There’s a photograph somewhere, of me baking with my grandma. I’m on a step-stool, sleeves rolled up, and I’m wearing an apron that was probably a flour sack in its former life. Grandma is supervising my determined cookie-rolling, a smile on her face. She is calm. I remember the experience probably just through that photograph. I wouldn’t have been more than four. I want that kind of experience with my daughter. Those precious moments she can look back at and remember, even if it’s through the pictures taken.

So I decided to make a summer version of my favorite Christmas Cranberry Cake – adding fresh blackberries and lime. img_4232It’s such a simple cake, so I had my daughter help me. And in return, she proceeded to help me along the road I’m on to becoming the person I need to — want to — be. *Warning: There are no serene, photos ahead.*

Here are my notes:

If you want to bake with a three-year-old, be prepared to learn.

Not patience. Well, not just patience.

You’ll need your humbleness. And remember to say you’re sorry, when busy hands dump your floured berries into the sink and you squawk, “NO!”

Be prepared to discover just how much of a control freak you are.

You’re about to learn just how many ways, “Add this into the bowl,” can be translated. At least three, for us.

img_4229Be prepared to clean your microwave because you forgot the butter that was only supposed to be softened, but then you needed to apprehend the zester out of small, tender hands, and only remembered the butter 30 seconds later, when the timer beeped.

Butter is almost as good as lotion. And tastes better. And is now all over my counters and floor after a frantic dance to get it into the mixer.

img_4226That melted butter is akin to spilled milk. No weeping, necessary. Perhaps just a deep sigh will do.

You’ll answer at least a hundred questions about what things are, and as you’re carefully measuring things for her to put in the bowl, she’ll be smearing your cut lime in the residual egg white on the counter from when you cracked the eggs.


Enjoy her enthusiasm to be doing this with you. I hear it fades in about 10 years.img_4228-1

You’ll wrestle at least one measuring cup away from her, thus smattering it… everywhere.

You probably needed to wash your floors, anyway.



Teach her to share the beater. Even though we’re not “supposed” to, nowadays, what with the flour and the salmonella. Just one lick, though. Okay, probably three. Then put it straight in the dishwasher to remove temptation.img_4231

Be prepared to have a happy kiddo. To have a home that smells beautifully as the cake bakes up.

Be prepared to want to make a lovely lime glaze for this, but you’d have to wait for it to cool… Nevermind.img_4233img_4234







Edited to add the link to the Christmas Cranberry Cake recipe on which I based this recipe.

12 thoughts on “Baking Preparedness.

  1. lol – I don’t know how my mom had so much patience with 5 kids and cooking when I only have one and she can make me want to pull out my hair! ;D But it’s worth it for the happy kiddo. (That cakes look yum!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you, haha! But yes, the happy short person is worth it, and at least you get cake at the end! 😉 And yes, it’s delicious. I should probably post the recipe…


    1. Oh, man. My husband just read your comment and shook his head and smiled. I think he just tallied up the number of firearms he needs to acquire between now and then. 😉 Thank you for reading- I hope your daughter had a fantastic time at prom — and that you were able to relax and have a good evening, as well.


  2. My mom always says, “It’s the act of playing together in the kitchen and not the finished product that matters.” I think your daughter helped you in many ways! Thanks for sharing your lessons with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will add that to the list of quotes that I keep. Love that. And yes, she did help me – as she often does, and it’s usually unsolicited, ha! Maybe someday the roles will reverse. 😉


  3. I can relate to this on so many levels. I was the child baking with my mom. I’ve been the mom baking with my daughter. And I am the grandmotherly friend baking with my favorite kindergartner. I love baking, when I am not making a mess. I am usually making a mess. At least the finished product is usually worth it. Usually.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that there are seasons of this that I can look forward to. And I always make a mess when I bake, but the baking is therapeutic, even if the end result isn’t what I planned. 😉


    1. I’m glad you liked it and that it brought you joyful memories! She did sing a full rendition of “Happy Birthday” to herself before eating her cake. I think cakes really do have something magical about them when we are young.


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