Today I'm writing to the mummies. I can't help it. This blog is an extension of me, and I am a mummy of a young one. So here goes.
I am over the moon, because I am sitting here, typing on my computer - alone - in the house. Alone. This is something extremely rare these days. I'm realising that sick children demand from you everything you've got and more, and that it really is the most selfless job on the planet. Not that you have much choice in the matter. You birthed a child who you love. You want to put them first (most of the time). Your identity will forever be a beautiful mess of who you once were when you were "just one" and then "just two", and who you are now. Now that you are called "mummy".
You are a rock to so many now. No longer do you need to dress and cook and bathe for your own needs, but now others rely on you to do this - or at least organise it - for them. You are Queen Organiser now. You're also Queen Feeder, Washer, Cook, Driver. Don't you forget that you are a Queen in your own right, too (thanks Constance Hall for your endless encouragements here!)
Pippy (my MIL - she isn't fond of this title though) gave me an analogy that has been helping me recently.
A plane can glide only so long without petrol in the engine. Eventually, it must refuel, or crash.
Get it? You are the plane.
I know. Genius.
Take home point: Refuel or crash. (No rocket science here, only simple truths). Plus, no-one wants a plane-crash mummy.
I'm carving out time for myself. It doesn't happen very often, but I'm really making an effort and reordering priorities in order to nurture myself. When Nathan gets home at 6 o'clock and chores are yet undone, I fly out the door to the gym for some space and exercise. When a nap mercifully occurs, first thing I do is sit down for a "focussed" cup of tea (thanks Heidi for that one). When neighbours offer to help, I say "yes please". I can't do this alone.
I'm fully embracing daycare. Sure, it's only one or two morning a week, but before I begin my study or other jobs, I exercise. I breathe. I don't rush about like a mad woman trying to get everything done. I do one thing at a time, and I don't worry about the next thing until I'm ready.
"At the end of the day, regardless of what is done and what is left undone, I am enough" (Brené Brown).
You are enough.
And you are worthy of rest.
This really is a sublime cake. Truly, even I was shocked at it's perfection! It is everything that a chocolate cake ought to be; succulent, fudgy, and (dare I say it) moist. Bitter, yet sweet. Topped by creamy "ganache" icing.
It is a very satiating cake. Nutrient-dense (full of goodies), you really only need a slither. And you can feel good about the fact that it is blessing your body as well as your soul.
I have used baked sweet potato to add substance, sweetness and creaminess to the cake. So if you're having trouble getting the kids to eat veggies... at least you know there's some in the pudding!
This is such a beautiful cake that it would work well as a birthday cake: it is worthy of being a centrepiece. For a party simply make two cakes, triple the icing recipe, and create a tiered cake smothered in ganache. Two words: show stopper! And it will suit all your dairy- and gluten-free friends, too!
Don't forget to serve with coconut yoghurt and stewed blueberries. I just simmer berries in a pot until their juices are released, sometimes with a dash of maple syrup. Delicious!
SUBLIME CHOCOLATE CAKE W/ "GANACHE" ICING
Makes one large cake / GF, DF, GF, SF
For the cake
2C red sweet potato purée (about 520g)
1/2C coconut cream
3/4C coconut oil, melted
1/2C honey, melted
3 large eggs
2C ground blanched almonds (packed firmly)
3T coconut flour
2t ground cinnamon
1+1/2 t baking soda
Pinch sea salt
For the ganache
1 can coconut cream, chilled overnight
2T maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees and grease and line a 25cm cake tin.
2. To make the sweet potato purée, bake two or three large sweet potatoes in a hot oven for one hour. Remove, peel and blend until smooth.
3. Measure out two cups of the purée and add to a food processor. Add the other wet ingredients, and process until smooth.
4. Pour wet mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Mixture will be firm, this is normal.
5. Scoop mixture into cake tin and spread around evenly. I use damp hands to push the mixture into the sides and flatten it.
6. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until it no longer sounds like it's cooking (I listen the the cake when it is removed from the oven - if there is no more "crackling" and the cake is firm to touch, it is done.)
7. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes in tin before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. To make the ganache, scoop out the hard cream to use and reserve the liquid for smoothies. In a high powered blender, blend the coconut cream, cocoa and maple syrup until no lumps remain. Spread over the cooled cake. If you wish to cover the sides of the cake as well, you may wish to double the ganache recipe.
9. Enjoy! Serve at room temperature with coconut yoghurt and stewed blueberries (see notes above), or sneak a slice of chilled cake from the fridge - both are gorgeous!
Let me know how you go!