Sunday, 10 March 2013

Baking a memory

Last week my beloved elder daughter and her little boy came to stay for a few days.  Joseph is three and one of the things you should do with a three year old (or a seven or a ten year old for that matter) is to cook.  Cooking and baking are important to me and to our family.  I love to see children learning confidence in the kitchen, doing something real and proudly sharing and eating the results.  Older grandson who is now seven loves to bake with me and has a particular weakness for uncooked cake mixture.  I don't often have the chance to bake with younger grandson who doesn't live as close.  So it was time to get ready for a session making gingerbread.


Aprons on first, Joseph delightedly recognising the very hungry caterpillar.



Get the cooking stool in place by the worktop.



What recipe shall we use?  This time it is daughter's turn to exclaim with delight.  It is the Ladybird "We can Cook" book which she and her brother cooked their way through more than twenty years ago.  "Oh my God!  I remember all these pictures.  Look at the spatterings all over this butterfly cake recipe.  Oh I loved that one!"



Get Joseph's blue bunny settled where he can see and we can get started.



Mum helps with weighing and measuring and Grandma helps with the mixing together.  



Joseph gives the cutting out his full attention.



Gingerbread in the oven and it is time to visit the ginger cat.



Out of the oven they come: planes and cats and dinosaurs and some letters too.



What a lovely way to spend a wet morning, in a warm kitchen smelling of gingerbread.

61 comments:

  1. Loved this blog post, Elizabeth, and the pictures. What a lovely time you must have had with your grandson. Brings back memories too - my children ( and grand daughter) loved to bake - more flour on the floor sometimes than in the bowl and all that lovely mixture to lick off the spoon when the little cakes are in the oven ....)

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    1. Ah yes, mixture from the spoon and cleaning out the bowl!

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  2. A heart-warming and multisensory post :-). I can almost smell and taste the gingerbread!

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    1. The smell was warm and gingery and filled the whole house, almost better than the taste and that was pretty good.

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  3. Hello Elizabeth!

    What a heart-warming post and I am quite sure I can smell the gingerbread too. I wonder which letter Joseph ate first?

    I think your grand-son should get together with my three-year-old Angélique who is VERY serious about cooking and food in general! You are quite right, of course; when in doubt I always head for the kitchen with her. She drags her pink chair from the dining table and settles next to me enquiring about every ingredient and technique. Today we made to tarts; one savoury, the other sweet. She cracked the eggs open and stirred with zeal. In a similar manner taking her to the market is fun too: 'Mummy, we really need some yellow and green tomatoes too. And how about those black ones? They look very tasty.'

    Yes, food is very important to Angélique.

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    1. Joseph ate the J of course! Yes, he too likes food in general and has catholic and sometimes unusual tastes. We are all quite serious about food in my family. One of the great pleasures of life.

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  4. Perfect. Can't think of a better way to spend a bitter Sunday afternoon than making Gingerbread. Can almost smell it from here.

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    1. The smell is warm and comforting and pervasive. You can almost see it, like the aroma in the Bisto kid adverts.

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  5. I'm a lover of uncooked cake mix too - courtesy of my grandma :)

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  6. If only I was 50 years younger .....

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    1. You are never too old for gingerbread making Dobby, go for it!

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    2. But if I 50 years younger I could come to yours, look at the pictures in the book, stand on the special cooking stool, make the gingerbread, lick out the bowl and talk to Henry. Also, I wouldn't be expected to do all the clearing up afterwards! (Which would be an absolute bonus!)

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  7. Replies
    1. Me too. Home made stuff is fabulous. Shop bought is often slightly dusty somehow!

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  8. Those moments are the very, very BEST. So happy blue Bunny got to help!

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    1. So very easy to let them happen and appreciate them only after they are gone. I took the photos to try to pin them down!

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  9. Delightful . . . I can't think of happier times with my little ones. Two of "my grands" were here today to celebrate their 19th and 22nd birthdays . . . Enjoy each of these precious moments!

