Waiting for Agnes

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And so the world is divided November 18, 2010

Inspiration seems in short supply today. It could be that I’m just tired and distracted. Or it’s possible I inhaled a little too much bleach vapour in the midst of my cleaning frenzy. Either way, I’m finding it hard to get too exercised about the media coverage of Significant Progress to the Gay Marriage Cause. Perhaps I should be more impressed, but at the moment the most I can muster is ‘meh’. So politicians are being encouraged to consult their constituents? Was that not always their job?

In my relentless hunt for ideas I conducted a poll. It was brief. In an ad break during her Stories, I asked the beloved what she thought of the news.

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Someone passed a motion in Parliament? Ha!

No, not that kind of motion. The Greens passed a motion…

A green motion!! Hahaha!

Gah. Politicians are going to consult their constituents, you know? Ask their opinions.

Oh. Good. Shhh now, my stories are back on.

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Yup, we are political animals here.

Much as the world is divided between the gays and the ‘dinosausers’, so it is between those who love icing and those who painstakingly scrape it off every slice of cake they meet, or just eat it and then whine about its excessive rich/sugary/creamy/abundant-ness. Like the beloved. Possibly it’s fortunate that she’s not as in love with icing as I am. If she was we might both spiral into a teeth-aching, nerve-jangling, eye-popping diabetic fit by dusk each day. And small would be raised on a diet of buttercream and ganache.

Anyway, by some unintended stroke of genius, I managed to make an iced cupcake that the beloved loves.


Miniature Minty Cakes

100 grams of plain flour

20 grams of cocoa

140 grams of caster sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

a pinch of salt

40 grams of unsalted butter, at room temperature

120 mls of full fat milk

1 egg

1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract


150 grams of dark eating chocolate

90 grams of cream

3/4 of a teaspoon of peppermint essence

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 fan forced).

Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

You can use a freestanding mixer, or handheld electric beaters.

Put the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a large bowl. Mix on slow speed until everything is well combined and a sandy consistency.

Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together.

Continuing to beat on low speed, slowly pour about half the milk mixture into the flour mixture.

Increase the speed to medium and add the rest of the milk mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.

Mix until smooth, without overdoing it.

Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. When done they will be risen and springy.

Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

While they are cooling, make the icing:

Break up the chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl. Add the cream.

Heat gently over a small saucepan of just simmering water until the chocolate melts.

Take off the heat and stir until smooth.

Add the peppermint essence, stirring to combine. Leave to cool and thicken, stirring regularly.

By the time the ganache thickens to a spreadable consistency, the cakes will be cool.

Swirl generously over each little cake.


Not really a cupcake. Not just a dry, sponge-like vehicle for excessive, garnished buttercream frosting (yes yes, I know they’re not all like that). These are tiny devil’s food cakes, moist and flavourful. Like a Mint Slice biscuit, but bigger and better.


Why I was wrong about the piece of paper July 29, 2010

Filed under: Not just a piece of paper,Parenting — titchandboofer @ 6:09 am
Tags: , ,

When it comes to gay marriage rights I have been politically lazy, apathetic. I did try telling myself that I am generally politically lazy, but under further scrutiny this didn’t hold up. I have rallied for and against many things since I was a teenager. I have exerted myself to support the rights of women to birth at home (and will continue to) but I have shied away from fighting for equal marriage rights for myself and my partner and all the other gay couples out there.

This apathy springs both from misfortune and fortune. It was my misfortune, as a child, to grow up surrounded by a collection of horrible, unsuccessful and unappealing marriages in my own and my friends’ families. If that was marriage, I thought, you can count me out – I don’t need a piece of paper to shackle me to someone who’s likely to drink too much, beat me up, ignore me, treat my kids like crap and expect me to view their unstable behaviour as a quirk, or worse as an entitlement. Not to mention the divorces, the custody battles, the stone-in-a-pond concentric ripples that rock the lives of everyone for years afterward.

Now I am fortunate. Not just in being in a happy relationship, but in being surrounded by people who unblinkingly support us. Neither of our families nor any of our friends have derided or excluded us, suggested it’s a phase we’ll grow out of, or laughed at the notion of us having a baby. Our son, at the great age of eleven months, has not yet been judged or excluded from anything on the basis of having two mothers. And other than a few unintentionally ridiculous comments – one of my colleagues continually expressed her dismay that I would never be a wife, as my cooking and knitting skills would just be wasted – our workplaces have been as supportive of us as any other staff members. In short, I haven’t struggled against oppression or discrimination, so I’ve never been fired up enough to go and fight for something that didn’t even seem that appealing for the people that could already have it.

Then our son’s new birth certificate arrived and everything changed. When we decided to have a baby the law prevented us accessing fertility treatment in our home state of Victoria. We conceived our son in Queensland (oh, the irony) and on the day I found out I was pregnant the new ART bill was passed through parliament, changing Victorian law. Change trickles through slowly and the law was not fully enacted by the time our son was born, so the only name on his birth certificate was mine, with a great big blank space underneath. When he was about six months old we were able to apply to change the certificate to include my partner’s details as his second parent. Even filling out the paperwork was quite an emotional experience, imagining all the layers of bureaucracy that had to change and committees that had to convene for something as simple as that form to be created. When the certificate itself arrived I cried. It wasn’t the piece of paper itself, it was the equality it represented for our son – that his certificate would be just like any other kid’s – and for my partner – that her status as a parent is acknowledged just like any other parent.

So, marriage. Many people before me have asked their partner why bother marrying, have said ‘it’s only a piece of paper, we know we’re staying together forever, what do we need that for?’. It’s not about needing a piece of paper in order to believe in your own relationship, it’s about holding a piece of paper that says your government believes you’re equal to any other couple.

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To see and hear Rodney Croome’s excellent speech ‘The Case for Gay Marriage’ follow this link……