Today I decided it was time for Mr B to have another Masterchef Masterclass.
Last time, the devoted readers among you may recall, I taught him how to make apple
crumble and its close, but skinnier, sister rhubarb crumble. This time it was Sparkling Rocket Cakes (you can make them too, if you like - have a look at the Cook Book page.) We were Cooking With A Purpose. I had promised to supply some cakes
to be served at an Afternoon Tea tomorrow, during performances of a show called "We'll Meet Again". This is being performed by the youngsters of the Limelight Theatre Group, my Jack and Hazel among them.
It wasn't easy to find the time for our own version of Bake-Off. Choir took up most of the morning - you should hear Mr B booming out the "Bom, bom, boms" of the Marching Song. I was extremely proud of him. I felt he was making
up, in some way, for my own undoubted deficiencies in the singing department. Though, to be fair, if I only had to sing "Bom, bom, bom" instead of trying to remember my words, I might have more success. Maybe I should sneak into the Bass Section next
week? Would anyone notice? Would anyone care?
Still there was just about time for my Masterclass by squeezing it in between Mr B's lunchtime Indoor Bowls match and this evening's Cribbage Group (what
a busy pair we are these days!) I set out all the equipment on the kitchen work surface. Two bowls, two spoons, two jugs - only one pair of scales, but surely we could share? All went well at first as we each took our turn to carefully measure
out flour, butter, Weetabix biscuits, ground cinnamon. Then it all went wrong when we came to the part I always like to call "doing fingertips".
Mr B asks why can't we use a food processor
so that we don't have to get our hands all messy doing fingertips. I respond, tartly, that doing fingertips is "proper cooking." Mr B remains unconvinced. He attacks the dry ingredients with heavy hands and a look of extreme displeasure on
Mr B hates getting his hands mucky. I wonder what he would have been like at playgroup, if they'd had such a thing when he and I were toddlers. I can't see him finger painting to
save his life. It's the same with gardening - he can't bear getting dirt under his nails and his hands all clogged up with earth. Now I like that bit. I like planting bulbs, sowing seeds, finding new homes for fragile seedlings, patting the
earth cosily around them and hoping they will survive the shock of transplantation. It's the digging and delving I don't like.
I decide to finish off Mr B's fingertips along with mine or we'll
never get the cakes in the oven. We start on mashing our bananas (no problem, Mr B, you are allowed to use a fork for this) and we are back on course - till I realise we only have one egg left and we need one each. Who was it who had a boiled
egg for lunch? That'll be me, then...
Mr B says, quickly, not to worry, he'll head off to the shops to buy some more eggs while I finish up here. I say, not so fast, bonny lad - we still
have one egg and it has your name on it. I sound a bit like one of the villains in a particularly bad war movie: "There's only one bullet - and it has your name on it." And I stand over him, like Mary Berry in the Great British Bake-Off, watching him
closely as he adds the final ingredients to his mixture and spoons great blobs of it onto a baking tray.
I knew he would be proud of his culinary efforts once his batch of cakes emerged from
the oven - and he was. You simply can't go wrong with Sparkling Rocket Cakes, you see. Try them for yourself - easy-peasy. Just remember - fingertips!