sugar and oil together, then add the eggs one at a time. Add flour, baking bicarb soda, cinnamon, salt and zests, then fold in carrots and chopped walnuts. Spoon into the cupcake cases in the muffin tin and bake for 20 mins. Cool on a rack.

Beat the cream cheese until soft, beat in the icing sugar, then squeeze in the lime juice. Spread (or pipe) on the icing and place 1/2 a walnut half in the centre of each cupcake.

Day 77 18 March – fundraising

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My son and I attended a fundraising event for our club’s current junior international MAG (mens artistic gymnastics) gymnast. He is in the 360 squad, a group of young and very talented gymnasts who aim to qualify for future Olympic selections. He is travelling to Berlin for an International competition and afterwards spending time in the UK for a training camp. This is an incredible opportunity for any athlete and with an excessive cost involved, any amount of money raised is very welcomed. The night consisted of light entertainment in the form of parents vs gymnasts, MAG and WAG displays, raffle auctions and a 2 course meal.

Our son is a level 3 gymnast and has been doing gymnastics since the age of 5. He isn’t the best and some apparatus are challenging for a small body with little upper body strength but he absolutely loves it. He struggles to stay focused during training and is easily distracted by others around him but I don’t think I should expect more from a 10 year old. He has been in the same team since 2014 and they are a strong team to compete against. Their ages vary from 8 – 13 and last year was their most successful year yet.

Watching him compete certainly takes me back to my gymnastics years. I was an artistic gymnast from the age of 9 and stopped when I was 17. Our gymnastics club didn’t have many boy gymnasts and it was only on limited occasions that we trained with them which means the majority of our training sessions were girls only. We formed some very strong bonds and I don’t recall ever being in arguments or disagreements with any of the girls. We supported each other, cheered during competitions, hugged, cried and bandaged each other when our blisters tore. We were a close knit group and shared a special connection that other students in the school didn’t understand. I remember clearly how we got together one night during a school dance, ran to the rugby field, formed a circle, held hands and wished each other good luck for the upcoming Vaal Triangle Championships, which was the qualifying decider for team selection for the South African Junior Gymnastics Championships.

Now I know boys are wired differently to girls, but I would hope that my son has the same opportunity to form inseparable bonds with his team mates. Those are the relationships that help you grow, mature and shapes how you interact with others in stressful situations, especially when they are competing in an individual sport and there’s only 3 podium spots to fill.

Here’s to good memories, and memories in the making.