The other night when it was so hot I was sweating like a homo eating a hotdog, I decided to bake.
Figuring that our non-air-conditioned apartment (with the only fan given to our child in the vain hope that it would help her sleep) couldn’t get any hotter, it seemed like the ideal occasion to make delicious, nutritious made-with-love treats for my girl.
I had mother’s guilt (again) after our trip to the US. Dragging an 11 month-old about hotels and airports for three weeks means she was on a steady diet of boob and those weird squeezy vegetable things.
Who eats pureed pear, broccoli and organic rutabaga anyway?
So I began with cookies.
Batches and batches of apricot wheatgerm cookies.
Or more accurately apricot non-wheat germ cookies because I didn’t have any wheat germ so I used wheat flakes, desiccated coconut and oats instead.
This ambivalence towards a recipe really bothers Gregory.
‘Baking is a science,’ he tells me, once again confirming that my girlhood aspirations to be a doctor were way off base.
‘Oh yeah, take a pill or two and have a lie down. No, no, one glass of wine shouldn’t be a problem.’
Then I moved onto muffins. Vegetable muffins I thought, since she didn’t seem to mind a weird combination of pureed vegetables while we were away.
So I got out the bag of emergency frozen veg, pureed them, wacked ‘em in a bowl with some flour and an egg, grated some cheese and in a moment of inspiration threw in some sultanas.
There’s a cooking show in the US called Chopped where the contestants have to make a meal out of whatever goodies they’re given in a basket. I reckon I’d be awesome at it.
Wasabi, cous cous and caramel? No probs.
However, It would seem that mixing wet and dry ingredients (or leaveners and raisers as Gregory calls them) requires some sort of accuracy.
Lacking that entirely meant my muffins took a very long time to cook, in fact never really did to be honest.
And so at the point where the apartment had reached the temperature of the inside of a volcano, I finally took them out of the oven, assured by now the egg was at least rid of whatever it is you're meant to be wary of in raw egg, and spooned them onto a plate to cool.
That’s correct, they didn’t come out of the muffin tin with a gentle tap and I don’t own a wire rack to do things properly.
Then for my final trick I made choc-chip cookies to pacify my sweating husband. Choc-chip cookies with wholemeal flour.
Such a healthy move immediately counteracted by 6 of them being joined in pairs by large scoops of ice cream and inhaled in a matter of seconds.
A desperate attempt to lower his core temperature he claimed.
I shut down the oven, poured myself a litre of water and sat down on the couch…just as the southerly blew through.
Mother Nature, you can be a real wench sometimes.
The next day dawned and Q began her day with a few of my weird non-muffin muffins.
Three of them downed in a matter of seconds.
Success people, utter success.
I am the Steve Jobs of children’s cooking. I laugh in the face of convention.
May my disregard inspire you to go forth and invent with nary a care for protocol.
Steve never asked us if we wanted the iPad. He just knew we would.
Same as Q.
I just knew she’d want those muffins.