As I scoured my list for an easy win item to cross off, a voice piped up.
“I know what I want to make.”
Whoosh! I’ll be honest. There are few sentences that catch my attention quite so quickly. Especially when uttered by one of my offspring. It’s neck to neck with the urgent injury announcements that pepper my life as a mother. Craft opportunities are more welcome, naturally. So, ears pricked, my list absent mindedly put to one side, I was ready to assist.
“I know what I want to make my sisters for Christmas.”
He’d found the book I’d been sent. The gifts in jars had caught his eye. He liked the ones suggested but he wanted to do something a little bit different. That was good. We talked it through. Aspiration reluctantly met reality. A do-able project was agreed. One vital ingredient was put on the shopping list.
In the meantime, we decided to try the book’s idea for gingerbread in a jar. Might work well as another gift idea. To be on the safe side, we’d better check the recipe worked. Plus, I’d get to spend time with one of my favourite people.
Now I admit, I probably didn’t approach the issue in the best way. I should have known. It’s not as if I’m particularly new to this parenting lark. I know the rules. Parenting Rule number 537 states that a short sharp, direct approach, out of the blue, will not seamlessly shift offspring on to the next stage of development. Too quick. Too sudden.
No. It requires carefully placed, crafted hints being casually dropped for weeks beforehand. Like a trail of breadcrumbs leading them to their own discovery of the need to move up a level. Preparing the ground. I knew that. I’m not a rookie.
Not that that stopped me. When I look back, I made the classic mistake and I was doomed to fail from the moment I drew breath to speak.
All three offspring were in the kitchen. I seized the moment. I announced, in a nonchalent manner, that everyone was too old for chocolate advent calendars this year. My follow up argument about single use plastic would have won them over, but I played it too late. I felt some of them sway. Alas, by then, the battle had already been lost. Apparently, and this is the moment I knew I was defeated, I was on route to ruining their childhoods forever. (again)
I wonder which page of the childhood manual that gem is printed on.
Anyway, this partly explains why I ended up in the kitchen with my 13 year old, one evening, making chocolate. Continue reading
I’m not sure what this says about me, but I’ve always liked the idea of edible eyes. The sugar based ones that look like wobbly craft eyes. Googly eyes. Sorry? Oh no! What did you think I meant?
Eugh! No. I’m not ghoulish. We’re talking sugar based. It’s just that every time I see the eye cake decorations, I am sorely tempted to buy a packet to decorate cakes. I haven’t. I’m yet to find a pack that I think is priced right, but the idea of putting the equivalent of wobbly craft eyes on cakes is appealing.
So instead, I experiment.
We made ghost biscuits today. Just a run of the mill sugar cookie recipe and rolled out fondant, stuck on with a mere hint of runny icing sugar. The shape is from the flower part of a tulip shape cutter. Continue reading