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    1. I did enjoy it very much. Normally I enjoy but don't record because recording can get in the way of being in the moment but this time I decided I wanted the photos and I am glad I did!

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  10. LOVELY...Gingerbread, Ginger cats and Joseph ... I bet Joseph and perhaps Ginger cat , would like our sleepy puppies :)

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    1. Joseph would definitely like the sleepy puppies. Cat (although beautiful) is a dog seeking missile.

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  11. Happy Mothering Sunday to you, Elizabeth.

    This report on family kitchen proceedings really touched my heart.

    xo

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    1. Cooking and baking matter. That is why we should not give it away to fast food and big business.

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  12. Wonderful. What a delight.

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  13. Such a lovely post! I can well imagine your and of course Joseph's delight baking all those pretty cookies.

    PS. I absolutely love your Mr./Ms. Ginger! :-)

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  14. I still remember making victoria sponges with my grandma - didn't look so good, though....

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    1. Bet they tasted great though, both cake and raw mixture!

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  15. How wonderful, three generations of happy bakers! A really happy post about a really happy day. I never got to cook with my Nan, she wasn't much in to baking, but she used to slip a piece of cauliflower stump while she was preparing dinner and eating it still reminds me of her every time. I did, however, have a love of raw cake mix gained from cooking "with" my Mum, who taught me to be unafraid in the kitchen.

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    1. I do believe that everyone needs someone to teach them to be unafraid in the kitchen. I am glad you had your person!

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  16. How wonderful to dig out the old recipe book that everyone is so fond of! A lovely post about cooking and memories.

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    1. You can always tell the books with the old faithful recipes because of the extent to which the pages stick together!

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  17. Love that look of total concentration on his little face!

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    1. It is very characteristic! He is a focussed sort of a child.

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  18. memorable mothers day post - waht a lovely grandmother you are too!

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  19. oh, I loved baking with my grandmother so much. what a lovely memory to make!

    Nikki x

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  20. What a delightful post. I would so love a little grandchild to bake with!

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  21. Lovely pictures! I usually give my godson the off cuts of pastry to make his jam tarts, the pics reminded me of him.

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  22. You could have written this about my daughter and Theo who also likes baking cakes and who is now a dab hand at gingerbread. We've even given him his own set of colourful pastry cutters.

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    1. Lovely to think of this going on up and down the country!

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  23. Lovely, lovely, lovely! I so needed that smile. Thanks!

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  24. He's right. Uncooked is good. Biscuits cut with cookie cutters burn when I try to bake them so I developed a taste for burnt pastry-type things. I don't really like it but it connects in with all the sessions like the one you describe with your grandson - and that is pleasant indeed.

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  25. I love the classic cookbook. What a marvelous grandmother and mother you are! A belated happy Mothering Day!

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    1. I am very glad I kept the book. I am a bit of a thrower away so it is lucky it survived!

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  26. What a treat for three generations to share.
    I took a good look at that stool and will be putting my order in with The Great Dane. We will have two little boys with us this summer while their mother adjusts to twins. There will be baking!

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    1. The stool is perfect. Twins on the way! Exciting.

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  27. Nothing is more wonderful than being taught to cook by granny.

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    1. I agree. I spent many hours cooking with my grandmother and my mother too.

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  28. What a delight ... post and gorgeous child. And I can almost smell that gingerbread!

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    1. Well of course I think he is gorgeous too and I am entirely unbiased!

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  29. Every child should have a happy cooking memory. I still long to find a recipe book I had as a child. I remember a recipe called Canasta Canapés which seemed to me the height of sophistication. I had no idea what Canasta was!

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    1. Sounds like the height of sophistication still to me!

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  30. You're right - that *is* going to be a lovely memory for him (and I just love that Very Hungry Caterpillar apron!)Having spent most of my childhood overseas, I don't have too many childhood memories of my grandparents, but I do treasure the memories of walking around the garden with my grandfather as he made his early morning inspections in the summer. So nice that you two can share this - and that it's something you did with your own children when they were small!

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  31. It is interesting how important the memories of grandparents are. I hope I can give some good ones to my grandchildren!

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