Since I was a little girl I’ve loved baking. I may have mentioned this before 😉 . My first foray into the kitchen was an independently made Victoria Sandwich at around the age of 7 and I’ve never looked back. Of late my baking has taken something of a back seat, due to a focus on healthy eating and losing weight, but I still love and occasionally miss the process of taking a seemingly innocuous bunch of ingredients and turning them in to something that look, smell and taste amazing.
Last week we had a couple of days where the weather wasn’t so great and decided to stay indoors, not something you do lightly with a
ball of energy toddler. First plan was to make a new batch of Moon Sand (our first attempt at which I wrote about here). This time however Oscar showed much more interest in the actual process of making it. To the point where I got him a chair, pulled it up to the work surface and let him pour the cornflour in to the pan. He even, after a while, gave the whole thing a stir. He was mesmerised by the process and that got me thinking.
On Thursday it snowed. Not particularly badly, but enough to stop this wimp of a mother wanting to go out and so I decided to let the boy have a crack at baking. I chose a recipe that utilised what I had in the house (which did not include eggs. I know, eggless baking? Challenge accepted!) I found this recipe for Oatmeal Raisin cookies over on the blog, TransatlanticBlonde, whose son is allergic to eggs. It was a great one to start Oscar on, as the measurements were in cups, which needs minimal fuss (although I can’t help it, I prefer grams and scales. I guess it’s just what you’re used to). We switched the plain flour for Dove Farm gluten free plain flour (as Oscar is eating GF at the moment) and left out the vanilla (as we didn’t have any!) Any who, I scooped the ingredients out and Oscar poured them into my giant Maslin pan. I chose to use this rather than a mixing bowl because of its wide base and large capacity, meaning Oscar could really see what was going on as the mixture took shape.
And look at what was going on, he really did. I can honestly say I’ve never seen him so attentive to an activity we’ve done together. And we really did do it together. I’d measure, he’d pour and we’d stir. He was even repeating words I was saying, such as “OK, “so” and “now”. Believe it or not he even had a crack at “Cinnamon”! At no point did he get bored or look away or want to do things ‘his way’. Even when I was scooping the mixture onto the baking sheets, he watched until the very last one was done and in the oven. And he watched as I took them out the oven, interested in what happens now. And when I let him have one, well… Let’s just say his new word of the week is “cookie”!
I never expected baking to be such a resounding success with my boy, but that’s the thing I guess. You never know until you try. It’s been such as success in fact that we’ve just made another batch, using a (slightly more complicated) recipe from Jamie Oliver. He was just as involved and interested as the first time round. And really what could be more gratifying than throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pan and having cookies come out at the end?
I think we may have found a shared love. I can’t wait til he’s old enough to stay up for Bake Off with me!