Thuddlewump, Tiddleybop, Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!!!!!!!!!
The deafening sound echoed around the craters of the moon.
Gombleswamp’s beady eyes peered over the crater. Clouded with age, he could only just make out bright purple strobe lights illuminating the dark sky, but he could smell thick smoke.
Unsure what to do next, he decided to pluck up the courage and explore. Quickly dashing around his little home, Gombleswamp made the bed, turned off the oven and the lights, checked the hobs and made sure that everything was ship-shape.
The wafting smell of freshly baked cookies lingered around in the crater, he had just baked them this morning. The tempting smell made him want to stay, yet of course, he knew that he had to venture outside. He couldn’t be scared forever!
Tentatively, he crawled out of the crater and dusted the moon sprinkles off trousers. The fiery stars twinkled and danced above him, and the blue planet lay ahead. Struck by its awe, he almost forgot what he had set out to do!
Tiptoeing over the craggy craters and lumps and bumps of the moon, Gombleswamp found a broken hubble bub. He knew from reading his space books that these often circulated around his home and visiting distant planets and stars. Yet most importantly, they were also operated by the earthlings.
They truly were peculiar creatures. They had skin that felt like baby blankets, hair colours that were similar to tree bark, the sun and the night sky, and eyes that were the colour of the sea, grass or chocolate.
“MMMM chocolate!” Gombleswamp thought, salivating at the mouth. But wait! Oh no! He couldn’t get distracted again.
As Gombleswamp inspected the hubble bub he saw a young earthling crying, or what he thought was an earthling. She certainly didn’t look like they do in his books, with hair the colour of candyfloss and wearing a white space-suit. Gombleswamp remarked that she looked similar to those astronaut things. But all of the astronaut pictures that he had seen were of men? “Strange”, thought Gombleswamp, but he didn’t give it a second thought.
The young woman had a slight inkling that she was being watched, wiping the tears off her red-tinged cheeks, she turned to view an alien. Well, she had never seen one of these before!
The creature in front was the colour of midnight, navy skin speckled with green splodges and white sparkles. His body was permanently goose pimpled with protruding little pink hairs. His eyes were wide with anticipation and portrayed black shining pupils. Slowly he reached out his webbed hands to touch her space-suit in curiosity and awe.
She didn’t flinch, she too was mesmerised.
“Who are you?” she muttered, “Can you help me?”
Gombleswamp shook his head, he knew quite a bit of earthling lingo but repairing hubble bubs were quite out of his reach.
The hubble bub quickly let out a loud moan:
“THUDDLEWUMP, TIDDLEYBOP, SCREEEEEEECH!!!!”
Wisps of grey smoke and small sparks flew up from its sides. It really was quite a wreck.
The young woman let out a small sob, what could she do? She could never get home now!
Gombleswamp was at a loss, he felt a pang of sorrow for this woman and so wanted to help. Seeing that her sobs were quickly worsening he helped her to her feet and simply said “Come to my house for a cup of tea and we will sort this mess out!”
And together, they trudged back to his home.
“So, what is your name?” Gombleswamp enquired shyly.
“Luuuunnaaaa Lavendeerr…. that really is quite unusual, I thought all earthlings were called Mark and Jane?”
“I came up with it myself. I was called Susie, but I didn’t like it that much, I thought it was dull and boring” wiping the tears from her cheeks, Luna dejectedly shuffled along, kicking rocks to the side with her moon boots. “I always had a fascination with the moon when I was younger, and I liked reading harry potter too, so that is why I chose Luna… and lavender, well, lavender was my mum’s favourite flower. She passed away when I was little.”
“I am so sorry to hear that” Gombleswamp replied sadly.
“I don’t really remember it much to be honest… but I think that is why I always wanted to be an astronaut as I loved the moon. And, I find comfort in the sense of a greater world, larger than our own earth and full of magic and possibilities. Also, I want to be closer to mum, as my dad said she is always in the stars.”
Gombleswamp had a feeling that Luna Lavender was quite exceptional.
Arriving at his home, Gombleswamp helped Luna slide into the crater, trying to ignore the amount of moon dust that she brought inside. Immediately, he made sure that Luna was comfortable, giving her a packet of tissues and boiling the kettle.
Luna eyed the packet of tea on the side just making out the scrawled handwritten lettering “Antarus”, she murmured, “the fifteenth brightest star in the sky”. Gombleswamp placed a tea bag in a chipped green mug and brought it over to her.
“I have never had a pot of star tea” Luna laughed, cupping the hot mug in her hands, “what’s in it?”
“It’s my own recipe!” Gombleswamp replied proudly, “I named it after one of the brightest stars cause this tea helps me think clearly, especially in times of trouble. It is a concoction of twinkle root, dried milky way, and pluto powder!”
The tea shimmered under the light of the stars. Eager with anticipation, Luna took a sip, the taste was like no other. Sweet and hot, flavours of caramel, peppermint and popping candy fizzled in her mouth.
