Brood’s recipe for success

It’s taken us four years, but we’ve finally done it. Well not exactly us – more like my mother and Cybergirl. After four years in the winners’ wilderness, the family has at last reclaimed the crown of the damper champions.This time every year the primary school holds a damper competition and since Cybergirl was in kindy we have religiously entered.But it’s not just a simple damper that has to be made.Each entry is judged not just on taste, but also on originality and design, and for the past few years the family team of damper makers has fallen short on one of these elements.And after watching MasterChef this season, I now know how important it is to have all those elements working together.As the worst cook in the family, those first few years I left the hard yakker of mixing and baking to my husband. Cybergirl always had an intricate design in mind, from the echidna of the first year, to a cockatoo on her last attempt.Despite my scepticism, the dad-and-daughter team actually won their first two attempts. But when work commitments took over, the mantle of chief damper maker had to be passed over to grandma.Now it wasn’t just one damper she had to make each year, but two as GameBoy started school.The next few years – with entries of the Australian flag, a boobook owl, Aboriginal flag, emu, a koala and a kangaroo and witchetty grubs all shaped with loving care and decorated with every combination of icing colours – the family team went from a highly commended to never being mentioned again.With every failure we lamented what could have gone wrong. Was it the recipe? Could we have overworked the dough? Cooked it too long so the crust was just a bit too crusty?There were concerns that our level of skill in sculpting was not as high as we first thought or that the equipment we had for the decorations was not up to the job.Trying to mix the myriad colours required from the four-pack of food colouring was proving more difficult as the years went by and the palette required was no longer red, yellow, blue or green but hues of purple, black, grey and baby pink.This year, after refining the recipe, the method and the shaping, grandma was confident she’d once again have the title in the bag.Although Cybergirl had long since left primary school, and PlayStation had taken her place in the damper dynasty, she still insisted on being part of the annual family tradition.Sick of looking at the finished product and trying to decipher what it was meant to be, PlayStation opted for a simple “giant scone with jam and cream”, believing that the superior taste alone would get him over the line.GameBoy decided for his last hurrah he would go for the jugular, and asked for his damper to be mastercrafted into the native poison dart frog.Grandma rose to the challenge.The giant scone would have done the CWA proud, and my own contribution of a sweetened whipped cream and strawberry jam topped off the sterling effort.The poisonous dart frog may not have exactly resembled its real-life counterpart – it looked more like a bloated cane toad – but the artwork by Cybergirl left no-one in doubt of what it was meant to be.With judging on Monday it was a long wait until Thursday for the results.Although we only won the primary division with the poisonous dart frog, PlayStation is confident that now grandma has her groove back, the title will be his next year.
Nanjing Night Net

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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