Naughty and 40

Have you ever had that experience of waking up, looking in the mirror and being a bit shocked by what you see? I had that moment over the weekend when I looked and welcomed another significant wrinkle. Not content with adding to my collection of laugh lines, this one actually crosses over the laugh lines forming a nice mesh, reminiscent of fishnets but far less alluring.

Apparently the phrase ‘aging overnight’ is based on fact, not fiction. It’s true, people don’t age gradually, but in ‘clunks’ and after the age of 35 we’re in aging freefall.

Having a second non-sleeping baby at 34½ apparently gave me a double whammy of aging. My ‘overnight’ seemed to stretch for one blurry four-year period and then when my focus cleared enough to look in the mirror, I was 38 and not the youthful flower I had been seven years earlier when I breathlessly announced my first pregnancy. (Incidentally, women feel at their most beautiful at age 32).

Searching the web on all things aging, I was thrilled to discover ‘Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome’ which is the sudden aging of soap characters. Like when Bridget Forrester suddenly got old enough to be in a love triangle with her mother and Deacon. And I’m wondering if all those university hours spent watching ‘The Bold & The Beautiful’ was detrimental to my health and somehow it twiddled with my gene structure to leave me stuck with that syndrome. You see, in my mind, I’m still 25. Which is weird, because my daughter turns 9 next birthday and she’s nearly as tall as me.

Actually the truth is that I’m pondering all these things because I’m turning 40 this week. And no matter how I try to deny it, people keep doing things like giving me birthday cards with ’40 and naughty’ on the front and cheery messages like “you’re another year more wonderful”. The sentiment is sweet, but I can’t help but think of people saying, “gee you must be lucky” when a bird craps on your jacket. They’re trying to make you feel better, but really, it’s all a little bit bullshit.

So sticking with sweet, it seems right to do a chocolate slice recipe this week. And when you bite in, think of me, huddled in the old lady corner, lamenting the loss of my youth.

Happy birthday to me, I live in a tree…

Chocolate slice

1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup oat bran
40g butter, melted and cooled
140g tub apple purée
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs, lightly whisked

1 1/4 cups icing sugar mixture
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2-3 tbsp water
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 180c. Line a lamington/slice tin with baking paper (leave some to hang over the two long sides).

Sift the flour and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add in the sugar, coconut and oat bran. Mix lightly.

In a separate bowl or jug combine the butter, purée, eggs and vanilla.

Pour the wet into the dry and fold until totally combined. Spoon the mixture into your tin and patiently spread with a spatula until even. Bake for 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tray.

Sift the icing sugar mixture and cocoa into a bowl. Add in the water and mix well then pour over the slice and leave it to harden in the tin.

Use the sides of the paper to lift out and slice into 20 pieces.

18 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    popfizzle said,

    Love it!

    Love there is no vegies in it!!

    Love that I am turning 30 and thought I was fine with the whole idea till I had a melt down about it and can see my imaginary self karate kicking/vampire slayering anyone who tells me to embrace it! Meh!

    So I am slighty frazzled by what I might do when I am turning 40????



    Rebecca Paton 0416086557

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. 4

    Kate said,

    Yep, Im 40 in a couple of weeks too, and traumatised by it! I swear I physically aged about 5 years with each child, and hubby wants another!

    • 5

      wendyblume said,

      Is he twisting your arm? I’d love one more kid, but just couldn’t go through another pregnancy and baby at this age. I know plenty who have though – and if course haven’t regretted it for a second!

      • 6

        Kate said,

        Im the same- would love another one, but cant decide if Im willing to put my body through a pregnancy again. I bounced back after the first, but the spring was definitely missing after the second!

  3. 7

    Nicola said,

    Looks delicious and I love that I can pretend it’s healthy. Or at least, healthier. 🙂 Did my 40th this year. First birthday I had to take a deep breath and pretend it wasn’t happening (other than excuse for a good nosh-up with a bunch of friends… several times in a row)

  4. 9

    Kate said,

    You have said exactly what I have been feeling…as I turn forty (looks less harsh in letters rather than numbers) this week too!! Thanks.

  5. 12

    Michelle Rae said,

    I’ll be in the old lady corner with you this week as I turn the big 4-0, and thinking dear lordy how did that happen! I have a 4 month old, and has me feeling pretty old at times….and dont get me started on my “old womens hands”, which seemed to appear overnight….eekk. Since I cant drink to forget my impending doom i think i will eat chocolate slice instead…..nom nom 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY…love your site, always makes me laugh…(have to be mindful of all the smiling wrinkles though!)

  6. 14

    Kim Dodwell said,

    Hilarious! The teachers were asking the kids at gymnastics last Monday how old they were. The kids all yelled out 3 or 4. I yelled out 41! All the parents laughed uncomfortably, sort of sniggered and coughed as a tumble weed rolled by and a cricket chirped in the distance… K

  7. 15

    Deb said,

    Happy Birthday & I can’t wait to try this slice 🙂

  8. 16

    The slice looks great. I hope you have a great birthday. I know what you mean about still feeling 25 (or in my case maybe 22).

  9. 17

    Sandra said,

    Happy birthday. I made the slice and it’s terrific. Master 11 especially enjoyed devouring it. Thanks. (loving your ebooks too)

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