The only thing I put in the children's Valentine surprise box today, was a copy of Clyde Watson's chaotically charming, Valentine Foxes, a story about four young (I'm thinking five and under) foxes, "helping" their mother get ready for a special Valentine's dinner for their father. My children were delighted with the story of "children" even more active than themselves - although in their toddler through preschool years, they certainly could have given the little foxes a run for their money.
I loved that stage, but I'm so glad to be through it.
T (age 14) volunteered to make the applesauce pound cake, from the recipe at the back of the book (the reason the book was the only thing in the box).
While he's not as in love with clean-up as his younger sisters, he is able to read and follow a recipe much better than the foxes from the story. He did a great job, until it came to the pan.
The recipe called for a 9-inch heart-shaped pan, or a 6-cup loaf pan. We don't have a heart-shaped pan, so we Googled to see if our 8.5 x 4.5 in. loaf pan would be big enough. According to the sites we checked, a 6-cup loaf pan is the same as an 8.5 x 4.5 in. pan. However, we realized about 20 minutes into the baking, with smoke pouring from the oven, it was not a big enough pan for the cake.
Apparently, this is not going to be our year for success with picture book, Valentine's cake recipes.
Still, it could have been worse - I could have been poor Mother Fox, with a baby crying in the high chair, and children redecorating the living room with glittery, gluey, Valentine supplies, while I tried to clean up the mess and get supper on. If you're currently in that stage, it does get easier.
Especially, if you have a self cleaning oven, and a carton of whipped cream in the refrigerator. Love covers a multitude of sins - whipped cream covers up a pieced together cake.
Despite being slightly disheveled, the cake did taste "light and extra sweet and absolutely wonderful", just as the book promised.
It's great to be a homeschooler.