In the kitchen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMummy-blogger creates amazing recipe for cake that she cooks with angelic children in pristine kitchen. Cake tastes like extra-rich mud cake but is actually made from organic beetroot, powdered kale and sun-dried goji berries. No sugar or gluten in sight. Mummy-blogger and aforementioned angelic children cover cake in silky-smooth icing, then use tweezers to artfully place edible flowers all over, creating culinary masterpiece. Only, not in my house. I won't be winning any Mother of the Year awards for healthy toddler foods (or clean kitchens), but Madeleine, Harry and I have been having a ball flexing our baking muscles of late.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcake4 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMadeleine is going through an "I can do it myself" phase, which is frequently excruciating to watch but also so sweet, seeing her confidence and independence burgeon. Also, Harry is a most appreciative sous-chef, grinning and gurgling and kicking his little feet with gusto from his front-row seat on the kitchen floor.

Lately Mr B has been working a lot of nights, meaning Madeleine is in bed before he gets home. She is really missing him. Everything right now is about Daddy. I convince her to eat her vegetables each night by shaping them into a face on her plate and calling it "Daddy." I talk her into wearing pants on a cold day (when she would much rather wear a tutu) by telling her, "These are Daddy's favourite pants."

When we baked chocolate cupcakes last week, they were "for Daddy." When I told her in the morning how Daddy had gobbled his cupcake up when he got home, and that he said it was delicious, she radiated pride. "YEAH!" she yelled, balling her chubby little fingers into fists and punching the air.

cake1 cake2 cake3Then yesterday, we made sugar biscuits "for Daddy." She was so excited, and determined to do it all herself. Madeleine mixed the dough, rolled it, pressed out the shapes, made the icing, chose the colour, decorated the biscuits. Harry was helpful, too. He laughed and said "Hoo" a lot.

I texted Mr B a picture of Madeleine decorating the biscuits and told him she was making them for him.

Then at around 6.30 that night, just as she was finishing her dinner and finally about to have one of her biscuits for dessert, Daddy walked through the door. He'd seen my text and thought, "That's it." He packed up a whole lot of work to do from home at night, and hurried back here to surprise her before she got into bed.

I pulled out our best floral china, and Madeleine and Daddy had a tea party with the biscuits she had made all by herself.