Special ingredients for friendship cake

I had the pleasure of sitting in on classes at one of the high schools this week to see how learning has changed over the past 20 years.Kids these days may have more knowledge on a lot of things, but there are still those areas of expertise that only an adult can impart to the developing minds of our younger generation.Maths, science, English - even history - are pretty much the same year in year out, but the intricacies of personal relationships have changed exponentially, like the maths equations I never got.Back in my high school days, we didn't get to talk so openly and freely about "friendships" and what they mean, how they develop and what we should really look for in a special "friend".It was something you learned by osmosis, but the rules, as I have mentioned many times in the past, have changed considerably since I was a teenager.So it was with some excitement I took my seat at the back of the class to learn how to make a "friendship" cake.The metaphor may have been lost on me at first. My cooking skills leave a lot to be desired and I was wondering if this new recipe may be something my own kids would enjoy in their lunch box.It wasn't until the teacher handed out the official "recipe" that I realised this was no ordinary sponge that would rise to be a fluffy and delectable morsel if I just beat the eggs and butter to the right consistency.On the interactive whiteboard was a list of ingredients that should be included in a perfect "friendship" cake.The students were all contributing to the list and already we had a recipe that included chemistry, understanding, trust and common interests.But just like on Masterchef, once those common ingredients had been identified, the home cooks started guessing at what else was needed to get that perfect pie.The suggestions came flying thick and fast - two cups of nice legs, a pinch of humour, a dash of big boobs.Getting a bunch of teenagers back on track for "one of those" lessons is a Herculean task, but the teacher took it all in her stride.Whipping out the mixing bowl she threw in the butter and asked her charges if they would like to take a taste now rather than keep on adding to the mixture for a better tasting titbit.Next came the sugar, and once again the students were given the chance to take their bites now, or wait to see if the end product was all that is was cracked up to be.It got me thinking about what I would include in a "friendship" cake that would be both delicious and nutritious.The big name ingredients of love, trust and respect, of course, would be sifted in with a dash of humour and 250ml of acceptance. Mix the ingredients and then make a well in the centre and crack in two fresh patience. Beat until combined, and for that extra sweet flavour add a dollop of intrigue or mystery.But, the teacher reminded us all, even if the ingredients are all there, if the cake is not cooked properly, the oven not quite hot enough or the finished product not allowed to cool for the appropriate amount of time, it will crumble and there will be no way to add the icing.Although the "friendship" cake didn't quite meet the expectations of the salivating and salacious mob of hormonal teens it did go a long way to proving a salient point.Sometimes it is possible to have your cake and eat it too.

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