The First Commandment of Yummy Mummies states: Thou Shalt Bake Cakes With Thy Kids
So why did nobody warn us how blinkin' stressful it is to do so?
Please note that even the patron saint of domestic goddesses, the blessed Nigella, is rarely to be seen with kids in the kitchen. She knows the truth. They make a mess and your cakes turn out rubbish.
As far as I'm concerned, attempting to bake with kids is the worst idea you will ever have.
Baking is a lovely, relaxing activity to enjoy. And it's relatively easy to create something delicious for the whole family. But not with the kids in tow. Here's why:
- They only ever want to make something chocolatey
My son is self appointed adder of chocolate chips to everything we cook. He marches into the kitchen announcing "I am chocolate chip man" and sprinkles them with abandon. I've told him this doesn't work with quiche, but he takes no notice.
- You lose track of what you're doing
Baking is a scientific activity and the results depend on accuracy. If you put in 200 grams of sugar when the recipe asked for 225, it will make a difference. Do children pay any attention to this? Do they heck! They start tipping flour in without a care in the world.
- It's a messy job anyway, and they conspire to make it even messier
See flour as mentioned above. Also add eggs, butter and sugar into the equation. Not fun at all if you're the one who has to clear it up. And you are.
Now that my daughter is nine, she has sidestepped me and does a mean line in chocolate chip cookies. She does all the baking herself, from measuring the ingredients to using a hot oven. I like to think that I've influenced her as a role model, if not an actual teacher. Or maybe she's following that well worn kid path of doing what you've been told not to do.
Meanwhile, my son is planning to open up a chocolate chip-themed restaurant.
But if you're not convinced and you still want to involve the kids in your baking adventures, there's only one thing you need to do: let them lick the bowl.