Orange Almond Cake

“Hi, I’m Mable and I am a cleanoholic.”

That’s right people, I’m addicted to cleaning. It’s a sad, sad fact that I enjoy tidying cupboards, scrubbing toilets, doing the laundry.

Today I had a free day. So, I started writing what we need for the week’s grocery. I rummaged through the freezer and then organized it back neatly into categories. Frozen berries to the right-hand corner. Frozen peas, bottom centre shelf. Then I looked into the pantry and started organizing E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Pasta sauce. Baking ingredients. Canned soups. And then I vaccummed. The shelves.

Oh. My. Gawd. I’m turning into Momzilla. And I don’t even have kids.

Do you know how awful it is to realize this? I had shivers down my spine. I wouldn’t blame you if you did either.

G’s mom admitted that she wasn’t the domesticated type. G’s little sister, Miss B., said when she was a kid, her friends had to go home to clean their rooms. She thought it was very strange because she was never told to clean hers. It was only when she was older she realized it was because her mom never bothered with her own room. It wasn’t dirty. It was

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just an organized mess.

O.K. when I first heard that, I kinda cringed. Actually, even felt a tinge envious. But I also see that G’s home is filled with love. You walk in outta there and you feel loved. You’re allowed to be happy and you’re allowed to have faults. You’re allowed to be naughty once in a while. And you’re definitely allowed to make mistakes. His family home is the exact opposite of how I grew up. I mean, my parents are great but it was also very strict. Don’t talk back. Don’t speak when the adults are speaking. Girls don‘t do this. Boys don‘t do that. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.

At’s G’s home, I’ve learned that it was ok to be a little messy. It’s ok to be a little bit bad. It’s actually really ok to be you. (It’s also definitely VERY ok to eat chocolates whenever you absolutely want to!)

I think it’s because it’s ok to be imperfect, there is so much more room for Love.

G.’s brother and sister are grounded, well-mannered, wonderful, sensible and practical people. I’m not saying this just because I’m marrying the guy. I’m saying this because I genuinely like them. Many (read: Asian) people would think that having grown up in a household as such would be disastrous but, on the contrary, I think it’s been a success.

So, instead of vaccumming the whole house down, I’ve allowed myself to have a cup of coffee and express my shocking realization that I am my mom. I think as much as it’s ok for me to be Clean-O-Freak – it’s more important that I accept others for who they are. And on my last note, I’ve also accepted that it is completely, utterly, remarkably okay to allow mess into my life sometimes.

Orange Almond Cake ( serves 6 ) – adapted and modified from Donna Hay

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1 tbsp orange essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp orange juice
  • 3/4 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 2/3 cup almond meal

orange syrup

  • 1 cup caster sugar, extra
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier (orange liquer)


  1. Preheat oven to 170*C (335*F).
  2. Place sugar, butter, orange rind and essence in mixing bowl. Beat until light and creamy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in orange juice and beat well.
  4. Fold through flour, baking powder and almond meal.
  5. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased cake tin.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked when tested with skewer.
  7. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack.
  8. Serve with orange syrup and cream.

Orange syrup

Place extra sugar, orange juice and liquer into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for 30 minutes or until thick and syrupy. Set aside and keep warm.


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