Since renovating my kitchen and dining room (more of which later as it deserves an entire post in its own right), I have had this strange compulsion to cook. It started off small, making proper meals for the girls instead of opening a tin of spaghetti hoops. (What? It’s a childhood staple, surely everyone knows that.) Even cooking for myself on the odd occasion. But it seems to have escalated into baking like a madwoman and I blame Alice.
I don’t remember who gave it to her or whether for Christmas or birthday, but she has a kids cookbook. It’s actually quite a good one, with savoury recipes as well as sweet and food that adults would eat, not just kids. Now Alice has always loved her food right from the baby stage, when she would scream at the end of a meal until I gave her more, up to now when the highlight of her school day is lunch. And she has read this entire book, the way Nick reads a new cookery book like it’s a novel, digested the entire thing and turned over the corners of pages for all the things she wants to make. Of which there are A LOT.
Don’t get me wrong, I think her enthusiasm is fantastic and I’m all for encouraging my girls to get involved in cooking for many reasons, of which being able to fend for themselves is just one. So when she showed me a recipe for jam and almond muffins and asked if we could make them for breakfast on Sunday, how could I say no?
Then there were the rock cakes I made the Saturday before (with their help again; Jessica is getting to be a dab hand at rubbing in butter with the flour and sugar). These are one of my favourite things to make (so easy) and eat (so satisfyingly yummy, I may or may not have eaten two in one go).
Um, sorry, no photo as we ate them before I remembered to take one. But you know what rock cakes look like, right?
– Recipe credit goes to the cafe at Wisley
Not content with Alice’s muffins, I made some apple and cinnamon scones by myself on the Sunday afternoon after an autumnal walk in the park, the recipe for which was Freshly Pressed on the WordPress site recently and ever since I read it I’d been dying to try them.
The baking bug even seems to have spread to work; in the past week alone I have sampled my colleagues’ apple puffs, marshmallow cupcakes (a Hummingbird recipe, OMG so much sugar) coconut bread (recipe donated by me although hers was a much better texture than mine, annoyingly) AND chocolate cupcakes. And Alice already has our next baking escapade planned; carrot cake (from her book) for Nanny and Grampy’s visit this coming weekend. I’m now just looking forward to the day I get invited for afternoon tea at HER house.