Do you ever have those days where you wake up thinking there is something going on today but you just can’t quite remember?
I had a day like that on Monday. The morning was the usual Monday rush getting the kids to school, Mondays are always hard because both the boys have a full day 8.30am-4.30pm and Max has double science which he hates because his teacher ignores him (I think it is the fact that she doesn’t have any English and he speaks English so instead of just giving him work like the other teachers, she ignores him which makes him feel dejected). This is not the best situation and I have talked to him about helping her out and asking her for regular work in Italian. However, I have decided I can talk until I’m blue in the face but it’s not going to make him do anything. He has to figure out how to make it work so for now I just get the body throws at breakfast, pouts and ‘do I reeaallllly have to go today??’ every Monday.
Nic went off to work, kids were gone and I was left to do the shopping, cleaning and generally work out what was going on for the week, though I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something was happening. That thought was stuck in a deep, dark part of my brain that was not active because if I really thought about it I would of remembered that in fact I had invited all (three) of Max’s friends over for a play after school!!!
Two things went through my head at 2.45pm- Holy crap!!! and what am I going to feed them???
If any of you have pre-teen or teen-age boys then you will understand it was a major concern and as I was looking around the kitchen I wasn’t seeing anything I could whip up in a hurry, all my cake recipes started with ‘cream and butter and sugar……’ and that wasn’t about to happen on a winter’s afternoon with cold butter and a wooden spoon! It was about now that I remembered I asked a mum at a dinner party a few weeks ago for her torta di carote recipe because it was so light and flavoursome. I flipped through my emails and found the recipe……it was in Italian! Shit!
After looking at it a few times I decided I could in fact read it and understand most of it and the biggest drawcard was that the recipe was butter-free which meant no creaming, I had to proceed.
There was no time for buying a proper cake tin so I made do with my all-in-one square oven tray (thank god I finally bought some baking paper!!). Time was ticking on so I started grating carrots and took it from there. The cake was made in about 8 minutes which gave it enough time to cook, cool and be ready and waiting for the onslaught of hungry boys that were coming my way in a matter of minutes.
The boys were all a bit nervous when I went to school pick-up because they haven’t come to our place before and they all know my Italian is somewhat limited shall we say! This also made me a bit nervous and wondered if they would have a good time? When we got into the house the profumo of the torta de carote hit their noses and they all started saying ‘yummy!’ I didn’t even have time to give the cake a shaking of icing sugar before they devoured slabs of it. Silence hung in the air while they were chewing (for all of 2 seconds) and then I asked if they wanted some popcorn?
To say the carrot cake hit the spot would be an understatement. The boys all relaxed and even started telling me to ‘please just speak English….it is better’ Oh well you can’t win them all! The kids were fed, happy and running around shooting each other with Nerf bullets while Italian words were flying around a hundred miles an hour…Max included (Yay!) and I am proud that I actually read an Italian recipe and it worked! All in all I guess it doesn’t really matter if I have a shitty memory or bad Italian……just so long as I can bake!
For those of you who want to give it a go, here is the recipe.
Torta di carote
400 gr di carote
300 gr zucchero
1 bicchiere olio di semi
300 gr farina
1 bustina di lievito per dolci
un pizzico di sale
tritare le carote nel mixer e tenerle da parte. mescolare uova e zucchero e poi aggiungere olio e farina, il lievito e un pizzico di sale. quando l’impasto appare omogeneo, aggiungere le carote. mettere tutto in una tortiera foderata di carta da forno e cuocere a 180 gradi per 20/25 minuti.
decorare con zucchero a velo o granella di zucchero