As a parent of 3 young children, I strive and struggle to give each of them some one on one attention. Like many other parents, I can find it difficult to think of interesting and enjoyable activities to do with them, especially when we have to stay at home.
I have tried many, many activities and I hope that others may benefit from my experiences.
Here’s my simple, alternative, 34 step guide to Baking with Children:
Step 1: Promise your child you will do something lovely with them one on one in a little while. Spend some ‘quality time’ together.
Step 2: Regret it instantly because in the 10 seconds since you mentioned it, they’ve asked about it at least 11 times. (How!? HOW!?)
Step 3: When you finally get the chance to start the ‘quality time’ you ask the child what they want to do. Rookie mistake! What were you thinking!? Eejit!
Step 4: They tell you they want to make buns.
Step 5: Google simple bun recipes and read through the extensive lists of recipes. Simple my arse.
Step 6: Realise that you have ingredients missing from them all.
Step 7: Look in the cupboards to find some cooking chocolate! Yay!!
Step 8: Realise it’s dark chocolate and vomit in your mouth a tiny bit.
Step 9: See the bag of marshmallows that were bought ages ago and wonder how hard it is to make Rice Krispie and marshmallow treats.
Step 10: Find out that it’s pretty bloody easy! Thanks be to all that is Holy. Only three ingredients: Marshmallows, Rice Krispies and butter! I have all those things!!
Step 11: Also check the use by date on the marshmallows because those were purchased quite a while ago and it’s probably not ideal parenting to risk food poisoning.
Step 12: We are good to go!
Step 13: Decide on a Nigella Lawson recipe because I fancy myself as a bit a Nigella…..if you know what I’m saying!?!? 😉 I can cook….what were you thinking!? Perv…
Step 14: Realise the scales are broken but sure it’s grand! I AM Nigella after all! Winging it will be no bother to me…..
Step 15: Throw in what I’m almost positive is 45g of butter and melt it.
Step 16: Ponder the fact that I may have a hidden talent for cooking and wonder what my cookery show will be called…
Step 17: Then add, with a level of confidence that has absolutely no merit, my ‘take’ on 300g of mini marshmallows.
Step 18: Regret not reading the recipe properly because the ones we have are the size of your fist. I’m sure it will be fine! In fact, my chef’s instincts tell me that this may turn out better than Nigellas!
Step 19: Feel smug.
Step 20: Refuse many requests by the child to stir the melting marshmallow as I can imagine it would burn the skin like molten lava. In fact, now I think about it probably not ideal to make with children but I’m too far into it now to turn back!
Step 21: Also, I will never succeed in the cutthroat celeb chef world with a 3-year-old as my sous chef…
Step 22: Ask the child to count Rice Krispies…
Step 23: Turn attention back to my (potentially award-winning) marshmallow treats to find them looking like shit.
Step 24: The lumpy, white, melting marshmallows with a river of bright yellow butter are very unappealing and I can feel my cooking career slipping away……the world will never know my talent!
Step 25: Quickly look at the recipe again and Nigella assures me all will good in the end. Have faith.
Hurrah!!! It’s starting to look edible.
Step 26: Remember that I must take some pictures for, you know, memories….(joke, it’s for Instagram!)
Step 27: Add a filter, a hilarious caption and a few (17) hashtags.
I. Am. Lols.
Step 28: Realise that took slightly longer than anticipated and stir my mixture in the saucepan. Through the sea of white, I can see that the bottom of the pan is brown…..
Step 29: Think ‘Ah feck it!’ And fire in 180g of Rice Krispies.
Step 30: Let the child have a go at stirring. (They are wrecked at this stage anyway so may as well!)
Step 31: Realise you have no baking tin or greaseproof paper and just pour it all out onto tinfoil.
Step 32: Think about how long and unsociable the hours of a chef are and decide that no matter how talented I am it’s probably not the path for me. Rest easy Jamie and Gordon!
Step 33: The child has now lost all interest just in time for washing/tidying up.
Step 34: Feel total empathy for the little red hen.
Next time we’re colouring……