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A Magic Moment With Mum and a Millers Giveaway!



Many of you may know that my little family and I are expats in Australia - we moved here five years ago (where did that time go?) leaving behind my mum and stepdad, amongst other close family.

It was a heart wrenching, gut churning decision and one that we debated long into the night, over many, many bottles of wine.

Living away from your mum is not easy.  She misses so much of our children growing up.  She's never seen my son play baseball, or my daughters dance ballet.  And I miss her so much.




My mum, like so many others, had to go out to work.  We weren't well to do and holidays were certainly not an annual treat.  She worked hard but was always there to pick us up from school with a smile and a 10p mix up (this is probably a very English reference but it was a little bag of lollies from the newsagent which cost ten pence!).

When we couldn't afford fish and chips she'd home cook them and wrap them in paper as a treat.  If we didn't have any bread for school lunches she'd knock up a quick batch of scones so that we had something substantial in our lunchbox.  Later on, when my mum and dad separated she worked in Marks and Spencer, in the food department and would come home on the bus, ladened with reduced goodies for my brother and I, her hands sore and marked from carrying the plastic bags.




I'd like to say that we appreciated every kindness that she ever showed us and every treat she scrimped and saved for, but of course, it's not like that when you're kids.  She was just mum - always there in the background, always in the kitchen singing along to the radio and always smiling.

Millers, the fashion brand, have asked me to come up with a Magic Moment that I shared with my mum and the first thing that sprang to my mind was that it had to be in the kitchen.  Mum loves to cook, she's excellent at it, particularly at making something stretch between a family of four, but what she was really good at was cakes...desserts....sweet nothings.

I remember when she taught me how to make a Victoria Sponge - the simplest of all cakes, and yet if you get it wrong, it's utterly WRONG!  I think it held a special place in my heart because I used to think it was named after me.  My nan used to put milk into her sponges, resulting in a dense, stuck-in-your-throat texture.  My mum's sponges were light and airy and deliciously toothsome.  They'd be filled with jam and dredged with so much icing sugar you could write your name in it.

I was probably about ten years old and we stood in our tiny kitchen whilst she explained how the quantity of eggs was key to the right texture.  She taught me the easy way to make one, too.  None of this creaming sugar and butter and then watching in misery as it curdles on adding the eggs.  Nope.  Mum's recipe is the one I still use today, and I'm sharing it with you.  This sweet treat was something that Mum would whip up for an after school snack on cold and dreary days in England and it never failed to raise a smile.


Bea's Victoria Sponge

Ingredients
Ok, this is where it becomes blindingly simple.
4 eggs
Weigh the eggs (in their shells) and make a note of it.
Self Raising Flour - same amount as the eggs weighed
Caster Sugar - same amount as the eggs weighed
Butter, softened - can you guess? Yep, same amount as the eggs weighed.
Splash of vanilla essence
Jam of your choice to fill
Whipped cream if you're feeling fancy
Icing sugar

Method
  • heat the oven to 170 degrees (165 for fan assisted) or Gas 5
  • grease and line the bases of two round sandwich tins
  • put the flour (we never had a sieve, but if it makes you feel better, you can sieve it), caster sugar (we never had this either actually, it was always just granulated), butter, eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl
  • Mix it REALLY well, with an electric mixer if you have one, if not, then use some elbow grease!
  • When it looks deliciously creamy and light in colour, divide it between the two prepared tins and get those babies into the oven.
  • Bake for around 20-30 minutes.  They're cooked when the top springs back when you press it.
  • Turn out of the tins, leave to cool and then sandwich together with your filling.  Top with icing sugar and enjoy with a nice cup of tea and a glad heart.

Thank you to Millers for providing the inspiration for this post and the lovely snuggly knitwear that I'm wearing in these photos.  Millers has some absolute classic pieces this season for every age and budget.  The Libby boot is just the perfect heel height for being on your feet all day!

Cream Tassle Wrap Cardigan (Millers, in store but no longer on the website)
Libby Boot, $40*
Black Singlet, Big W
Leather Look Joggers, Kmart (last season)










You don't need me to tell you to treasure your mums, but I'd love you to share a magic moment that you spent together in the comments below.  The best comment (judged by an independent adjudicator) will win a $100 voucher to treat themselves, and their mum in Millers.

