Three things I loved when I was younger-
Baking, my pink plastic chair and water.
Invariably all three ended up together any chance I got in my quest to replicate my Mum's utterly perfect, fruit and fluffy scones.
I was about four years old when my Mum went on her first weekend away without me. Left at home with Dad I thought I would start making my own perfect scones.
Spending a few minutes retracing the steps my mother made when setting up her scone station on the kitchen island unit, I opened the same cupboards she opened, pulled out the same bags of flour and sultanas she did and retrieved some of the ingredients she used from the fridge.
I was too small at the time to reach the work surface so the pink chair my Mum had bought for me from The Early Learning Centre on St. Patrick's Street in Cork came in very useful.
Stepping up on my pink chair I remember putting on Mum's apron as she would have done whilst walking towards the island unit.
With my utensils all around me I started to replicate the sequence of movements my Mum made in quick succession! I sieved the flour using her red sieve, I added a little salt and cubed butter and then I began to freestyle! I added eggs without whisking, I added jam instead of sugar (a whole jar of local strawberry jam from what I can recall) and because I loved (and still do!) water so much, I pulled my pink chair over to the kitchen sink and let some of Cork's finest water pour into the mixing bowl.
Pulling my pink chair and bowl back to the mixing station I stepped back up to the work surface and stirred what can only be described as a strawberry streaked sludge with a wooden spoon and total confidence. I thought to myself "why not put my favourite topping into the batter" - jam! "Why not use water instead of milk" - I love them both! My hands were too small to rub the butter and flour into breadcrumbs and so cubes of butter sort of floated around the bowl amidst a large ratio of water to everything else!
The confidence in my stirring quickly turned to frustration when I realised I had a mixture that could neither be rolled out with Mum's rolling pin or cut with Mum's scone cutter.
There I stood fierce in an apron too big for me on a pink plastic chair that made jobs I was not necessarily capable of accessible to me. Though defeated first time round I would go on to properly learn from my Mum the importance of adding things in sequence but with an increasing love of free-styling. Free-styling began to pay off aged 10 when I started creating my own brown soda recipes that would literally keep you full for 12 hours at a time they were so dense in oats and whole grains.
My past is of endless inspiration to me. Hope your pink plastic chair moments are still inspirational to you! :)