My mistake as a mother
There have been many occasions when I wish I had spent more time teaching my children about the importance of cleaning up after themselves but never more so than when I decided to start creating a baking business. According to parenting coach Rachel Norman there are 4 reasons why mums find it hard to teach their kids to clean and I have to put my hands up to at least two of them. Firstly my kids were always busy with activities and I guess I fell into doing my chores when they were in bed or out of sight. They thought the fairies cleaned my house and secondly I lost sight of how important is to teach children to take responsibility for their belongings including the home they live in.
My children are now 16 and 22 and so retraining them to clean up after themselves now has been quite a challenge. I thought I would share with you the lessons I have had to teach them if I am to run a successful bakery.
Get off my bakery counter:
In order to register a food business with the council you first need to have a comprehensive food safety management system. This involves creating the safest environment to work in. Having considered the best places in the house to start the business we settled on one side of the kitchen, unfortunately the side better known as the dumping ground. If I had a pound for how many times I have said get that off my bakery counter id be rich. It’s incredibly important that cooking surfaces remain clean and contamination free. Next to threatening to chop their fingers off I had to find a creative way to get the message through.
I am pleased to say the constant sight of cakes on the counter has finally done the job.
Stop pinching my ingredients:
‘What’s yours is mine’ Now this has been an interesting lesson. Baking comes with a supply of great ingredients chocolate chips, marzipan, digestive biscuits to name a few. All the things my family love when they are having a sweet tooth moment. After a few occasions of finding things missing I took the decision to buy myself a food cupboard specifically for my baking ingredients. I have successfully managed to keep this cupboard out of bounds by ensuring there is always a supply of home baked sweet treats.
Teaching them to love cake!
Practice.practice, practice is the only way to make a successful cake all the time and that has meant an endless supply of cake in a wide variety of flavours. When making shaped cakes there is also a lot of excess cake and who better to have as a guinea pig than your family. So over time they have come to love walking into the fresh smell of cake in the kitchen and anticipating what is coming their way.
Even the dog got restricted.
Its important the the baking areas stay free from contamination and that includes animals and the chance of pet hairs contaminating surfaces so the poor dog has had to learn to stay out of the kitchen and I have had to learn to live with his barking when he smells cake and can't get to it.
The benefits of retraining them.
Whilst its been a slow process there have been many benefits from retraining my family as well as everyone benefitting from the cakes, I no longer have to spend hrs cleaning up after everyone we have slowly developed systems to keep the kitchen tidier. More importantly their mother is a much happier and contented women which can only be a good thing for them.
Remember I am a baker not a writer so tomorrow I will bring out the baker and share my favourite Victoria sponge recipe together with tips to iron out some the problems people face when baking.