Noticing her excited expression, Gombleswamp laughed “stick out your tongue!”
Luna did as she was told as Gombleswamp passed her a small compact mirror, her tongue was lilac! Instantly, Luna felt like she was floating, and felt calmer than ever before.
Not only did Gombleswamp know how to create the perfect cup of tea, but he also knew how to bake. From indulgent rock cakes to doughy moon macaroons, Gombleswamp knew his fudge from his frosting, and his buttercream from his biscuits.
Gombleswamp never had guests over, so seeing that Luna was content made his heart swell! “I know earthlings love afternoon tea.. I have read about it!” He hastily grabbed a silver plate and delicately arranged asteroid canopus cookies that he had made earlier. The colour of deep navy, they were tinged with nuggets of silver, quartz and gold. “Have these to go with the tea, they taste like hot fudge and coconut ice… please take as many as you want, I will make up some more cakes now!”
“You don’t need to do that” Luna laughed, “I am perfectly happy with these!”
“Please, I insist, it will only be a few minutes.”
Crafted from dark, milk and white chocolate, and filled with rocks from Mars and Neptune, Gombleswamp knew these would be a memorable creation. Their icing was a vibrant and lively mixture of rainbow colours, topped with twinkling stardust. Gombleswamp had made, baked and decorated these cakes within 3 minutes.
“I present to you, my intergalactic cupcakes”
“Why, these look incredible, fantabalous and simply amazing!” Biting into one, Luna couldn’t quite believe her luck as these were the nicest cakes in the world… perhaps in the entire universe.
“I simply have to take this recipe home” she squealed, but then she remembered “… that is, if I can get home…” her face instantly fell.
Gombleswamp turned away, as he hated to see her upset. There must be something he can do!
Looking up the stars, Gombleswamp sipped his tea. Then it came to him, he remembered his grandfather Gimblegeep told him something light years ago.
Turning back to Luna, Gombleswamp quickly explained that aliens possessed ancient skills of telepathic communication. Centuries ago these skills were very strong, and it allowed aliens to read earthlings thoughts and communicate through their dreams, allowing them to learn more about the great blue planet. However, this was a skill that had to be practised constantly and as aliens became sparse, this communication started to die out so aliens like Gombleswamp could only access a few thoughts and skills, like baking.
“So, aliens have listened to my thoughts? That’s kind of creepy and cool” Luna said.
“Well yes, they could have, but there aren’t many of us left. Plus, it isn’t something that is practised anymore, I have only learnt about earthlings through old books rather than reading minds. My baking skills however was all through telepathy.”
“So what does this have to do with repairing my spaceship?”
“Well, grandfather once told me that humans and aliens are more alike than we know it. As a species, we both thrive upon ideas, in fact, imagination is incredibly powerful. When an idea is created, and passed on to someone else, a mystical substance is created, one that can power a vehicle, and perhaps even repair your hubblebub!”
“That sounds amazing, and also incredibly difficult, who could we give the idea through and how?”
“If I try hard enough, I can communicate it through dreams… as surprisingly, there isn’t any phone signal on the moon.”
“So what idea shall we send?”
Gombleswamps eyes fell upon the cupcakes “we could send my recipe, the intergalactic cakes, and I can explain everything to them, so we need to choose someone random.”
“Okay” Luna said “lets give it a try!”
So, parents and carers, this is where you come in. You have been picked to share and make this recipe with your children, and make sure you read this story beforehand to them so they understand the important task that they have to do! Simply by sharing and creating these delicious cakes will help Luna Lavender get home to her family.
Gombleswamps Intergalactic Cupcakes
For the cake
175g of softened butter
175g of caster sugar
140g of self-raising flour
50g of cocoa powder
100g of mixed chocolate chips, white dark and milk.
For the icing
150g softened butter
250g icing sugar
20g of cocoa powder
Gel food colouring (pink, blue, purple, green)
Edible silver glitter
Sugary gold nuggets and silver ball sprinkles
12 hole cupcake tray
Silver or gold foiled cupcake cases (though normal would be fine!)
Closed star piping nozzle
Despite Gombleswamp making these in 3 minutes, us earthlings don’t have the same level of technology so it will take longer – but it is worth it!
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line the cupcake tray with the cupcake cases.
- Place the butter, sugar, flour, eggs, chocolate chips and cocoa powder in a bowl and beat together for 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
- Feel each cupcake case with the batter and put in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack
- While the cupcakes are cooling beat together the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Split the mixture into four different bowls and add ¼ tsp of food colouring to each bowl – so each bowl is a different colour
- Add 20g of cocoa powder to each bowl and mix until combined.
- Drop a teaspoons of each coloured buttercream into any order of your choosing into the piping bag fitted within the closed star nozzle
- Pipe swirls of buttercream onto each cupcake revealing the galaxy colours
- Dust each cupcake with a generous coating of edible silver glitter and scatter the silver balls and golden nugget sprinkles on top!