The boys will go back to school in September and say that what they did for their holidays was 'Baking'. I'm sure of it. Except for Sam, who is now known as "Ramón, my Mexican Chef". His chili con carne is becoming a legend.
Anyway. Today, Chas graduated from easy recipes scribbled in the Recipe Heap or found on the internet, to complicated recipes contained in fat cookbooks: He made a delicious chocolate cake from the Joy of Cooking. I hung around, saying "Aaah! Stop! You have to actually follow the recipe. It says to keep the dry ingredients separate from the eggs and things, see? And separate the eggs." And he explained chemistry to me and tasted the baking soda. Heh heh. I laughed at him and he couldn't believe that I KNEW all about baking soda. How come mothers know all these things? It's just uncanny!
I used to read mum's Joy of Cooking like a story book, and as a teenager I made many complicated recipes like cheese, and vegetarian burger patties, three gallons of sweet and sour sauce for a luau, bread, cakes, sweets... Even weird things like soya milk from beans, and home made blender mayonnaise that's easy and delicious. The Joy of Cooking is full of sensible things like, how long should I cook this leg of lamb for? And what should I do if I'm having twenty people over for lunch?
When I grew up, I bought my own Joy of Cooking and it might be the oldest book I have... It's travelled with me. It's easy to read. I refer to it ALL THE TIME.
And, I'm seriously enjoying the nutty, moist goodness of this here cake. It's on page 675, and Chas used leftover coffee instead of hot water and I helped him to FOLD in the beaten egg whites instead of attacking them. A good mother-son effort I think.