I arrived home from work yesterday to the sight of Amelie running down the hallway to greet me with a face which looked like the chocolate version of Rudolph. I've heard of brown-nosing, but she was taking it to a whole new level. It transpired that Lisa had spent the afternoon making chocolate chip muffins. With chips the size of potatoes. To be honest, they looked more like chocolate oranges with cake chips.
Lisa suffers from some kind of undiagnosed eating disorder which causes her to be uncontrollably obsessed with her sister's AirFryer and the idea of fat-free cooking, whilst simultaneously keeping three blocks of butter in the fridge to make biscuits. If she's not looking up the latest slimming revolution online, she's up to her elbows in cookie cutters and cake cases. And letting me taste the results. It's no wonder I don't look like Kate Middleton.
If there's one thing I really admire about Lisa, it's the fact that she never lets her lack of ability dampen her enthusiasm. She knows roughly as much about cooking as my Dad, but while he steers well clear of the oven, she's in there (not literally), cooking up a storm. Or some other natural disaster. For the past few months, our kitchen has looked like a branch of Greggs on youth training day. The place is permanently littered with mis-shapen muffins and slightly burnt biscuits.
Yesterday's offering was an impromptu decision, resulting from the fact that a couple of council workmen turned up unexpectedly to fix a leak above our bathroom ceiling, meaning that Lisa was housebound all day with nothing but the contents of our larder and a lot of misplaced confidence. It was like an episode of Ready Steady Cook, but with less planning.
By the time I got home, Amelie had the nose of a chocolate truffle pig, and Lisa was acting like a muffin mule, loading cakes into boxes in the kitchen. Obviously things never quite go according to plan, and this time she'd failed to locate the muffin tin, so she'd cooked them on a baking tray, with the result that they ended up more like scones than muffins. Which to me, made them even more appealing.
Lisa promptly announced that she didn't like them, but Amelie and I begged to differ, so while the wife did the washing up, I danced around the kitchen, stuffing my face and singing "I am the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man!", in an effort to entertain my daughter. Amelie watched all of this with a serious expression on her face, waited for me to stop, then looked up at me with her chocolate-covered features, paused for a moment, and said:
"You're not the muffin man".
I think I've just been put in my place by a two-year-old.