I don’t make everything from scratch – far from it. And sometimes the time spent in the kitchen is really about the time spent…and not about what comes out of the oven. Like these:
We have a very, very fussy eleven-week-old in our house. He pretty much cries for the better part of every day. And while I’m learning a great deal about myself through this time, I’m also learning a great deal about my three-year-old. For instance, he’s very patient about some things and he’s naturally nurturing. After a particularly rough period today, I finally got the baby to sleep. There were one hundred things I would have liked to have done that I can’t do while holding him – things like cleaning the kitchen or sorting laundry – but, instead, I suggested we make cupcakes. My three-year-old looked so surprised…which told me I don’t do this often enough. He had played quietly with his blocks and some puzzle books for most of the day – all while listening, without complaint, to the baby scream. There hadn’t been a lot of mommy’s attention available to him. It’s muddy outside and we couldn’t get too crazy since the baby would only be quiet for about 20 minutes…something quick in the kitchen seemed just the thing.
Nothing fancy here. Boxed lemon cake mix…because a three-year-old can mix in water and oil and eggs and stir to his heart’s content. His little fingers made quick work of placing the muffin papers in the pan. I scooped in the batter and adding blueberries to each one was a good counting exercise (there’s five blueberries in each one, by the way.) The glaze is lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar – he helped squeeze the lemon with the citrus press he sometimes uses as a drum stick.
We laughed and made a little bit of a mess; he licked his fingers a lot and asked one million questions. He had my undivided attention for the longest stretch of time I could manage today. So, no, these cupcakes aren’t anything special…but the time spent in the kitchen was.