Art and poetry for children.
Quote: “It is absolutely fine to substitute one’s coffee, as long as it’s for champagne.”
My solitary coffee, which has become a personal institution, was abandoned for supping champers with friends whilst eating smoked salmon and cupcakes. Oh yeah, baby! Does it get any better than this? If only every Sunday could be an elegant, companion-filled vacation from the dullness and the finality of the weekend. Actually, if only every day could be like this.
I love writing and I love coffee, or is it: I need writing and I need coffee. But a little holiday can do you good and on holiday you eat what you like and you drink what you like, whilst hopefully relishing your gluttony and tendency towards alcoholism in good company. So this is what I organised: a staycation in my flat. Contacting the girlies and offering cake and bubbles seemed like the best way of enticing them. A lot were extremely keen but were hiking with in-laws or working ungodly shifts. One by one, as they dropped off, I thought my baking extravaganza would fall by the wayside. Luckily I received two cheery, I will definitely be there, texts.
So, with a smaller crowd than hoped, I designed a high-tea styled event. But still casual enough for a chilled, relaxed, I’ve gone to no bother affair. Neither of my friends had met so I was a little nervous. No need to worry, my windows were steaming all too soon with all the gasbagging going on. Perfecto!
I offered drinks and I noticed a sparkle in their eyes as champagne was on the menu. Is champagne like diamonds: sparkling and beautiful and an absolutely delightful treat? Coffee certainly doesn’t get that reaction.
After the initial drink, I thought we should have something to soak up the alcohol before we got too carried away and abandoned what I had been slaving away on over the past twenty-four hours. What’s that? You want to know what I made? Oh, okay. Admittedly the smoked salmon and cucumber did not take a lot of effort in the making, but sometimes it’s all about the concept and the execution: I used pretty girly stands to display them, he he. I also made two types of cupcakes. Number 1: an apple crumble cupcake; and number 2 (the one I knew would go down well): the chocolate and orange cupcake. It’s needless to say which one was snaffled up first. I felt a little sorry for the apple ones so I encouraged the girls to take some home. Largely, I needed to get rid of them as I had been too excitable and made a load. With the champagne finished the coffee came out as a final sobering offering before the soiree was at a close: sad times.
Coffee is like the antithesis of champagne: one is necessity and the other is pure indulgence. Unfortunately we can’t substitute caffeine with bubbles: productivity would go down for sure and it would make the school run a dangerous place, if you ever woke up from your alcohol induced afternoon nap. Luckily for coffee, and the nation’s children, we are reliant on caffeine but we can also, on occasion, put down our paper cups and appreciate the tingling of luxury every now and again. Mercifully both can co-exist. It’s almost a perfect world.
Quote: Just a shake of the head in defeat.
Day 1: child 1.
Halloween gingerbread cookies, that’s what we were making. Six year old Alex and I were embracing the spookiness and the kitchen in one fell swoop. We both love cooking and, like most people, eating the raw mixture is our favourite part. We measured out the ingredients and Alex cracked the eggs, which was eggspertly eggsecuted (a little cooking humour). Then we began the mixing.
Like any six year old he had to have a lick. Finger in then slurped right off. I had to step in.
“Please don’t lick your fingers until the end, then you can have the whole bowl.” Bribery? Maybe. But it was the truth.
After a hand wash we start the rolling out process. Sprinkling flour here, there and everywhere, Alex and I created a little mess and some excellent Halloween biscuits. A mess I could deal with but…
“…please don’t lick your fingers; other people have to eat these too”
Hands washed and more rolling and cutting, then baking, the most enjoyable licking of the bowl and finally decorating.
“Please don’t suck the end of the icing tube.”
“Please don’t suck the end of the icing tube.”
But it’s like a dummy, it’s almost immediately straight back in, and I was beginning not to care. I wanted it to be a creative, fun activity. The damage had been done really so suck away, kid. I’d like to say a quick sorry to those who ate the gingerbread biscuits.
Day 2: child 2.
New child, new challenge: Thomas, a little boy of four, wanted to cook chocolate chip cookies. Not my forté really, but sure why not. After all it’s great that he wanted to bake. We assembled our ingredients and measured everything out; he was already onto the chocolate chips and guess what? He was licking his fingers.
“Please don’t lick your fingers yet as other people will eat the cookies too, you can lick the bowl later.”
Stir, stir, lick, lick.
“Don’t lick your fingers.”
“Stir, stir, lick, roll, roll, lick.
“Please, wait until we finish.”
Roll, roll, munch munch, oh sod it, its cookie dough and frankly who can resist? Eat away, m’boy, and I’ll join you.
Thankfully we ate the dough because after being in the oven the cookies came out a little, well let’s just say a little uncookie like. I did say that they were not my forté. And because the cookies looked so bad no one else would want to eat them.
Moral of the story: if at first you don’t succeed, eat the dough. No that’s not the moral I was looking for. Moral of the story: If you can’t beat ‘em, eat the dough.