“Mummy put my imagination away Daddy.”
It’s hard to know how to reason with a two-year-old and such an accusation, but despite my obsession with putting things away I think this is a little unfair.
Maybe it was a mis-spent maternity leave watching every single episode of Come Dine With Me with a sleeping baby. Or it could have been napping in front of Saturday Morning Kitchen before discovering the delights of a different kind in the world of CBeebies.
Whatever has inspired it, Raffie has developed a passion for baking, and a feast of delights for his imagination.
I am not blessed with culinary finesse, but have managed to master a very simple recipe for biscuits Raffie has been excited to discover that just one egg can make at least 25 cookies.
“I want to roll Mummy” has mixed results, with biscuit dough ending up stuck to the rolling pin, his hair, and remarkably his tummy, though I still don’t know quite how.
The transition between cookie cutter and baking tray is a treacherous path, with Christmas trees turned into slug shapes, heads being pulled off fish shapes and melancholy crescent moons with eyes jabbed into them.
But after a desperately impatient 12 minutes in the oven, the end result is always met with delight.
Raffie is unable to contain himself when it comes to icing, and while he works away I pull it out of the carpet, out of the upholstery and again, out of his hair, but icing biscuits keeps him in the same place for longer than anything else-even buskers.
Raffie loves icing biscuits, the plate underneath them, and anything else which is close to hand. Sugary snowflakes are piled up onto different parts of the plate and Raffie’s cup runneth over with sprinkles in handfuls. Old bananas are turned into banana tea bread, Raffie mashing away cheerfully before smothering them with flour and sugar, and helping me pour the mix into a loaf tin.
So I am always surprised that despite creating nearly 30 oddly shaped delicacies, or an economical cake, most of it stays in the box or is given away to his nearest and dearest. And it’s a shame they aren’t snapped up straight away as they are usually pretty tasty.
It may be messy, but Raffie’s love of baking is a welcome addition when the days are short and cold. But given the labour of loves that he leaves behind, he’s clearly not a boy who likes to have his cake and eat it just yet.