Apple Crisp and Chocolate Cake

I have come to look forward to Sunday afternoons when I am in town so I can spend extended time with the girls. Usually, it involves baking and experimenting with foods they don’t normally eat. Today, it was apple crisp pie (courtesy of my awesome sis-in-law Kim) and chocolate cake (courtesy of Betty Crocker). There were five girls who came today, and one of them brought her five-year-old little brother. I put on Winnie the Pooh on DVD for him while the girls busied themselves in the kitchen. Unfortunately, there was no Chinese audio option, but I forgot that all cartoons are the same for a five-year-old. He was hooked the whole time.

chocolate! yum!

We started out with the chocolate cake because it was the easiest to make. Even the girls were able to mix the ingredients it without too many instructions from me. They looked at the pictures in the back of the box and they were set. They couldn’t wait to have chocolate! Meanwhile, I peeled a few apples to prepare the pie. I thought I’d show them how to use an apple slicer corer. They’d never seen this gadget before and they were pretty amazed at how easy it was to use. One of the girls needed my help push it down, though!

slicing has never been easier

Everyone wanted to participate in the stirring, slicing, and mixing.

stirring...

slicing ...

mixing ...

We had extra batter for the chocolate cake, so we decided to make muffins out of them. While some girls were busy working on the the apple crisp, I helped the others make sure they put enough chocolate batter on the muffin mold.

chocolate muffins!

Besides baking, I had forgotten that girls this age (pre-teens) are also into fashion and make-up and hair. While waiting for the food, they insisted on making me their dress-up doll for the afternoon. I put my foot down on the make-up, but I relented on letting them style my hair. While they busied themselves, I decided to practice my Chinese with them using the stories I learned when I was in Kunming. I think I may have butchered the tones and pronunciation because they were not shy about letting me know whether or not they understood. I also think kids are just more straightforward in pointing out mistakes and correcting them. My stories were simple so I think I was able to communicate … but it made me determined to practice even more. Big brother Vincent came over for a visit to practice his English and spent the afternoon with the girls. It was a bit chaotic but a lot of fun.

controlled chaos

I was tired by the time they all left because I only had a few hours of sleep the night before preparing for a presentation this morning. But it is always a blessing to hear the delight and laughter of children. I look forward to the next time.

the gang

5 Responses to “Apple Crisp and Chocolate Cake”

  1. kim says:

    Umm, so what happened to the food? how did it turn out? who takes the picture when you’re in the shot?

  2. mbcohao says:

    I think it was the kind of apple that I bought for this recipe. as you said, I have to try different kinds to see which one would suit my taste. the girls were expecting sweet but they tasted tart, so they were surprised, but they liked it enough to finish off their plate!

    as for the pix, they always take turns taking pictures throughout the afternoon … I guess the novelty of the digital camera has not worn out yet!

  3. misshao says:

    i LOVE the controlled chaos .. lol!

  4. MAY says:

    Remember the days we are together.

  5. mbcohao says:

    Yes, those were special times in Shanghai. Miss you, May!! :-)

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