I baked a cake. It wasn’t hard, it wasn’t impressive, I don’t have a picture to share, I’m not planning to use this recipe ever again or even to eat it whole.
But still, it was quite an important cake for me.
Back in the kindergarten we’ve learned a song about baking a cake that doubled as a recipe for “the easiest cake in the world”:
They asked each kid to bring some ingredient (one was responsible for sugar, one for baking powder, etc.), and the next day we were supposed to bake that cake ourselves!
I hope you can imagine how excited a child can get about it. We’re gonna do something yummy! Ourselves! We’re learning things and we’re growing up! So amazing!
I hope you can also imagine how big of a boner-killer it must have been, when my mother heard the song and just said “it won’t work, the proportions are wrong”... She gave me whatever ingredient I needed, but she made me feel like it’s gonna be a disaster, whatever I do.
The cake turned out amazing, as far as I can remember. Although, admittedly, kids have a strange taste, and also: the kindergarten didn’t let us near the oven, we just passed the cake to the cooks – who theoretically could’ve thrown it out and baked a different one.
When I remembered about this song a couple of days ago, I got curious – is it really a shitty recipe or will it work out after all?
It took me like five minutes to prepare the cake (btw, I replaced the plums with raisins), and it was in fact a child’s a play, a piece of cake, so to say.
The end result was, well... underwhelming. The cake was sweet as hell. Which is exactly how the kids like it, I guess. So basically the song delivered on its promise: the recipe was extremely easy, it produced an edible cake, and it would totally be tons of fun for a child.
That cake-incident is the earliest of cooking-related fuckups of my childhood. I used to hear over and over that “I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I’m not good for anything”... Also, I never actually got taught how to do that (except for making pankakes).
Turns out cooking is easy. I’m now an adult totally capable of preparing meals, I didn’t need any extra training to master the “just follow the instructions” thing. All I needed as a kid was not to be discouraged from trying, that’s it.
So, am I proud that I’ve proved my mother wrong? Not really, she’s probably not gonna read it anyway. The point of it was totally different...
As much as I don't like children, I'm seriously considering adopting one one day. The more I hear about what crazy shit some parents do, the more I want to give some kid a childhood free of homophobia, racism, gender norms, unreasonable expectations, religion and bigotry...— Avris (@AvrisIT) August 23, 2018
I’m considering becoming a parent one day, and those are the kind of memories that push me in that direction. Also all the stories of friends who were disowned for being attracted to a wrong half of the population, or whose parents were drunks, antivaxers, etc.
As much as me and my husband are terrified of being fully responsible for another human being – especially one that’s innocent and helpless – there’s no chance in hell we would be worse parents than most of the actual parents. (And don’t even try suggesting that being gay somehow makes us worse!)
So yeah, I’m collecting thoughts and memories like those to make sure I know what’s the right thing to do, and what not to do. Keep fingers crossed!