It all started yesterday. I was planning on baking some chicken thighs in the oven. He wanted to decide what seasonings were put on the chicken. His original choices from our spice baskets?
Coriander - until he took a whiff of it (I would have rejected it anyway).
The Mister uttered positive comments about the flavor of the chicken, and I think The Boy sat up a bit straighter in his seat at the table. Proud, that Boy!
Today, he wanted to bake a cake and frost it. Maybe it's because the Wilton tackle box thingy is still sitting on the counter, or maybe it's the shiny frosting tips encased within - or it's the weekly cake habit we've established since I started the class. Whatever. There is not a bad time to eat cake, right? Oh, and he LOVES the Wilton frosting (an artery-clogging concoction of Crisco, powdered sugar, vanilla and water). He ate every bit of any leftover frosting I had from my time in class.
The Boy's autism disorder (and the medication he takes for his bipolar disorder) leave him a bit shaky - he is a bit clumsy, and he has tremors in his hands (he's ultra-sensitive about that part). He's especially sensitive lately - he's now fourteen, and deep in the throes of all things wonderful called adolescence.
Keeping his physical challenges in mind, and knowing that he sometimes loses interest in activities that require more than two instructions, I thought he should focus on an attainable goal and bake a cake from a mix. He's gotta start somewhere.
He carefully read the directions (and promptly forgot to preheat the oven). He got all the stuff ready to make a yellow cake. He opened the box without mishap and poured the cake mix into the bowl. He carefully measured the water, and put the measuring cup on the counter and even eyeballed it to be sure it was exactly a cup.
He poured the vegetable oil into a measuring cup without spilling a single drop.
He even broke three eggs without filling the bowl with eggshells!
He learned how to put the beaters on the hand mixer, and began mixing. Boring stuff, that mixing. After about fifteen seconds, he was satisfied that the batter was ready.
We reviewed the directions, and we watched the second hand on the wall clock as he mixed for the obligatory three minutes.
Three minutes is a long time for The Boy. His arm got tired, and he thought he'd rest his hand on the
See how well that went?
The carton hit the floor, and two eggs sacrificed themselves in his maiden baking attempt.
Then, despite several warnings NOT to lift the whirring beaters out of the batter...you know where I'm goin' here, don't ya?
Joe Cool? Meet Joe Splattered.
Extremely apologetic, and convinced he was a "screw up", he cleaned up the mess and we continued.
Here he is, pouring the cake batter in the pan. (I had sprayed the pan with cooking spray and preheated the oven while he was busy mixing).
The cake was put into the oven. I did that part, he's afraid of that big, hot white thing.
Thirty minutes later, we had a cake! And dead batteries on the camera!
Here's a triumphant baking Boy - wearing a clean shirt (he wanted to change it as soon as the splattering happened, but I urged him to wait until we were done).
He even attempted to make the frosting - but gave up after the Crisco stubbornly refused to come out of the measuring cup.
Baby steps, indeed. I do so love this kid. Looking at his picture, I think it might be time to start calling him The Young Man.
In case you're interested, the 'Happy Tuesday' cake was quite yummy.