I’m not familiar with the kitchen. If there’s one thing that I really wish I can do, but can’t, it is cooking, or baking, or anything related to it.
But I have, however, tried to bake a cake in one my short stories way back in 2007. The scene was about a girl who asked her brother (a boy her mother adopted and is secretly in love with her) to teach her how to bake in order to impress a hot suitor who was to visit that night.
Was the cake any good? Here, let me share it with you:
“Found it! Banana cake… page 64…”
4 ounces butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
2 to 3 bananas, mashed, about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 scant teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
“So you’re actually serious?” He was looking at her as if she had grown three heads.
“’Course I am! I’m wearing apron… see?” Her brother could be thick sometimes.
“And I am not…”
“Then wear one!” She rolled her eyes. Really thick sometimes.
With a sigh, he obliged and wore the blue apron she specially prepared for him. “Do you have everything you need?” He asked while tying the apron’s back ribbon.
“Don’t know, you check…”
He gave her a you-are-hopeless look and took the recipe book from her hands. She just smiled sweetly.
“Where’s the baking soda?”
“Oh it isn’t there?” she asked, pointing at the neatly arranged ingredients on the kitchen table.
“Will I ask if it’s there?”
“Why so irate? Just wait here, I’ll ask Nanny Rita,” she said and left the kitchen.
Heat oven to 350°.
“The oven’s ready.” He said when she came back with the baking soda. “Why the sudden interest in baking?”
She gave him a shrug. “’Cause I think it’s high time to learn new things. Anything wrong with that?”
Her brother looked unconvinced. “So you start with a banana cake? You should have experimented with pancakes first. ”
“Duh, no challenge. Besides, pancakes are not baked.”
“So? You said you just want to learn new things. You haven’t even touched a frying pan!”
“Ohhh…. I can so get a frying pan right now and hit your head with it.”
Grease and flour an 8- or 9-inch square pan.
He was brushing butter on a pan when he looked at her. “What are you doing there standing? Do the same so you’ll learn. Put that apron to good use young lady.”
“I will, just watching how you’re doing it.”
In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar.
Beat in egg, milk, vanilla, and mashed banana until blended.
They prepared their own banana cakes. She was occasionally peaking on what her brother was doing, and she was having difficulty in keeping up. He slowed down when she voiced her complaint.
Pouting at her mixing bowl, as she added her mashed banana.
Combine remaining dry ingredients and spices.
Stir the dry ingredients into the first mixture until moistened.
Spread in prepared pan.
“Hey… what did I do?”
He only wanted to get back at her for calling him irate, that’s why he made this little “who baked the better cake” contest. He loves teasing his sister partly because she looks too cute when upset.
After pouring the mixture on his square pan, he dipped a finger on the spared butter and wiped the grease on her cheeks… “Oops!” He grinned at her and ran for his life.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched with finger.
He wiped the butter that seemed to cover his face with his apron, glaring at the giggling girl beside him.
“You started it…” she said sweetly, cleaning the grease that found its way to her hair.
“Yeah, yeah.” he said as he remove the apron from his head. He then smiled.
The oven beeped and she rushed to check on her masterpiece.
“Hey, slowly. It’s hot.”
He helped her place the cake on the table, and then it was his turn to put his pan in the oven. When he turned, the girl was staring happily at her first creation.
“Ready to have a bite?” He asked.
She contemplated for a while then said “You first.”
“Me? Why me? That’s your cake.”
Knowing that he is powerless against the puppy-eye technique, he sliced a small portion of the square cake. She turned her back on him as he placed the piece in his mouth, covering her face. And there was silence.
He waited for her to face him. “Well?” she asked tentatively.
“You go try it.” He said keeping his voice normal, not wanting to disappoint her.
As soon as the cake slice entered her mouth, it escaped.
She looked at him sadly. He sighed.
“Hey it’s not that bad…”
“Yeah right…Shut up…” she was almost crying.
“Why so depressed? We can always bake again. Tomorrow, if you like.”
“That won’t do…”
“That was for Stuart…”
“He’s coming tonight…I just wanted to impress him with something I made…” she said, her voice breaking.
“Then impress him some other time.” He rolled his eyes.
The oven beeped for the second time. The girl stopped crying and smiled wickedly as an idea came to mind.
“Looks like I’m serving yours instead…”
“And pretend you prepared it?”
“Yes!” She squealed.
Frost with a cream cheese frosting
or sprinkle with powdered sugar.
A Response to Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect?