Over the weekend, my husband and my oldest daughter decided to bake chocolate-chip biscuits. “You can have a break and read your book while we make them,” Miss 12 said. So I settled down with my book, hopeful of peace and the delicious smell of biscuits baking.
They hunted through all of my cookbooks for a recipe, then hunted noisily through the pantry and fridge to find the ingredients. They determined we didn’t have enough butter, and discovered that Master Six had been pilfering the chocolate chips one piece at a time, so a trip to the supermarket was required. By the time they finally got started, an hour had passed. A noisy, busy hour of crashing pans and spilled flour.
Then came the questions. “Where are the measuring cups? What does it mean to cream the butter and sugar? Is it okay to use rock salt? Should we put baking paper on the tray?” And on and on and on. For another hour, while they mixed and baked and checked their chocolate-chip biscuits.
“Why don’t you go take a hot bath, Mum,” Miss 12 said. Good idea, I thought. They can’t bother me in the bathtub, right? Wrong. I’d just sunk into the promised hot bath when my husband opened the bathroom door, brandishing a hot tray, asking, “Do these look done?” The biscuits were still basically raw dough at that point, but they’d warmed up enough to spread into pleasingly round biscuit shapes. “They need to be golden brown,” I replied through gritted teeth.
Finally I started to smell the delicious aroma of fresh biscuits baking. The aroma seeped into the bathroom and I started to relax in the tub. They were figuring things out. The questions were becoming fewer and further between. By the time I got out of the bath, my fingers and toes were wrinkled like raisins, I’d managed to read a whole chapter of my book without being interrupted, and I was feeling pleasantly chilled out.
I wandered into the kitchen in my dressing gown to find baking supplies strewn all over the benchtop and piled up in the sink. It looked like they’d used every single bowl we owned, and possibly every single utensil too, but there was a plate piled high with fresh-baked chocolate-chip biscuits in among the mess.
“Have a biscuit, mum!” Miss 12 chirped, eyes shining. She had a smear of flour on her cheek.
The biscuits were delicious. I ate three. My husband brought me a cup of tea and flopped down in a chair at the dining table, looking tired but elated. “That was fun. Maybe next weekend, we’ll bake cupcakes.”
I’m pretty sure those were the best chocolate-chip biscuits I ever ate, because they were baked with love by someone other than me. And I bet next weekend’s cupcakes will be even better. This time, though, I might lock the bathroom door…