I heard something horrifying on the news last night. Along with all the other terrible stories there was one about the cost of raising a child. The report said that from birth to age 24, it will cost $800,000 to raise two children. That’s not actually the part I was horrified by.
What shocked me was when they interviewed a lady on the street. She said something like this: ‘yes it’s really hard at the moment. Money’s tight so we’ve had to cut out things like fruit and vegetables.’ SORRY WHAT?!?!
I don’t judge people, I really don’t but to hear that fruit and vegetables were the things to go when trimming the fat on the budget almost made me cry. What are they eating? To me fruit and vegetables are what they mean by food when they say we need food, water and shelter to survive.
I certainly couldn’t live without them even in my baking (like my segue?). For Mother’s Day this year, my grandma requested carrot cake and hummingbird cake. The day before, I’d made the best ever carrot cake and had it ready and waiting but as we went off to dinner the hummingbird cake was still in raw ingredient form.
It was about 9pm by the time we got home – time to start cake numero dos. Apparently I get a little adventurous late at night. I did have plans to just make this a simple layer cake with three equal sized layers. Getting out the pans, I spotted my mini tin and then my brain started ticking.
You can see where it went – a three tier hummingbird cake with lemon cream cheese icing. I didn’t go all pro with the assembly. I smooshed a little icing on the cake board then plonked on the biggest cake and iced it. There was no time for crumb coating, we were already running late for lunch (I let the cakes cool overnight) and I was still in my stinky walking clothes from the Mother’s Day walk. It was on with the next layer then icing again.
Just to make sure the layers didn’t slide off, I stuck two skewers through the whole thing after adding the top layer then iced over it to cover the holes. Just make sure you tell the person cutting it if it’s not going to be you. A bit of coconut sprinkled over the top and a couple of fake flowers topped it off nicely and made it very feminine for Mother’s Day.
The actual cake was wonderful. It was nice and moist and full of flavour but not too sweet and really quick and easy to make (thanks for the recipe Kristin!). I used fresh pineapple but you can use tinned if you prefer. It’s a bit tricky to slice but sure looks pretty in a tall slender piece on a cake plate. Enjoy!
What about you? What do you think of people cutting out fruit and vegetables to save money? Do you often have crazy ideas when you’re doing things at the last minute?
Hummingbird cake with lemon cream cheese icing
- 300g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300ml olive oil
- 270g peeled bananas, mashed (approximately 3 large bananas)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
- 300g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100g pineapple, chopped into small pieces
- Lemon cream cheese icing
- Desiccated coconut to serve
- Preheat the oven to 170C fan-forced and grease and line 3 round cake tins the largest being 22cm wide.
- Beat the sugar, eggs, oil, banana and cinnamon together in the bowl of an electric mixer until well-mixed.
- With the motor running, slowly add the flour, bicarb soda, salt & vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.
- Add the pineapple and beat just until incorporated.
- Divide the mixture between the cake tins filling them about half way.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes (the big cake will need a little longer) or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- After a 5 minute rest in the tin, turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Blob a bit of icing on a cake plater and place the big cake on top. Ice it, then add the next sized cake.
- Add the top cake then insert two skewers in the top to hold the cake together.
- Ice the top cake then dust with coconut.
Wow that’s really sad isn’t it?! When we’re having a particularly tight week, I stock up on vegetables that are in season. If cooked properly, they can certainly go a long way!
As a mother, I just don’t ‘get’ these reports. Seriously, how can it cost that much?! My daughter eats what we eat, I have no shame to admit she wears clothes from Big W and Target, and I refuse to buy toys when she already has so many that her grandparents have bought her. She’ll go to a private school and certainly won’t be missing out on anything. Anyway I’m opening a whole can of worms here ;)
Your cake looks most moist and delicious Claire xx
*public school! LOL definitely public ;)
Exactly! I use veges to bulk out our meals and make them stretch further! It’s an interesting stat isn’t it?!
I wonder how much coke they drink? And if you don’t buy a wii and and an Xbox and a ps3 bringing up kids gets much cheaper (stepping off my soapbox now)!. That’s a lovely looking cake, Claire. Last minute is usually when the creative juices start flowing.
See that’s where my mind went too Jo. I was just shocked!
Yum Claire! I know everyone loved your cake! I would never dream of doing something crazy at the last minute………….. oh I have to run, my nose is growing! :)
Haha imagine our last-minute powers combined?!
How peculiar! Fruit and vegetables are the last thing I’d want to cut out. Seafood and meat are much more expensive!
I don’t think they were the things they were still eating Lorraine. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s more like fast food and processed food from the supermarket :-(
I agree with you, Lorraine. When I’m having a tightening-the-belt week, I stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, especially ones that are super-filling and cheap (because they’re in season) like potatoes, pumpkin and swedes.
Then I make sure I cut out expensive cuts of meat and add more cereals and legumes to the trolley! With a stack of cheap soup veges and some packets of lentils, pasta or rice and tomato paste, you can make an amazing soup or stew that’ll feed a whole family for days!
That’s so true Katy. The thing I worry about is that people don’t realise how easy it is. I think it will be my challenge to promote more easy, quick and inexpensive meals!
That’s absolutely insane that they’re cutting out fruit and veggies first! I love veggies in a cake! This cake is beautiful!
I think so Clare!
That’s a beautiful looking cake, Claire and I love your flowers. It looks very feminine and perfect for Mother’s Day. Yes, it’s very sad that there are so many now who are finding it so difficult to make ends meet. I heard that same report and I think there was something in it about how it costs 50% more to raise a child these days than it did five years ago. Wages certainly aren’t keeping up with costs. And the costs of raising a child start in the womb. I have a friend who’s pregnant and she’ll have to pay her obstetrician $9,000. Twenty years ago I paid $1,200 for Archie, eighteen months later I paid $2,500 for Arabella, a decade later I paid $5,000 for Alfie and I have a sister in the USA who’s pregnant and her obstetrician will do it for insurance but if he didn’t, she’d be up for $40,000. And that’s before they child takes its first breath! xx
It’s just crazy isn’t it Charlie. I still hate to think that fruit and vege aren’t a priority over other things though.