Summer break begins in ten days. The kids’ school calendar for these last few days looks ready to burst, packed as it is with project submissions, PTMs, book-day preparations and global perspectives day amongst others. I have glue in my hair, superglued fingers and am snipping paper in my sleep. There’s the travel planning, packing and repacking amidst growing anticipation of cooler climes and lovely beaches. Baking urges are back despite the terrible heat resulting, fittingly, in chocolate lava cakes (that turned out awesome). It’s utterly distracting.

To add to it all, MasterChef Australia has begun a new season that really seals the deal on giving up on plots and characters and simply putting away my writing tools until my return to routine in August.

My ten and eight-year-olds sit glued to MasterChef, drawn in not just by the astounding delicacies that the amateur cooks seem capable of but also by the thrilling rounds of winning and elimination. Weekend re-runs of the show result in hectic, chaotic bouts of cooking by the kids. This weekend, the eight-year-old was yelling out for basil and pepper as the didi rushed about as sous-chef. I was banned from the kitchen. Delicious and healthy plates of bruschetta emerged for evening snack, much to my delight.

The ten-year-old (TYO) has his observations and bits of wisdom. As I whipped batter for the lava cakes, he nodded approvingly.

TYO: “What are you making?”

Me: “Chocolate lava cakes, though this is the first attempt and I’m not sure we’ll have dessert for the guests tonight.”

TYO: “We’re making white chocolate and cornflake rocks with bits of gooey marshmallow as well as popsicles with Tang. So don’t worry. If you fail, we have a back-up dessert.”


Later, as I plated one lava cake, added a scoop of ice-cream and dusted on some cocoa, the TYO stood there with his spoon hovering.

TYO: “This does feel like MasterChef, doesn’t it? I’m the judge and we’ve got to cut this to see if it oozes or whether you’ve over-cooked it. So what do you think? How are you feeling?”

Me: “Be quiet and cut the cake.”

TYO once his mouth is stuffed with oozy, chocolate goodness: “This is spectacular! You definitely rose to the challenge.”

I’m not quiet sure how much more of the MasterChef jargon I can take but if it gets the kids cooking, I’m fully endorsing cookery show viewing for kids.

FullSizeRender-1How is any of this connected to writing? Not entirely sure but baking, writing and experiments in the kitchen all seem to complement each other. With no writing on the horizon, baking seems appropriate! And craft work… let’s not forget the craft work. Since I forgot to take pictures of oozy chocolate goodness, here’s the TYO’s robot money-box made from waste that led to the superglued fingers – potentially another reason for hitting pause on writing, for now.