*Competition closes on 29th April 2015 and is open to Australian residents only.  It is a game of skill and the judge's decision is final.

35 comments:

  1. Wow I love this post Vicki! I've never made a successful sponge before but I'll definitely be giving your mums recipe a go! Xx h

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  2. I treasure my Mum and hope my daughter treasures me. My magic moments are me teaching my daughter to cook the recipes that my Mum taught me to cook. Simple things like scones, piklets and rock cakes.

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    1. That's lovely - it's great to be able to pass on those skills to our kids.

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  3. Also i love the cream tassle wrap cardigan, heading to my local Miller's today!

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  4. Gorgeous post and how impressive is Millers looking with you wearing it? Ever since you shared a snippet of those $10 flats, I've been wanting to head in and case their entire range.

    Now as for the competition... I suppose not all of us are lucky enough to have those treasured moments with our mothers. Either due to loss or perhaps for one reason or another there wasn't a relationship to treasure in the first place. I know with my three girls we treasure the little moments, the ones that wouldn't exactly rate on the big scale of things but make us who we are.

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    1. Exactly right - it's the little things that add up to so much more.x

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  5. One of my favourite Mum moments also involves a bag of mixed lollies . . . I was about 14 - 15, it was a cold and rainy Saturday and I was preparing to curl up in front of the fire with a brand-new Stephen King book to read. Mum returned from a trip to the main street with a BIG bag of mixed lollies for me to enjoy while doing so. It was an unexpected treat and made for a perfect day. These days, now that she's moved closer, we can and do shop together . . . she's the one that introduced me to Millers!!

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    1. Oh that's lovely. i have a similar memory when I was a young teen and had awful period pains. She let me stay home from school and bought me a box of maltesers. It's the little things that you remember, isn't it?

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  6. Looking fantabulous Vicki. Thank you for sharing a little more about you and your Mother. V x

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  7. Your mum sounds amazingly beautiful. It must be hard living far away and not seeing your kids very often. Love that wrap cardi and the boots are fab too. xox

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    1. Ahh, thank you for the lovely comments. It can be really tough sometimes.xx

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. That should read ... "but I don't remember..." ...darn predictive text!

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    1. Haha, thanks Jo, I did get to read your comment before you deleted it!

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    2. Oh dear, I didn't think it deleted - that's why I wrote the adendum! I think my comment (minus the darn predictive text) said something like ... I so relate to your days growing up and it was lovely to be reminded of the old days in the old land. Not to mention Victoria Sponge which with the variety and soopa doopa nature of all things cake these days does get forgotten in our house. But you're right, there's nothing like it, so thank you for reminding me and for that lovely easy recipe :)

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  10. I'm lucky to have many magic moments that I've spent with my Mum, but one of the moments that came straight to mind was the day of my son's birth. Many hours after being induced and the labour not progressing my Mum was there to support my husband and to 'save' my son. The midwife told me that my son was sleeping and that's why his heart rate was hard to detect. My Mum being a midwife many, many years ago encouraged me to ask more questions, and to ask to see my Doctor. As soon as my Doctor arrived she explained that the baby was clearly in distress and needed to be delivered now. Thank goodness for my Mum. The love she shows towards her grandson can't be measured!

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    1. A funny coincidence-we all call my Mum, Mrs Miller, as she loves their clothing!

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    2. Oh my, your mum really was your guardian angel when your son was born! Thanks for sharing a beautiful story.

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  11. My mum and I had a wonderful time last night actually as she had tickets to The Phantom of the Opera and we went together. I was so happy that she chose to take me, her daughter, with her instead of going with one of her friends. We had some wine and enjoyed a magnificent night, and it was nice to spend time with my mum without my two sons vying for her attention too.

