Tonight at dinner Clara was very quiet. She was deep in thought picking through her fried rice and sesame chicken bits. Finally she made a solemn announcement, “Mom and Dad. I know two things. Two things that are the most important part about making a cake.”

Her mother and I put down our forks and waited patiently while she expanded on her theory. “You need to have the right things to put into the cake.” We nodded. “Then you have to stir it right, and bake it right in the oven.” She smiled and bowed her head slightly, then returned to her rice.

“Wait,” I insisted, “that’s three things. Ingredients, mixing and baking.” I counted them off on my fingers so she could see.

She grinned up at me sideways, as if she had been waiting for this very observation. “Ahhh,” she said and poked at the side of her head softly, “but the last two are really just one thing. The making!”

“Okay okay.” I grumbled. “The most important part of making a cake is having the right ingredients and then making them into a cake?”