Along with many, we’ve rediscovered an appreciation for short-crust, rough tough and genoise as we’ve embraced the latest Great British Bake Off series. We’ve been relishing the familiarities of the white tent next to a stately home, topped off with British accents and cups of tea aplenty.
While keeping pace with the Queen of Puddings, ice cream cakes and battenburgs, we’ve been enjoying pre-bedtime culinary watching with the boys as we’ve dipped back into Series 1. Rufus is constantly wowed by whatever is produced, frequently asks where ‘Steve’ is (a dismissed contestant) and wonders when we’re going to make a cake like that. Billy can be heard saying ‘I’m hungry’ repeatedly, even though he’s devoured a plate of food not long before.
Prompted by Rufus, we’ve embraced more ‘baking together’ and I’ve even gone as far as to follow some instagram people who make it seem possible to make a successful cake with two little helpers such as mine. I was the daughter, growing up, who could never quite get the cakes to rise or make the biscuits look appetising. And so I hesitate to bake, knowing there’s no guarantee of success.
But it’s been fun. Success has come in the form of blueberry muffins (keeping it American), and failure has come in egg custard tarts that looked cool but didn’t make it beyond the first mouthful for anyone. I think the only reason we made them was because there was opportunity for superhero style masks and eyes.
More edible triumphs have emerged when little hands aren’t involved. But I’m tipping towards thinking it might be more fun to bake with the constant commentary of Rufus, as he aspires for us to make Bake-Off standard fare. Meanwhile watching Billy gradually turn white with the extravagant dusting of flour and sugar makes me giggle when I ignore the imminent clearing up that will need to happen.
Allowing it to happen, mess and all, has made me wonder whether I should let my daily companions into more aspects of life…those bits that I’ve been keeping to myself. Simple things like thinking out loud about the meals I’m planning, and allowing some input, or giggling with them about what’s made me smile that day, or sharing what I’ve been reading in my Bible as they find me at the kitchen table in the mornings. Sharing life, inviting my children in, and maybe even sowing seeds that will bear fruit over the years.