And just like that it was Movember. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, that wasn’t a typo. But for those that haven’t the foggiest clue what I’m going on about, here’s a brief history lesson: The movement that is Movember first began one night in 1999 when a group of lads in Australia first coined the phrase and the idea in their local pub. With the Movember Foundation becoming official in 2004, it’s been growing (excuse the pun) ever since. It does however have its pitfalls, I mean, you offer someone a genuine compliment on their mustache and suddenly she’s not your friend anymore… Ha.
The mighty mustache. It separates the men from the boys and the manimals from the meek and mild. (If “manimal” wasn’t a word… guess what, it is now). I first became aware of muzzies at an early age. My dad had one his whole life and chose to shave it off only a handful of times, after which, his face always looked unbearably naked. He claimed he could never shave it off permanently because, and I quote, “the chicks at work say I look much younger and your mother will get jealous.” (He was both modest and a realist). His mo was his trademark, a unique logo, and a characteristic that he became renowned for. I used to hate the feeling of it grazing my face when he tried to give me kisses as a toddler and I always turned my cheek in an attempt to escape from it. I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart, that I would give absolutely anything to have that feeling back now. And so I learned later on that what felt like a pot scourer in my earlier years was actually the epitome of manhood. (Go Dad!) I have thrown in a picture of him (beside my mother) in his prime for good measure and so that you can see what I’m referring to regarding his lip-fro situation… Although, I am sure that if my dad were here today, he’d argue that he was ALWAYS in his prime…
I’m all for good causes and I must say it makes me smile to see bro’s proudly sporting their mo’s (sometimes with less impressed girlfriends in-tow, about 5 paces behind them at all times). But ladies, let me break it down for you… Your male companion is part beast. He sprouts hair from countless places, his upper lip being one of many. And whilst some may never be able to grow a mustache, others see them as a beacon of a true gent, paraded proudly every year for the duration of one month. If you consider the cause behind it, I’m sure you can learn to live with it. (Depending, of course, on how your man looks with a mustache. If he channels Ron Burgundy in “Anchor Man” then good for you! Pour him a glass of “scotch, scotchy, scotch” and thank your lucky stars. But should he look like a Yeti died on his upper lip, or even worse, like Borat’s long-lost twin brother, it’s going to be a terribly long month for you. In which case, my thoughts are with you during this difficult time). Please note, that the aforementioned toleration of mo’s should only occur if your man-beef is donating to the cause or helping to raise money for it. My suggestion? Call his bluff. Get him to register and earn the right to rock his muzzie this Movember, that way, he’ll be making a real difference and you sleeping next to an Alpaca all month won’t be in vain.
So let’s get to the crux of this post shall we… Cancer. It’s a real bastard. And although Movember was conceived to increase the detection and awareness of male-type Cancers, it has actually increased the awareness of all Cancers as a whole. It’s said that 1 in 3 people will get Cancer in their lifetime and if we pause to think about it, we all know someone who’s died from it. The scary thing is, it’s starting to affect more and more people close to us and even worse, those diagnosed appear to be getting younger and younger every day. I’m so morbid, right? Wrong. I’m realistic. I’m not here to ruin your day, or make you worry about something you can’t do anything about, because everyone knows there’s nothing you can do about Cancer, right? Again, wrong. Everyone can do something about Cancer.
For starters, male or female, it’s all about the nuts. Whether it’s your coconuts up top or your actual nuts down below, you should always be checking for any changes in breasts or testicles. Ladies, check your internal nuts (ovaries) by visiting your lady parts doctor. More often than not, I hear young people say, “I’m only 25. I don’t need to go and get checked.” Newsflash, Cancer couldn’t give a shit about your age, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The cliché, “Prevention is better than cure,” is applicable here. And when it comes to a terminal disease that the world’s top doctors are yet to find a cure for, it’s never been truer. So go ahead, book the checkup and have that physical. It’s a few minutes that could change your life. Maybe I’m paranoid and you’ll be one of the lucky ones who never get Cancer, but if by some wicked twist of fate you turn out to be the one in three people reading this that does, at least you may have caught it in time…
Another thing you can do is help those who are yet to know that they even have it. By donating this Movember, you could create more awareness, increase detection and perhaps even prevent the spread of Cancer. My friend Steve Craus has again formed his team, The Knights of Movember. Last year they managed to raise R12 000. This year they hope to meet the R15 000 mark. Should you wish to make a donation, please click on this link to see how you can join his team and help http://za.movember.com/team/1606097. Pay it forward, the world needs more people like you.
So this one’s for the ones who can and can’t grow them. For the ones who courageously rock them, in spite of the rolling eyes of their ladies, thank you for showing a sign of support to those fighting a battle that we may never understand. May we be lucky enough to never get to understand it firsthand, and may we be brave enough to take a stand to help the ones that do.
This is for my gramps who lost his battle in 2005 and for Kim who continues to fight. It’s for Wes up in heaven as we speak, for his darling sister Ainsleigh and the rest of the Ingle family. It’s for Rita who has left us and for her brave daughter Tenieke. For Ilse, Jeans, Celeste and their angel Eugene who passed far before his time. It’s also for Leigh and her late father who also had one of the mightiest mo’s in all the land. Lastly, this one’s for my own dad. Thankfully, he never had Cancer, but let it be known that Robert Cecil De Beer had the steamiest mustache I have ever seen (and will ever see) in all my years of life. He also had it all year round and just like the Continum Transfunctioner in “Dude, where’s my car?” its mystery was only exceeded by its power. I love you Faj.
Yours in Baking, Bitching and Movember Magic, (because “xoxo” was too mainstream and because I’m off to my local party shop to buy a stick-on mustache as we speak…)
“Mind my (Coco)nuts” Cake
For the Cake:
125g butter (softened)
250g cream cheese
¾ cup coconut oil
5ml vanilla extract
5ml coconut extract
6 large eggs
3 cups cake flour (sifted)
1 teaspoon baking powder (sifted)
2 cups desiccated coconut
For the Glaze:
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups icing sugar
Coconut flakes for topping
For the Groovy Mustaches:
Fine sprinkles (100’s and 1000’s)
3 tablespoons icing sugar
Water to make a glue type paste
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade and grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
- Make a mustache shape template out of stiff cardboard (I freehand cut one).
- Roll out fondant, place template on top and cut around it.
- Carefully insert a tooth pick into the mustache, being careful not to pierce right through the top.
- Make about 6 mustaches.
- Make a paste with icing sugar and a few drops of water and paint a thin layer over each mustache. Top with sprinkles and allow to dry.
- Okay, now back to the cake!
- Cream the butter and creamed cheese together.
- Add the coconut oil and sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the extracts and mix in.
- Add each egg, one at a time, beating well after each is added.
- Sift the flour and baking powder in and mix until just combined.
- Fold in coconut.
- Spoon batter into the pan and level with a spatula.
- Bake for 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave in cake tin for ten minutes before unmolding.
- With a fork, poke holes all over the cake and brush 1/2 cup of coconut milk over the cake with a pastry brush so that it can absorb. This will take several minutes and a few layers of brushing to get it properly absorbed.
- Make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar with enough coconut milk to create the right consistency.
- Drizzle over cake and top with coconut flakes and fondant mustaches!
Health Hack: You know the drill. Swap sugar for Xylitol, and substitute one cup of the flour for coconut flour.