This week in Tassie – Not the outcome I was expecting…

Sometimes the simple things in life can give you more than you bargained for. Like a cake.

This week was Helen’s birthday. We decided it’s time to take the family tradition of celebrating her birthday with her Ginger Fluff Sponge cake, one step further. #FluffOff, an online cooking class to further share the love!

We don’t normally pack cake tins when we go camping. So, since arriving in Tassie, the quest has been to find a pair of Nannas original tins. Tassie would have to be the perfect place. It’s markets and op shops, throughout the island, along with their period style buildings have a certain old world charm about them. While in the end we had to be content with a supermarket purchase, we certainly got to experience this quaint part of Tassie’s culture through all its little villages around the island.

A radio interview about a cake. Who would have thought. But after all this was the self declared International Fluff Off Day! I’m sure the radio station enjoyed the cake at least!

A cake is the centrepiece of many social interactions including those stories that never seem to go away, like this one perhaps….

One of my daughters best friends, Thes, kindly offered her kitchen oven for me to bake the Fluff to take into the radio station.

We had been bush for several days so she also generously offered the use of her washing machine.

Now I haven’t seen Thes for many years. But it was when she opened the door, the shock look on her face suggested I was not what she was expecting.

Instead was this barefoot, unshaven, more disheveled look of a homeless man. Not only that, it would have been the imposing impression of your friend’s father, not only coming to borrow your oven, but fronting up with two overflowing bags of dirty washing.

The problem was I wasn’t expecting her home. There had been a missed message. She had instead arranged to work from home!

I’m not sure if my attempts to explain away my situation helped. Lasting impressions are hard to erase.

The cake still posed one remaining challenge.

With the #FluffOff online course now due to go live in just over 24 hours, having stretched the friendship of my daughter and one of her best friends, the problem was to find another oven.

With 6 hours remaining, perhaps the farmer crossing ahead on the small dirt road we were on could help us with an oven. No, but he did suggest the old Quarantine station ahead. No ovens there.

With just hours now remaining, hope was in sight. Not far from us was a large Winnebago motorhome. Surely that would have an oven.

Fortunately, my two new Winnebago friends agreed to offer their oven. All was set.

It was fun being a part of the online zoom #FluffOff cooking class. Watching the progress of all those who attended from around the country, grandkids, friends, family and old acquaintances. Including Sheila in Spain who used the session as part of her English class! Thank you to everyone who joined in. Sharing on screen the end results, all the light fluffy and no doubt tasty sponges topped with strawberries and chocolate slivers, all looked so amazing… except mine.

It was when I went back to my new friends with their oven, trudging through the puddles in the dark wet night, expecting to be delighted, instead the news was not good.

The cake mixture had escaped the tin, I was told. It had not only spilled over the oven tray, but down the front of the oven door onto the floor!

After profusely apologising for what I had just put them through, I agreed to pick up the rest of what remained in the morning.

But it was what I discovered in the morning when I looked out the window, that I couldn’t believe my eyes. Their van was gone. They had left.

With nothing to lose, I ventured over to their now vacated area. There sitting out in the open, abandoned on the edge of an old fire pit were my two cake tins with the over baked remnants of a cake still inside them.

Sometimes those we meet in our travels are like passing ships in the night. We may never meet again. But for that brief moment in time, sometimes that moment can be long enough to tell a story. Thank you regardless, Wayne and Mariam from the Winnebago for being a part of my story. I very much appreciated your generosity, even if it was not the expected outcome!

This cake, though it may be just one of the simple pleasures of life, has a lot to answer for.

But I have a favourite saying…. “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough!” It sure has been a fun week in Tassie… trying hard!


Some of this weeks highlights…

The Channel museum, a very impressive museum in Margate, south of Hobart….

Check out some of the #FluffOff creations:

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