If you live anywhere in the Great Lakes area, generally speaking, you’ve probably been hit with the cold snap of the year. (I’m not exactly sure how far this crazy cold extended through North America, but I know that the GTA is cold!) School buses were cancelled last night in anticipation of the extreme weather and beasties were running outside to do their business as fast as they can. I *thought* I had pre-heated my car this morning (hello, remote start!), but it turns out my battery was protesting as much as my kids. (Even if I had won the battle to drive them to school on my way to work, Mother Nature had other plans.)
Now… what’s one day off of school? Well, let me remind you that we’ve had sick days, PA days, and now an inclement weather day. I love the slight sleep-in, but oh my word, I need the routine of regular school days. I love my boys dearly, but they know how to push my buttons!
I worked from the comfort of my kitchen table and eventually my couch. I got things done! The kids agreed if they stayed home from school, they would pitch in around the house (before we knew that I had no way of getting them there.) They got things done. We got things done… then it was a battle to pry them away from screens for the rest of the day.
Our youngest, 11 years old, has been watching cooking shows – Top Chef, Chopped, Nailed It, and SugarRush. These binges always result in his wanting to explore his culinary talents, until he gets bored, at least. Today, he decided he wanted to bake a cake. Good in theory, but I said I wasn’t doing it for him – I would guide him through the recipe, but the work was up to him. Also, I was supposed to do groceries today, and the staples cupboard was pretty bare – we didn’t even have milk.
He pulled out my well-worn BHG cookbook – my go-to for some basic recipes. (It looks something like this… maybe not the same edition?!) He found a chocolate cake recipe and decided this would be his ambitious trial for the day. Man, that kid knocked my socks off. He read through the recipe, pulled out the ingredients, measured and mixed, and put them in the oven. I helped him identify when they were ready to pull out, but he did the bulk of the work with a few learn-by-example steps along the way.
He’s a very opinionated boy – especially when he’s being creative. He wanted a butterscotch filling. So I managed to make a butterscotch pudding to use between layers of the two rounds. First time for me! He also required chocolate icing and wanted to melt down a mix of chocolate & butterscotch chips left over from our Christmas baking to drizzle on top. When it was all put together, I was seriously impressed – for a first attempt at baking a cake – and a layer cake at that – he rocked it!
It was a little dry, but I still cannot believe how well he did. It’s not the prettiest cake in the world, but it’s edible and yummy! A little slice goes a long way. So amidst the chaos of a mad Monday, we made some more memories, practised some life skills, and managed not to freeze any body parts off!
(Also, I never lost my cool…) All in all, I’d consider that success… and seeing his confidence sore? It might have had me beaming in pride!