Elsie's Cookbook

Last Saturday Elsie made her first recipe, asking me to not tell her a thing or help her because, "then it wouldn't be my own recipe!" She had an idea and just wanted to try it. So I left her in the kitchen and only came in to help her put the mini cakes in the oven.

As it turns out, 4 eggs, 1.5 cups of sugar, 1.5 cups of flour, 1/3 stick of melted butter and a handful of chocolate chips do make for edible and yummy mini cakes in a cupcake pan! We were all totally impressed for a recipe that never creamed things together or anything. It was just a dump and stir recipe.

The next day was church potluck and she told me excitedly, "You can make my mini cakes! I have the recipe all ready for you!" In the end I made chocolate pudding with thin mints crushed on top (by the way, I had more people ask me for the recipe on this one, than anything I've ever brought before! Ha! Instant pudding! File that one away for your next potluck!!!) and when Elsie saw her face fell and she said, "Did you not really like my mini cakes?"

Oh dear me. "No, no, I loved them. I just wanted something easy to make and didn't want to bake. But you're right. Many from our church would LOVE to have one of your mini cakes. I will make those next!" So after the kids went to bed I made a dozen mini cakes following Elsie's recipe and then make a card to set by them, "Mini Cakes, Invented by Elsie Groves" exactly as she wanted me to write.

And wouldn't you know, she got LOTS of attention and compliments on her original recipe. And it all made for a new favorite Elsie memory. Then we came home and she insisted on making a pie. Again with no instruction. She crushed graham crackers for the crust with butter and then made a similar filling with lots of eggs, lots of sugar and coconut flour. It was sort of like a baked custard.

Then she told us she is starting a cookbook. What fun!

Elsie is 6 1/2 and a complete wonder to me. She comes down from her room every morning dressed for success, complete with accessories, the right shoes and a hair style to coordinate. She is a joyful girl, very shy in new situations and loves to laugh and be silly. She helps me with the little kids, and often has more patience than I do, using a loving, falsetto voice, "No, no, Alden, you cannot throw your food on the floor. Are you trying to tell us you are all done? Then you say All Done." And Alden will repeat her. In these moments I try to take notes on how she does it...she is so dear and sweet.

She will talk nonstop while working in the kitchen with me, "Mom, I don't really want to be doing this, and I'm like sort of mad about it on the inside, but I'm like, I just have to do it. And either I can do it mad or I can do it happy but I still have to help and so then I choose happy so I can be more joyful because it's more fun to be joyful, right mom? I just wouldn't want to be mad every time I have to work, or we would all be mad a lot because there is a lot we have to do each day and I'd rather be happy..." And on and on and on and on.

I love having her companionship and look forward to eating more egg and sugar based recipes from her upcoming cookbook.

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