After trading a few notes back and forth deciding what they would like to cook first, Lissa discovered that mice do not in fact like cheese. Sure, they will eat it if nothing else is available but they actually prefer higher carb foods like bread, nuts and seeds.
In one particularly long note from the three tails, they explained that the story passed down through the mice pipeline was that cheese was stored in cupboards and easily available to mice, but they are not sure if this is where the myth came from.
She wanted to start with something easy and something that they would enjoy so she picked “Easy Nut Bread” from one of her cookbooks as the first recipe. They seemed happy with her choice.
Easy Nut Bread
1 C. Sugar
1 1/4 C. milk
3 C. Flour, sifted once
3 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt
2 T. Butter
1 C. Nuts
Mix all together. Bake in loaf pan for 1 hour at 350*.
She set all of the ingredients out and grabbed two bowls, a spoon and a loaf pan. Then she waited for the mice to show up.
Once they showed up, she started to write them a note explaining the first step, but the biggest mouse (she assumed he was the ringleader) said, in a rather squeaky voice that was hard to hear, “You know, we can talk as well as write.”
“Oh. Ok. Well then…uh, I guess we will start by mixing together the dry ingredients.”
As Lissa mixed the baking powder, salt and flour together, the three mice decided they needed to get a closer look so they climbed up the side of the flour canister and perched on the edge. The smallest one, who seemed rather clumsy, fell in the flour spilling it all over the counter in a large cloud. Lissa made a mental note to throw the flour, canister and all, away when they finished this lesson.
“Next, we will mix the butter, sugar, egg and milk in this other bowl.” She glanced their way and noticed that a tiny paw was raised.
“Uh, yes? Do you have a question?” she asked.
“Why don’t you mix all the ingredients together in one bowl?”
“Well…if you add the eggs to the flour, then the butter, then the milk…the dry ingredients will not be able to absorb the liquid evenly and the flour may become overworked and difficult to stir. I guess you could add the flour last, but then the baking powder and salt might not be evenly mixed with all the other ingredients.”
Lissa wondered if they did not hear her or if the explanation was too difficult to understand, but after a few minutes and some quiet squeaking as they talked with each other, each mouse nodded their tiny head and waited for the next step.
“Ok, so after you have the ingredients combined in separate bowls, you slowly add the wet to the dry until evenly mixed. Then you stir in your nuts of choice, we are using walnuts…yes?”
The fat one asked if pecans could be used instead as that was a personal favorite of his.
Once the batter was fully ready, with pecans mixed in, Lissa took the loaf pan and a can of cooking spray to show the mice how to grease the pan. She got a little overzealous and ended up spraying the smallest mouse off the counter.
After everyone was back on the counter and the small one was done crying, Lissa poured the batter into the greased loaf pan and popped it into the oven.
“So you just bake for an hour at 350* and it is done. Ok, I’ve showed you how to cook, now off you go.”
The mice looked at one another for a moment. “But, you can’t expect that we can recreate this recipe? We do not have tiny ovens and the best we can do for a bowl is an acorn shell.”
“Then why did you want to learn to cook!” asked Lissa, getting annoyed.
A fit of squeaking seemed to have taken over the mice and Lissa soon realized that it was not squeaking at all but laughter.
“What are you laughing at!?”
“We just wanted to see if you would try to teach us! You don’t actually think a mouse can cook do you?”