One freezing cold and grey day last May, I lugged my heavily pregnant self to the hospital for the dreaded glucose test. I was pretty confident that I would breeze through the test; I have always eaten healthily, and exercised, and it just didn’t occur to me that I could get gestational diabetes. One horrible syrupy drink later, after accompanying blood tests, and I headed home.
I promptly forgot about the test. A week later, I received a phone call. A nurse on the other end very kindly broke it to me that I had gestational diabetes. She asked me how I felt about hearing the news, I remember feeling utterly shocked and after I put down the phone, I burst into tears.
And so began the routine of blood tests every two hours, writing down everything I ate, and constant scrutinising of sugar and carb content in foods. My body was so sensitive to glucose that I could only eat two strawberries in one sitting. If I ate one more, it would send my blood sugar count sky high.
And the cravings… I was pregnant, tired and over it. I wanted carbs, I wanted sugar and I wanted to be able to eat a whole bowl of mashed potato without worrying about my next blood test. I wanted to sleep in without having to wake early to test my morning glucose levels. I wanted to sit on the couch and watch movies instead of heading to the gym every night in the bid to keep my natural insulin levels up.
One Saturday afternoon, my husband and I were sitting at the window in Beatrix. We had just shared the most divine Mcivorf pulled pork roll. My husband spotting me gazing wistfully at the heaving cake display, and said ‘You pick out one that you like and I promise I will deliver it to you when our son is born.’
Somehow, that was all the motivation I needed to get through the next few weeks. Whenever I felt upset about not being able to eat something I wanted, I thought about that cake stand. I stayed disciplined and felt proud that I was giving my unborn child the best start in life I could.
The day after my son was born, my husband came in smiling with a box stamped with the iconic Beatrix beaters. Inside was a slice of sunny Tangelo Chiffon Cake. It was wistfully light, fluffy and perfect. I will never forget that first bite, and I will always connect that cake with the joyful arrival of my son.
Pastry chef and owner Nat Paull was trained by Maggie Beer, and has worked with Greg Malouf, Stephanie Alexander and Cath Claringbold. Her small, minimal and sunny corner cafe serves up a different sandwich roll every day. The produce used is ethical, usually locally sourced – sometimes even from her customers’ gardens. She cooks from the heart and her offerings are subtle, layered, and flavour combinations surprising.
The range of cakes is impressive, the slices generous, and you will find yourself leaving with a few to take home. If you intend to take the kids, head there early to grab a spot and keep in mind that the tiny venue can get very busy on weekends. The staff are lovely and always accommodating of little ones.
When we visited last, we purchased our cake as takeaway. Eden and I headed back to my place and promptly consumed, between us, three huge dreamy pieces of cake, while our toddlers enjoyed their play date. It is probably lucky that our bubbas are too young for sugar, because we weren’t into sharing!
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