Friday, March 26, 2010

Lovin' from the Easy Bake Oven

I still remember the day I got my very own Easy Bake Oven. My dad dutifully ate every creation I baked up with a smile and a compliment. He made me feel like a prized pastry chef. The only downside to the whole production was that it took me 30 minutes to "whip" something up, and then he proceeded to eat it in only 2 small bites. I wanted the whole culinary experience to last a little longer. After all, it took a lot of mixing with a very small plastic spoon, and I wanted bigger rewards for my efforts. Fast forward 25 years, and now my daughter is getting that same joy out of baking.

Every week she approaches me about baking a cake or cookies with her easy-bake. It's usually after I've just made the kitchen sparkly clean, and put away the dishes. This is when I take a deep breath, smile, and say, "Absolutely, sweetheart. What are ya making today?" You see, as a wife and a woman, I am quite picky about keeping my kitchen neat and tidy. A place for everything, and everything in it's place. But as a mother, I have to let go of my perfectionism and let my seven year old find her way around the kitchen too. I know the importance of instilling a love for homemaking skills and hospitality in my girls. These skills will serve them well when they have a home of their own some day. I've got to make the most of every small spark of interest now, so that they will enjoy these things later in life. Will my kitchen be a mess? Yes. Will my counter tops be covered in flour? Yes. But will my daughter have a wonderful, positive experience? You bet. Watching her lovingly serve up her creations to her daddy, and seeing his "over-the-top" reactions to her baking, takes me back 25 years. She's serving her daddy now, but some day she will bake for her husband, and hold her breath in hopeful anticipation that he'll be pleased with her creation. After nearly 10 years of marriage, I still anxiously await my husband's response to every new recipe I try. I guess some things never change.

Here is the Birthday cake my girl made for her Pop Pop's 61st birthday. There was a beautiful store bought cake sitting next to it, but everyone at the table chose to have a small(and I do mean small) piece of her two layer easy bake cake. Her eyes were shining like diamonds and she grinned from ear to ear as the compliments came rolling in. The store bought cake was put away for another time, and a very special memory was made that day. A priceless little bit of confidence was gained in a young girl's heart.

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