When I was a child I loved my many dolls. My doll family was a family filled with relatives from various walks of life. Each got on magnificently with the other. Nary an angry, nasty, jealous word or thought passed between them, nor an ill-considered judgment made. Relatively speaking, my dolls had more relatives than I had.
They could very well have had more clothes than I possessed, too. However, I never did a count, although it was my responsibility to tend to their vast wardrobe. My dolls had outfits to suit all occasions. I was their willing handmaiden. Never did I complain, nor did I ever go on strike or ask for a pay rise. The love I felt was payment enough.
I confess, however - like many nannies of celebrities - I did sleep with my dolls, female and male alike! Each had its turn; often more than one at a time! It was difficult to choose. I managed a ménage à trios, tripled or quadrupled or more, expertly, night after night! I loved my dolls equally. Each was unique in its own way.
No tantrums were thrown by them or by me.
No tantrums were thrown by them or by me.
Topsy held a special place in my heart. Topsy was a black doll. In these days of political-correctness gone overboard I’d probably be frowned upon for christening my beloved Topsy, “Topsy”; but Topsy was her name and I loved her dearly.
Golly gee! I also had a golliwog. He sat proudly on my pillow. His sunny broad smiled brightened my bedroom. Wally the Golly was always immaculately dressed, with not a hair out of place. Never was Wally seen without his bow tie.
From memory, I didn’t have a teddy bear; not even Winnie the Pooh. Perhaps I did, but I’ve buried the memory. I do now have a couple of teddy bears sitting on my sofa...it’s never too late!
At the tender age of five years I inhabited a bed in, what was then known as the Glandore Hospital, in Gympie. While held captive in one of the rooms, a masked doctor audaciously removed my tonsils and adenoids! I slept throughout the procedure so why was he scared to show his face??!!
To appease my indignity I was fed junket and ice cream. Weird as it sounds, back then when I as young I preferred junket over ice cream. Some tastes have changed through the passing years - even if the weirdness hasn’t.
Here’s the drum - these days I can’t let a Peter’s Drumstick go by un-licked, especially the chocolate ones - and the vanilla.
Having shown bravery without complaint during my ordeal of being force-fed soft, sweet desserts after I was kicked out of hospital - not because of misbehaviour - I was a shy, quiet child (I couldn’t kick up much noise and fuss with my sensitive throat, anyway) - Mum and Nana had a surprise for me.
My face lit up in delight when I received my unexpected gift. She was clad in a white, flower-embossed voile dress. I christened her “Diana”. Tall for her age, with auburn ringlets falling softly on her shoulders, Diana was a beautiful addition to my doll family. With a single blink of her eyes, she stole my heart. I would’ve given it to her freely; she didn’t have to resort to theft. I’d not have thrown a wobbly. Breaking from the normal, Diana became my favourite doll. However, for the sake of harmony, it remained my secret. Diana achieved a major coup to have climbed to the elevated position because I adored every one of my dolls unconditionally; but atop of Everest Diana sat. The Queen of the Dolls, she reigned supreme, but fairly!
Years later, in a delusional, misguided moment of generosity I gave Diana away to someone I thought would love her, but I was to learn the recipient was incapable of recognising appreciation if it stood, neon-lit, in front of her! Diana probably ended up in landfill.
Well, hello, Dolly...it’d be nice to have you back where you belong...
Down the track my Nana and Mum gave the rest of my dolls to a local charity with the condition they’d be given to children who had little in their lives. Their kind gesture pleased me...and, no doubt, the young recipients.
Love passed on...happiness continued...as both should...and this certainly is the Season to rekindle those emotions....but let's not stop here...let's try to remember to be kind and caring throughout each year....
Pistachio Ice Cream: Whip 1-1/2c cold whipping cream until fluffy; add 125g vanilla junket and 1-1/2c cold single cream slowly; add 1/2tsp corn syrup, or to taste; add 1/2tsp almond extract and a few drops of green food colouring (optional). Line metal 9x9 pan with plastic wrap; pour in mixture; freeze 4hrs; then put scoops into blender/processor and whip; at the end stir in1c chopped or whole unsalted pistachios; freeze overnight.
Soy Junket: Grab l litre soy milk. Soak 4tsp unflavoured gelatine in 1/2c soy milk. Heat 1c soy milk until nearly boiling; add the gelatine mix; remove from heat; stir until dissolved. Put rest of soy milk in bowl; strain the hot mix into it; mix in 1/3c condensed milk. Cover; chill overnight to set; it’s meant to jiggle when “set” and will break into curds when eaten; serve with caramel syrup – bring to boil 1-1/2c brown sugar and 1c water; simmer 10mins on low.
Strawberry Ladyfinger Dessert: Place 1 packet sponge fingers split in half lengthways in single layer in 13x9-inch dish. In saucepan bring 150g strawberry junket and 1-3/4c cold water to boil; cook, stirring 1min; cool 4-5mins. Fold in 2c sliced fresh strawberries; spoon over the sponge fingers; spread gently; cover; chill 3-4 hours. Spread with whipped topping; garnish with strawberries, if desired.
Wobbly Spiced Junket with Roasted Rhubarb: Warm 600ml milk to body temp only; stir in 1tbs sugar, pinch nutmeg and 1/2tsp cinnamon; add 1tsp junket/rennet powder; pour into 4 individual ramekins/cups; chill 2hrs. Cut 4 rhubarb stalks into 2-inch pieces; place in baking dish; drizzle with 2tbs honey; cover dish with foil; cook in preheated 160C oven, 20mins or until soft. Serve chilled junket with warm rhubarb on the side.