Yesterday Courtney had a couple of friends around, and they spent 6 solid hours playing on the steep bank that leads to the dam. The gradient is about 70 degrees, and the challenge appeared to be to climb and descend it without sliding to the bottom, which would have resulted in them losing all their teeth and breaking all their bones. There wasn't an electronic device in sight, and they returned home dirty, scratched and happy. However, things soon went awry.
Because they wanted to bake a cake.
Courtney, at age 12, is an excellent baker - in fact better than I am, and so I didn't hesitate to give her permission, and I am sure things would have worked out perfectly well had she not had a little "input" from her friends. She never uses a recipe book, and simply follows a tried and tested recipe, so when her friends suggested they try make the cake "another way" she happily agreed. With the perpetual optimism of youth that everything will work out just right, they adjusted pretty much every quantity of Courtneys standard recipe - the main one being to change the amount of baking powder to two teaspoons from one - the intention being to make the cake "really fluffy". In addition, the 'teaspoon' they used was too large to fit into the tin, and they had to pour the powder into it.
Suffice to say the mixture was bubbling before they even got it into the oven, and the resulting confection looked remarkably like the head of an alien! In fact, not only was it steeper than the gravel bank they had been playing on all afternoon, we almost had to staple the icing to it as it kept slipping off!
What a great day!