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  12. When my mum was in her last days, I was caring for her at home. My partner went in to sit with her to give me a break and I went downstairs to make a cup of tea. When I was coming up, I overheard him saying thank you to my mum for raising such a lovely daughter and entrusting him with me. My mum was telling him how much she loved me and asked him to always take care of me. It was heartbreakingly beautiful and not meant for my ears but I'm so glad I overheard them as it never fails to make me cry and realise how lucky I am to have had these two people in my life.
    leayas@optusnet.com.au

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing, that's just a beautiful story x

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  13. I have a happy little moment, snappshotted in time, of swinging my legs as I dangle on the edge of a kitchen chair, watching mum make one of the never ending baked goods of my childhood. The kitchen is bright, the vinyl is peeling, and the air is warm from the oven and sun pouring in the window. I'm hanging in there for the beaters, because patience always pays off in the kitchen with my mum, if I'm quiet, and watch, not only will I get the beaters to lick, but I'll be able to snag a warm scone, or pikelet, or cupcake when they are freshly made. My sister, too absorbed in music, or her poster collection will miss out and will only enjoy the one she gets for afternoon tea. Eventually mum will turn to me with a conspiratorial smile and hand me the beaters as she washes out the bowl. That's my classic childhood Mother memory.

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  14. Mum came with me to find my dream wedding dress... we shopped and shopped till when I tried on 'the one' and she said to me "that's the perfect one - you look absolutely beautiful!".

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  15. The most magical moment I have shared with my Mum is when she joined me in the delivery room and helped me (ever so much) in welcoming my first daughter (and her first grandchild) into the world. Definitely a moment neither of us will ever forget!
    Sarah F
    sarahdanf@Bigpond.com

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  16. I remember the day I got my period. It could have been really awkward and awful, but instead my mum turned it into a celebration for me. She yelled to my dad that his daughter was now a woman! She took the day off work, and took me out of school, and we had a great day out. She bought me a fabulous sweatshirt from Keith Matheson that I'd been coveting for ever, took me out for lunch, bought me my first perfume (Chloe) and I had my makeup done at Revlon, with new makeup to add to my existing collection of one tinted lip balm! I'll never forget how special she made me feel.

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  17. While growing up I used to love baking with my mum. Every week we would spend hours in the kitchen whipping up a cake or pies. It was our time together and gave me a great love of baking. For my wedding a couple of years ago we decided to make my wedding cake. We spent an afternoon making the cake and 70 little cupcakes, iced and decorated. Just the two of us. It was the last thing we got to do together before I became a married woman :)

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  18. My most treasured memory with my mum is when I was 21 in labour, she had traveled from sa to nsw to be there for the birth of my baby and the memory is of me in a hospital bath having contractions being so scared and her just sponging water onto me and talking in a low soothing voice. It was a majic moment because she took away my fear and helped me birth my first child.

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  19. I'm a single mother by choice. My mum was at the birth of my baby boy. It was hands down the MOST magical moment that we've shared together.

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  20. The day my mum handed me over her treasured recipe book, out of three girls she gave it to me knowing that I would love it. We went through each page chatting about memories of the dishes she's made, I love looking through it.

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  21. Going to Disney World with mum was a dream come true for both of us. Seeing the look on her face when Mickey gave her morning kisses on her birthday was priceless.

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  22. Every moment I got to spend with my mum I treasured! I left home at 18 and we lived in different states for pretty much the rest of her life, my most treasured moment is taking my eldest daughter (she was 2 then) down to visit mum for the last time, we laughed and cried together and I'll never forgot it :)

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  23. One Easter I was quite sick and my mum moved the ironing board to my bedroom and set it up low like a table so I could have all my Easter eggs on it. I was so happy with an ironing board of chocolate to eat that was right next to my bed.

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  24. My Mum wanted to act and in fact got into RADA in London but at the time (post WWII) her Dad insisted she went out to work so she did (and in her spare time joined a drama group which put on shows in prisons!) Anyway she'd never been to Stratford upon Avon - Shakespeare's birth place. I arranged a weekend away for us, we saw a show at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and did a backstage tour - I will never forget her standing on the stage, grinning saying she couldn't believe she was at long last standing on the RSC stage and she recited a few favourite Shakespeare lines.

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