Saturday, May 31, 2008

Someone's In the Kitchen With Mommy . . .

I got some well-needed rest for most of the day since Hubs had to go into his brother's office to do some work for him and my SIL agreed to watch the Mad Hatter (THANK YOU Auntie L, Uncle J, and cousins J-squared, for keeping MH so well entertained - she had a ball and is still talking about everything she did with you!). When they got home, I felt like I should get up and spend some time with MH, who was full of excitement and chatter about her day. My back wasn't feeling too bad since I had spent the majority of the day relaxing in bed, so I came up with a brilliant plan to spend some mother/daughter time in the kitchen.

Let me first say that MH loves to be of help. For anything. She had her step-stool in the kitchen faster than I could say bake. Let me also say that I. HATE. Bananas. However, noticing the other day that I had a few bananas reaching their prime (how am I supposed to know whether this will be the week she begs for 3 in one day or ignores them until they're rotten?), I turned to my all-time fave recipe site to find a recipe for banana muffins, figuring we'd add a little variety to her almost non-existent breakfast regimen (she takes after her mommy). I figured that the extra effort of averting my eyes and nose while mashing bananas was well worth the return of my investment in special time with my little girl.

Let's start with the list of ingredients (all should be gathered before getting started):

1 "the 80's called and said they want you back" Barbie doll
1 plastic Ariel pocketbook on shoulder, complete with miniature Ariel to "watch us cookin'"
1 book of miniature Ariel stickers to be stuck all over MH, Mommy, and even Hubby
A menagerie of carefully placed plastic zoo animals set up 'just so' to watch our cooking lesson
Random assortment of bananas, sugar, flour, eggs, etc.

So, MH is quite excited to make our Banana Cupcakes (we're having some trouble lately distinguishing between cupcakes and muffins). She watches me peel the bananas, giggles as I mash them up in my fabulous Pampered Chef Batter Bowl, and measure out some other ingredients for her to help put into the bowl. This is where things go a bit astray. Next thing I know, we're using measuring cups for mixing, dumping baking soda all over the counter and floor, and it looks like the contents of my pantry have thrown up on my center island. And the more I try to be fun and understanding mommy, the less she listens, until eventually she 1) asks if we can eat the cupcakes now (not yet sweetie, we still need to bake the cupcakes) and 2) Declares that she has had enough of our fun and is "goin' downstairs to play with Daddy". So much for bonding over baking.

The moral of the story? When I get the urge to bake with MH, I think I'll stick to my good 'ol Betty Crocker muffin mix - add water, mix, and bake. No attention span required, minimal mess and cleanup.

Betty Crocker must do a lot of baking with 3 year olds.

Though I did not dare taste the banana "cupcakes" (I'll admit that they didn't smell all that bad) the Mad Hatter and Daddy seemed to thoroughly enjoy them after dinner. Looks like this Betty Crocker might have to make them again soon - although next time, I might forego my little sous chef.

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