How many times have you been to the supermarket and thought “I am not paying that, I could make it myself for much less”?
I have done that so many times, especially when my daughter was younger. Why on earth would I buy something made by machines with chemicals added to preserve the shelf life? I can easily do it myself and it would be much healthier.
Cue buying ingredients and going home on a cloud of healthy smugness ready to show what a domestic goddess I can be.
Once I get home I take the shopping into the kitchen. First, I have to empty the dishwasher so that I can reload it with the dishes that are lying about on the kitchen surfaces to give me a clear working space. Then I have to wipe down all the surfaces because when you make cakes or sweets the child will always want to share so the kitchen needs to be almost sterile before I start.
Now I have clear surfaces I can put the shopping away and get ready to start being cook and confectioner extraordinaire.
Where are those cake tins? I am sure I put them in this cupboard, although it was quite a while ago. Ahh, there they are, right at the back. Now down on my hands and knees digging at the back of the cupboard for the ancient cake tins. The cat comes to check out why I am at her level and decides to jump on my back to keep me company.
At last, I have the cake tins along with a couple of scratches on my back left by an indignant cat when I tried to stand up. Mixer and bowl are next followed by various spoons and spatula. Wipe fevered brow and I am almost ready to start.
Ingredients standing by, scales at the ready, oven on to preheat, it’s time to make sweet treats for the family.
Basic sponge mix is first, that doesn’t take long at all and before you know it I am ready to put it in the cake tins. That would be the cake tins that need to be greased and lined first. Quick dollop of butter and they are ready to go.
Whilst they are cooking I get out the large pan and start melting butter for the flapjacks. Whilst that is melting I line the baking tray, feeling quite smug that I remembered before I was ready to use it.
Manage to add syrup and oats etc to the pan and mix well. Add to baking tray, pressing down well and it seems everything is going to plan.
Just as I take out the sponge cakes, ready to put the flapjacks in, darling daughter comes through and announces she is off out to a friend’s house. No, she doesn’t want my cake, she wanted the one with the pink icing and marshmallows, those brown things are not cake.
There I am, slaving away in the kitchen with a whole dishwasher load of crockery and utensils, flour everywhere and not even a cup of tea, and she doesn’t want my cake. I say goodbye as he heads out the door and put my flapjacks in to cook. Time to put on the kettle and enjoy the fruits of my labour.
I drop the cakes out of the tins and sandwich them together with strawberry jam, it melts a bit but I am past caring. I make tea, cut myself a huge slice of cake and turn off the oven. The remaining heat will finish cooking the flapjacks I am sure.
As I sit on the couch with my tea and cake I marvel at my stupidity. I have spent a not inconsiderable amount buying ingredients I don’t normally have in my cupboards. I have also spent an hour slaving beside a hot stove for what? A very basic piece of cake and some flapjacks. Things I could have bought and had ready to eat as soon as we came home. Is it worth being a domestic goddess when it costs so much time and energy? I think not. Next time, I will be buying the cake and enjoying the time to sit and eat it.