Thursday, 03 September 2015
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March 2010

Many hands make light work

Today is Shrove Tuesday and I should be writing a column about how we all spent the evening happily tossing pancakes together, good family fun....

However, one of Lucy and Jude’s new favourite hobbies is baking. Especially if it’s also a social event involving their best friends in the street, Annie and Fin. So, yesterday, after a wet walk in the park, Lucy and Annie asked if they could make cup cakes.

The four children gathered around the kitchen table, hands washed, ingredients assembled weighing scales at the ready. Lucy poised with vanilla essence in hand, ready to add her drop. For some reason this is her favourite ingredient.

Jude and Fin were both glued to the Indiana Jones Lego game on the same DS which they managed to continue playing at the same time as baking - and who said that men couldn’t multi-task?!
On the subject of the DS, it was half-term and they are only allowed to play at weekends and holidays and they had been for a big run in the park and were baking too... so I turn a blind eye to a bit of excess DS action now and then. Also the sight of the two boys leaning in together, giving each other instructions on the best way to defeat one of Lego Indie’s enemies is just too sweet to put an end to. I had to take a photo of them yesterday, I wanted to hold that moment and not forget the cuteness.

Back to the baking. When whipping up 12 cup cakes with four children the roles have to be very carefully handed out before starting to avoid a heart warming domestic scene quickly descending into one of “but he broke the eggs” and “I haven’t had a stir”.

Annie sifted the flour, Jude paused Indiana Jones and beat the eggs, Fin looked up from the screen to have a stir and Lucy’s moment of glory arrived when she finally got to add the drop of vanilla essence, very important.

Cakes satisfactorily in the oven to bake, bowl licked as clean as the dishwasher pre-wash setting, a cloud of flour hanging in the air and a greasy film of butter across the kitchen table and all of a sudden I was left alone, no kids just the cleaning up bit, that’s my job.

My other job was to make the icing so the kids could decorate the cakes. I failed miserably at the proportions. Far too much water, resulting in having to use nearly the whole packet of icing sugar to make the right consistency. I should have left it to the girls who pointed out that reading the instructions before starting was usually a good idea!

I’ll stick to the cleaning up next time.

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