It seems so silly now that it's all done and over with but at the time, I was mountain out of mole hilling like it was the last chance I'd ever have in my life to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Honestly, with an opening sentence like that and a lead photo featuring the Eastern Distributor, how could you not want to read on?
It all started on Thursday afternoon when I got the call from the panel beater (or body repairer as they're called these days though unfortunately just car bodies not oldish lady bodies). My car was finally ready to be picked up. The car had been pulled apart, bits replaced, put back together again, given a good spray paint and a particular sticker it needed had just arrived from Germany and had been stuck on. And yes, darlin', it's fine for you to come in first thing Friday after you've dropped the little one off at daycare.
Which gave me an entire half day to plan, process and prepare myself emotionally for what first thing Friday would involve. Getting my hire car back to the returns depot, getting myself further east than I've ever been in my life as a Sydneysider and then relearning how to drive my own car on the way to work in the Friday peak hour.
So many variables, so many unfamiliar roads. The Eastern Distributor. The road whose reputation precedes it every afternoon when I hit the Cross City Tunnel. The variable message sign seems to have 'Congestion. Expect Delays. Eastern Distributor.' On autoplay. Every single day. I wonder if there's any other message the sign ever displays? It's just such an odd bit of expressway. Sandwiched in between normal roads and with off ramps that seem to close for a good part of the day.
I spent yesterday afternoon on Google Maps cramming for my drives. Memorising the way to the depot and then the trip back to work. Despite having Google Maps on my phone and GPS in my car... I then did a clear out of the rental and committed to memory which side of the car the fuel cap was again. Then I lay back on the sofa, closed my eyes and tried to remember just how busy the servo across from the park was in the mornings and also how hard it was to exit it back onto the main road. And then I prayed and meditated over what I'd planned.
And guess what? It all went off without a hitch. I got the location of the fuel cap first go at the servo. I got all the turnings to the returns area for the rental (after the guys at the pick up driveway guided my reversing out of their area and up a bit further to where I needed to be). It only took me five minutes at the body repairers to remember how where the parking brake was. And the Eastern Distributor really wasn't that bad at all. It could do with a Maccas drive through city bound, though. Just saying.
It was only two hours of my day but I was emotionally drained by the time I limped down the road to get a coffee. And it was a damn fine skinny cap too, might I add.
And here we are at toddler parent o'clock where I'm putting the finishing touches on the cheesecake I started on last night. You know the one, the One Pot Chef no bake lemon cheesecake. I've made it so many times now, I've decided to give the biscuit crust a little tweak.
I've found that that the full 250g of butter for the crust as the recipe requires makes mine a little too solid and difficult to cut for serving. So I've cut it down to about 187.5g. Approximately.
I've also tried out this trick from Sally on her blog, Sally's Baking Addiction. Subscribing to Sally's posts is the back bone of my daily dose of virtual cake and cookies. I love her light heartedness, her ways with sprinkles and the comfort factor of her recipes. I'm planning on making one of her brownie recipes for Christmas. Basically, Sally suggests adding 1/3 cup of sugar to your biscuit or graham cracker base mix. The sugar acts to bind the crumbs as the base is set in the fridge or baked in the oven. I'm using brown sugar and will be curious to see what diamension it adds to the flavour of my cheesecake.
In the meantime, this is what my crust crumbs look like with the addition of brown sugar. The kitchen smelled like a big hug as I prepared them.
Will you look at the time?!?! It's a quarter to six already. Best get on with that cheesecake before Toddler SSG wakes up and we wander off down the road for breakfast. And strawberries for the cheesecake.
Do you have a stretch of road that's your arch nemesis?
Would you like some kind of drive through retail arrangement somewhere on the Eastern Distributor?
It's the big things on a Saturday.