With the three-degree weather that just crept into Johannesburg overnight, a sense of negativity has also crept in, nestling itself in my bones. I really am not a fan of the cold and with a house that has only two north-facing windows, you can just imagine how cold it gets. To top this off, we have not had electricity since Friday. The stubborn municipality switched it off while we were at Flip’s grandma’s funeral – another element contributing to the dark sword hanging over my head. They did not give any reason as to why they switched it off and we have been between families’ houses the entire weekend, a feat in itself draining. By chance, I saw some contractors working on the pole where the electricity was switched off and the contractors said that they can’t switch it on, we have to speak to the municipality. They were right there, yet they couldn’t just flick the switch.
This morning I heard a report on the radio about a woman in Randburg blaming the city for her husband’s death, after he tried to switch their power back on and got electrocuted. Well, that bodes well for our situation. I’m not losing my husband because of bad public service, so there is no way he is getting up a ladder trying to fix it himself. It is also illegal, apparently. To top it all off, I have countless sleepless nights. I haven’t had proper sleep since last week Monday. Flip was ill first, with flu and then some coughing fits. Those things have the tendency to keep their spouses awake. Then I got sick with sinusitis, which not only makes it impossible to breathe, but also keeps me out of my happy place – the gym. Sigh.
So to counter this negativity, I am going to share a cake recipe with you. Last year, my mother gave me a recipe folder, with all her and my favourite recipes for my kitchen tea. One of the recipes was a Strawberry Cream cake. I remember the tears of joy I cried when she gave me the folder, with this message in the front:
Aan my doggertjie wat nou al op troue staan:
Hier is ‘n paar beproefde respete wat ek so deur die jare bymekaar gemaak het. Party was uit resepteboeke. Ek het van hulle aangepas sodat dit in my smaak geval het. Daar is seker baie meer, maar ek het die uigesoek wat ekd gedink het wat ook in jou smaak sal val. Ek het dit so uitgedruk dat jy nog altyd weer kan aanvul met resepte wat jy dalk van kan onthou, maar wat ek nie nou aan gedink het nie.
Van jou eie Madder
Underneath this message she pasted this picture. I was sobbing like a baby. It was a good sob.
Strawberry Cream Cake Recipe
First you will need to bake a layercake. My mom got this recipe in 1968 from a lady named Susan Richards, who worked with her at Drs van Tonder and Co.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
Beat 4 eggs until light and creamy.
Gradually add 1 and two-thirds castor sugar or normal sugar to the butter.
Next, sift 2 cups of flour, half a teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons baking powder together. Do not add to the butter mixture.
Heat 1 cup of milk and 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil in the microwave. Do not boil.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and the milk mixture to the egg and butter mixture.
Stir until everything is mixed, but don’t stir too much.
Bake for 25 min and let it cool off.
Strawberry Cream (recipe from my aunt and mother’s sister Esther Coetzee)
Strawberry cake Picture from here