And it occurred to me as we did this that there are probably some of you out there who have never experienced the joy of baking with children. So I thought we'd share some helpful tips that we learned through today's experience.
1. Pull out the cupcake pans, and let the kids count how many spaces are in each one. (Never pass up a chance to increase the educational value of your activity.)
2. Let the kids put the paper liners in the pans. (Discover later that several of the cups have whole stacks of liners in them. Wish you had noticed it sooner. Shrug and move on, because there's nothing you can do about it now, and you suppose it really doesn't hurt anything anyway.)
3. Gather up all of your ingredients.
4. Discover that the recipe calls for eggs, and realize that you don't have any. Laugh at your kids' reaction, and make them do it again so you can take a picture.
5. Go to the store to pick up some eggs. Remember that you need several other things, and decide to pick them up too since you're there anyway. Remember why you hate bringing children to the grocery store.
6. See the store's display of alcohol. Think that a drink sounds really good right about now.
7. Somehow manage to make it home with your sanity. Discover that it's already lunch time. Pause to make lunch and feed your starving kids. Sigh, because this is taking way longer than you expected it to.
8. Finally get back to making the cupcakes. Rejoice that you finally have all of the ingredients that you need.
9. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl, and let your kids take turns with the mixer. (Discover later that several of your pictures came out blurry.)
10. Pause for a moment to let your kids enjoy the best part of baking.
11. Let your kids play with the camera while you fill up the cupcake pans. (Come back later to see all of the crazy pictures they took.)
12. Put the cupcakes in the oven, and watch with amusement as the kids check on them every few minutes, giving you detailed status updates each time.
13. Pull everything out of the oven, and discover that using different types of pans makes the cupcakes cook differently. Pause to wonder why you don't have matching cupcake pans. Shrug, because once you put frosting on them nobody will know what they look like underneath, so it really doesn't matter.
14. Let the kids show off the product of their hard work.
15. Remember that you have other plans in the afternoon, and realize that you aren't going to have time to frost the cupcakes before you have to go. Decide that you're going to have to come back and finish this tomorrow.