Late last week, we drove around the big circle from midday to six o'clock. Midday is Melbourne, six o'clock is the house at the beach and Port Phillip Bay is the clockface. (Ships sail in and out of the bay through a very small and extremely dangerous gap between six thirty-six and six thirty-nine.)
The days have been cold and overcast. On Friday, the fog over Arthur's Seat refused to move but hung there as if it were loosely tied down, like a wet tarpaulin on a HQ ute. Later, the sun's rays tried a few exploratory pokes through the mist and then gave up.
Saturday was brighter. Out early to the market where we bought a few things, bunch of carrots, bag of potatoes, an old book. It's a farmers' market but they have junk as well if you're bored by vegetables. Then an early lunch outside the Blairgowrie café in pale sunshine amidst the usual Saturday tangle of people and prams and newspapers and dogs.
In the afternoon I mowed the lawn and pottered about and read the papers and then had a late afternoon plunge into the bay about five-thirty. The shock is merely sudden and passing. Blood rushes around the body and soon you are glowing and impervious to the chill. Five minutes of that and you feel like you could conquer the world; but you don't, you go home and have a hot bath if you've got any sense.
Sunday held the promise of some sunshine in the afternoon, a promise fulfilled in glorious fashion. While T. and William slept, I went off for a long walk along the beach which was silent, deserted and peaceful. There was no wind and the sea was a mirror. The sun, still seasonally low in the northern sky, bounced off the mirror and made the atmosphere even warmer.
When I got back to the house, sweating, the sleepers had woken. T. was baking a cake. William was on the floor bashing saucepans and colanders with wooden spoons. The noise was deafening.
Super moist orange cake.
No wonder it's so moist. It uses the whole orange.
Chop and puree a whole orange in a processor. Add 185g of melted butter, 3 eggs, a cup of caster sugar and one and a half cups of self-raising flour. Mix well. Pour mixture into greased and lined 18cm cake tin and bake in a moderate oven for 50 minutes or until cooked when tested.
Ice with orange cream cheese frosting: icing sugar, a pack of cream cheese, half a cup of butter, a dash of vanilla and the juice of half an orange. Decorate with more grated orange zest or candied orange peel.