Friday, November 2, 2012

Baking is for Other People



Unlike, oh, everybody else on the whole world wide web, I am not such a good cook. Not terribly organised or efficient, and I tend to get distracted at completely the wrong moment. I invariably under- or drastically over-cook something at dinner (last night it was limp steamed vegetables). However, I do give myself points for turning up. Every day, come hell or high water, there I am, making something nutritious (not always appreciated by the children. They would prefer a feckless mother who fed them junk food or fish fingers).

And I am also on the turning-on-the-oven-once-to-cook-everything bandwagon again. Yesterday Rosy made brownies, I made apple and rhubarb crumble, and dinner, and banana cake, which I grievously over-cooked, but which still came out flat and rubbery. How does that happen? I think I will skip banana cake in the future, as it is a reliable failure in my kitchen. Except when The Girl makes it. Everything she makes turns out light and fluffy. If you detect a note of sour grapes here, it is because the grapes are definitely sour. How does one person make fluffy cake, and the other not, in the same kitchen with the same recipe? My grandma used to say it is how you hold your mouth. My mouth is a little puckered, what with all the sour grapes...

Still, it is wonderful to have turned out one brilliant and two competent cooks, despite my shortcomings in that direction. The eight year old, like me, prefers other people to cook for her. Lillies of the field, that's what we are!

9 comments:

GretchenJoanna said...

Lilies of the field - I love your use of that phrase! I don't know if it is "dinner" that is in that white dish, but it looks appetizing...and I bet no one sniffed at your rhubarb and apple crumble without eating it. It might be a little early to retire from baking!

Jo said...

Thanks Gretchen Joanna, kind comments! I do have some successes, dinner was yummy, even though the vegies were limp. And with four children to feed, I don't think I get to retire from baking yet, maybe just banana cake!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Has there ever been a banana cake that wasn't flat and rubbery? I've heard rumors, but I think it's an urban myth.

frances

thegreenbackyard said...

I have just discovered your blog and it it lovely.
My 12 year old girl makes choc-banana bread which is moist and delicious.

Jo said...

Frances, I would have agreed with you, except for that pesky girl who can cook anything.. and Jo (lovely to meet another Jo!) obviously your daughter possesses the secret as well. Oh well, I will leave baking to the experts and concentrate on growing nice vegies...

Edwina said...

Don't they say with parenting, half the battle is just turning up? But I must say I agree, cooking is not really my thing... I am not much for eating either to be honest (very unfashionable, I know) Oh well, we can't all be Masterchefs.

e / dig in said...

i think there is so much pressure on us to be exciting and experimental cooks (i've written a few posts covering that theme). sometime i feel like an imposter because peopel think that because i blog about food i must be an excellent cook! so i'm all for bursting the bubble of perfection and admitting when things don't work out.

Jo said...

Edwina and e, I am terrible at responding to comments, but I do love to read them. Edwina, yes, I do turn up. Sometimes that's all I do, but I hope it will be enough. And e, I love to read the trials and tribulations in your kitchen. I love your honesty as well as your fabulous recipes!

narf7 said...

After learning all about commercial cookery for 2 years you would think that I was able to navigate myself around a banana cake but alas, I am not. I, too, have a daughter (well I have 2 of them actually) that are amazing cooks. Amazing and adventurous and since we moved out and left them in their home (best way...you don't get empty nest syndrome and they don't have to pack up and move ;) ) they have become very accomplished and adventurous cooks. I am just about to spend a weekend with them where we are going to cook up a Korean (their latest food fad) storm. I can't believe how wonderful my eldest daughters cakes are! I am a good cook, don't get me wrong BUT there are some things that I just fail at. Banana cakes, scones and spongecakes and pavlovas. Steve, my expat U.K. husband makes the lightest scones, the most AMAZING spongecake you ever tasted and is called "The Soup Dragon" because every bowl of soup he makes is amazing. I have a tried and true sourdough kefir carrot cake that is wonderful and that you can't stuff up. If you would ever like to make kefir let me know. I always have spare grains that need a new home that you could have :). I got them from Jess at Rabidlittlehippy on the mainland, a good friend of LyndaD, one of your dear constant readers. If you would like Steve's spongecake recipe let me know. I made it and actually turned out a presentable spongecake so it MUST be no fail ;). I just decided to cram you into my RSS Feed Reader...you are between "Allotment Adventures with Jean" and "Almacucina" so you are in good company :). See you soon

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