15 January 2013

Do the Hokey Pokey

I'm not sure whether the song goes "Do the hokey pokey", or "tokey", or "cokey," but hokey pokey is a very yummy New Zealand thing, and today my children made some.

I grew up perusing the sweets section of the Edmonds Cookbook, entranced with the realisation that I could eat the sweet treats if I made them - and I enjoyed making them. It was the beginning of learning how to cook.

My children have very much decided they're ready to do the same thing.

Today, with no guidance from me, Jack found himself in that same sweets section, and lit upon the Hokey Pokey recipe. "I'm going to make it," he said, happy to see there were only three ingredients (sugar, golden syrup and baking soda), all of which he knew we had.

After a minute or two of stirring the pot, he declared his arms weren't strong enough to stir and please could I take over? Nope.

He got there, and since then, he's eaten one bit and didn't really like it. In the excitement of seeing the frothing chemical reaction that occurs when the baking soda is added, we didn't mix it enough, and the remaining lumps of baking soda really put him off. Plus, this is the boy who still hasn't finished his Halloween lolly collection. Not a big eater.

His sister, however, is a fan and we keep chipping little bits off the crunchy mass for her.

It was she who set them on this baking path. Yesterday she had a friend visiting and announced, "Kate and I can both read now, so we can cook." She found a chocolate cake recipe from a book in the bookshelf and set about baking it herself.

All the years she's been helping me paid off. She could do everything beautifully (wearing her apron, of course). I had the chance to observe this because, Kate, I'm sorry to say, was hardly allowed to do anything, including eat it, because she had to leave before it was baked. It is, however, a huge and delicious cake.

Ian is unimpressed by this turn of events and has declared that he will not clean up the mess. I take the opposite line and heartily support it, because I can see that it will mean less baking for me.

Hokey Pokey (from the Edmonds Cookery Book)

5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda

Put sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally, if necessary, to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Add baking soda. Stir quickly until mixture froths up. Pour into a buttered tin immediately. Leave until cold and hard. Break into pieces.

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