Rocker yang

The letter to Seamus that Minnie had shown me made me look at my friend in a new way. She had laughed in the past about baby names. “Oh sure, I had heaps picked out,” she’d said. “Seamus for a boy and Celery for a girl”.

“Celery?” I assumed that Minnie was joking.

“I know, I’m not generally a huge fan of clean living fanatics…. I do not know what I was thinking!” She laughed, “But then I decided on Katinka Pearl. Katinka because it sounded so exotic and a name for a heroine, and Pearl after Janis. Janis Joplin. I wanted my daughter to have a good blend of yin and rocker yang”.

I looked at Minnie and wondered again how little I knew her. Why were we having this conversation only now? How long had we been mates? How had I not known this before? What the hell had we been talking earnestly about all these years?

“I don’t like you looking so sad. All this happened a long time ago, you know. I’ve dealt with it. It’s not raw like before”. Minnie stroked my sleeve. How like her to try to reassure me about how her story had affected me.

She smiled, “Did I ever tell you about the funny doctor I saw who tried so hard to put me off going to the fertility clinic? She was quite odd…” Minnie described the GP, a middle-age-ish General Practitioner who had grilled Minnie about her pregnancy intentions when she’d gone for a health check-up. Because Minnie had wanted her nest to be perfect, she’d started all the vitamins, added the folate, upped her daily exercise regime, changed lanes on the freeway to avoid other vehicles with smoky exhausts and even stopped dyeing her hair.

The GP had examined her, told Minnie she was overweight, said to her sternly, “You know this child will inherit all your inadequacies, right?” Minnie had been a bit stumped by the GP’s bluntness but also curious about where it was leading. Ten minutes later, Minnie’s head was reeling. According to Dr Grim Genes, any child of Minnie’s would have a tendency to put on weight; be short of stature; have long-sightedness; be prone to mental health issues, and not appreciate having an older mother (even though Minnie at this time was only 31). I felt outraged on Minnie’s behalf, hearing this catalogue of insensitivity. “Didn’t she know you were a single woman who had thought long and very hard about this?” I asked. Minnie smiled. “I was really taken aback at the time and wondered why she tried so very hard to put me off. What was her agenda? Then, the penny dropped. I reckon the GP was struggling with her own maternal surge and I think she raised all her own issues with me about becoming a mother to see if my arguments could help her make her own momentous decision.”

I looked solemnly at Minnie. She shrugged, “Oh well….I wasn’t going to let one naysayer spoil my dream….”

Minnie P Meno Cake

Some wise, older ladies of Minnie’s acquaintance shared a recipe for 2 cakes with her.  “It helped with my hot flushes,” one said.  The other, “It made me feel I was doing something for myself”.  However you introduce this cake to yourself, it is intended to be eaten with appreciation for one’s self in the company of like-minded individuals. A slice a day should spread some Meno magic…

Ingredients:

100g soya flour

100g wholewheat flour

100g porridge oats

100g linseeds, 50g sunflower seeds, 50g pumpkin seeds, 50g sesame seeds, 50g flaked almonds, 200g raisins,  2 pieces stem ginger (finely chopped)

3 / 4 litre soya milk (approximately three-quarters)

1 tbs malt extract, 1 / 2 tsp nutmeg (half), 1 / 2 tsp cinnamon (half), 1 / 2 tsp ground ginger (half)

Steps:

  1. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Add soya milk and malt extract.

3. Mix again and leave to soak for 30 minutes. (If mixture is too dry, add more soya milk).

4. Spoon mixture into a loaf tin lined with grease proof paper and oil.

5. Bake in oven gas Mark 5 or 190 C for 75 minutes, or until cooked (test with fork).

6. Turn out and leave to cool.

7. Serve with butter or spread.

If you find more delicious variations, please share…