There is a major event in our lives in a fortnight’s time and I need your help. The Small Girl is turning four (four! how did that happen?) and The Party is the subject of much discussion.
Previously, we’ve used her birthday as an excuse to entertain our friends – and in some cases, their children. This time it’s all about her friends – and their parents, some of whom are unknown quantities. Needless to say, I am nervous.
In part, this is for the obvious reason that inviting a dozen small children to rampage through the house on a Saturday morning is hardly conducive to a relaxing time of it. We’ve been to so many parties recently – most involving bouncy castles and pirates and pass-the-parcel where every child gets a fancy gift – that I feel expectations are getting higher by the minute.
Then there’s the food. Some people have separate food for the children and adults, some have a free-for-all. There is always a cake of extreme proportions – sometimes outsourced, sometimes lovingly created (and probably sworn over) by the adoring parents.
We seem to have settled on the cake – but then the other requests are coming thick and fast. She pores over the picture of the ‘Welcome Table’ groaning with a clove-studded ham, star biscuits and various other delights in Nigella Christmas and says, ‘can we have that when it’s my birthday please?’ Don’t even start me on the supermarket, where her eyes light up as we march at speed through aisles of rubbish. “We could have those biscuits/marshmallows/fizzy drinks at my party, couldn’t we?”
While there will be no bouncy castle at our party, nor any vile Cheerios (honestly, I can’t believe people still feed those to their children!), we are going to have fun things to eat. The question is, what?
What would you feed a dozen children and probably at least as many adults on a Saturday morning? And do you have a great cake/cupcake recipe that can be made a couple of days in advance?