A Trip, a Carnival and a Cake Walk

My husband went to England without us. I guess that we have been without him so it was about time he had a turn. It was a strange feeling though seeing him off. Funny, I thought, I either go with our children or stay with our children. Who gets the holiday both times? Then I let go of that thought. I was looking forward to time alone with them after all. One day we may get to go there all at the same time!

We sent Tim off with a half empty suitcase and a list of requests for British treats. It was a little bit reminiscent of the father going off to market in the tale of Beauty and the Beast.

Meanwhile, I had a week of low-key hanging out planned for our evenings. As is often the case it didn’t turn out quite as expected. A whole raft of things came at us that week. They coincided with a week of prayer we were having at Christ Central too – no coincidence at all there. I was so grateful to be praying with my friends. Praying about the things that were happening as well as things bigger than my own situation helped to keep my eyes on God and not lose it (well, I did once).

Anyway, this is all beside the point. Husband returned with a packed suitcase. Before his coat was off his back the young people of the house were clamouring for gifts. No roses here – well, maybe the chocolate kind. Out came the Jaffa cakes and Quavers and Dairy Milk and Marmite. Teabags, marzipan, a Cath Kidston bag (not requested I might add) and a newspaper for me. Curiously, I was also handed a Tesco ‘Festive Food to Order’ magazine. When I asked if that was just to tease, I was told it was ‘for ideas’. Okay.

It’s our Christmas Carnival this week – a great place to bring your kids for some fun before the Santa Parade this Saturday if you’re in Fredericton. I needed to come up with an idea for a cake to donate for the cake walk (non-North American friends, a cake walk is an activity you find at such events – ‘musical cakes’ if you like, and there are a lot of cakes to win, it is not a bake-off). I found my inspiration in that Tesco magazine. As always I’m not sure why I did it to myself.


Anyone who has watched The Great British Bake Off knows to steer clear of anything to do with constructing things with cookies/biscuits. It is literally a recipe for stress and potential disaster. Prop one up and then another falls down. In the magazine it describes a sumptuous cake surrounded by houses made of soft icing. My smaller version uses red velvet roll out cookies around a vanilla sponge with eggnog icing.

Making fancy cakes always takes longer than anticipated I find. This time there was an intense geometry session to work out what size heptagon would fit around my round cake. (This is why Maths is important people!) The worst part by far though was getting the things to stand up. Hopefully my Nordic creation will manage not to collapse until the walk is done tomorrow afternoon. Its touch and go. Come and see!

This was hardly a cake walk in the park, but a lot of fun for sure – and all my husband’s fault for bringing home that magazine.




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