“Let Them Eat Cake”, said the luxury-loving Marie Antoinette, when her advisors told her that the common people had no bread to eat. “They have no bread? Then let them eat cake!” was her reply, not understanding that if they could not afford bread, then they were hardly likely to be able to afford cake.
But here we have it – not bread, but cake being served to one and all.
The Royal couple, Charles the Prince of Wales, and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, are visiting New Zealand right now. Today, they are in Auckland. They are headed for Wellington tomorrow, the 14th November 2012, where they will celebrate Prince Charles’ 64th birthday. Then they are off to Christchurch, the famous earthquake-rebuild city.
John Campbell featured a neat story on tonight’s show ‘Campbell Live’, which you can revisit on New Zealand television channel 3, of the Royals visiting East Tamaki School in Auckland, where they were treated to the most delicious carrot cake which was made by the children of the school, from carrots produced in their very own school garden.
How wonderful is that!
I am sure that Marie Antoinette will have been smiling down on the Royal couple, John Campbell, the school children, and everyone else who were eating their carrot cake at this special function which was held in honour of Charles and Camilla. If not, then most surely Persephone, the Greek Goddess of all things that grow, will be most happy.
The most impressive thing, I think, apart from seeing the Duchess Camilla sitting down happily at the table enjoying her ‘kai’ (food) with the tamariki (children), was seeing the fantastic garden in the school yard, where the famous carrots for the royal carrot cake were grown by the children.
The garden at East Tamaki school is amazing. They have a gardening specialist who comes in each day. Many of the children have become avid gardeners, if they weren’t already, and have begun their own gardens at home since the gardening project began.
We were shown the extensive garden area, full of greens and flowers: tidy rows of this and that – bean frames, potatoes, spinach, herbs, and all manner of beautiful edible plants. We were taken to the carrot patch where we saw a pupil pull up a lovely big carrot from the soil. We saw a salad, made entirely from plants out of the garden, being decorated with the rich, dark, blue flowers of the borage herb.
Now this school has got it right. No better education than to teach children the value of a garden, and provide healthy vegetables for them to eat at the same time. Working in a garden and watching plants grow is one of the most spiritual and healing activities I can think of. These children must be gaining enormous emotional, mental and physical benefits from having this great garden to work in and appreciate.
What a great thing it would be if, instead of closing down our well-run little schools to make just a few giant schools, where ‘one size is meant to fit all’, our National government took up this initiative to create gardens in every school in New Zealand.
John Campbell again pointed to the fact that many children in our little country are going hungry. Child poverty in New Zealand is a very real thing. He had asked the Minister of Health in for a discussion about child health, on tonight’s show, but had to tell us that for the umpteenth time, yet another National Government policitian had declined to take up the opportunity of discussion on ‘Campbell Live’. They would not appear on the ‘Campbell Live’ show.
Good on you, John. Fantastic work.
Recipe for Carrot Cake: Note – this one is not gluten-free – will put up one below this for gluten-free people)
My own never-fail carrot cake which we all used to make for parties, back in the day when our children were young, and before we cut out the wheat flour:
1 and a quarter cups plain flour
2 tsps baking powder and one of baking soda
1 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
3 free range eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 and a half cups grated carrot
3/4 cup sultanas or raisins
Mix together the oil and the sugar and beat well. Add one egg at a time to the oil mixture. Then add the sifted flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and grated carrot.
Mix well, then spread into a greased baking tin or a cast iron fry pan. Bake for 1/2 hour in a moderate oven.