Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that my daughter and grandchildren are about to move to Seattle! While we have all known about this for many months the move is finally very close so this weekend I threw a party for her and the children so she had the chance to say good-bye to some of her friends. We’ve had Jade and the children, Maisie 2 1/2 and Gabriel 8 weeks living with us following the removal of the final tranche of their furniture and I’d forgotten just how exhausting toddles and babies can be!! I used to sleep at night, have a clean, calm home, listen to classical music whilst embroidering. Actually I didn’t do the embroidering bit but you get the gist. I am now sleep deprived and leg shackled to the washing machine, but the invites had been sent out so the show or in this case the party had to go on.
I thought an English tea party would be fitting, cake and finger sandwiches were called for – cucumber sandwiches to celebrate a great British tradition and cupcakes to herald the new American era. Smoked salmon sandwiches added a touch of luxury and then I tried a new mix of red pepper hummus and tuna salad.
We obviously needed lots of cake and as Maisie is a dab hand making chocolate crispy crackles we made several batches of those. This had the double joy of using up the two packets of cereal I’d inherited from Jade. We made a batch of coconut cup cakes using a recipe from The Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook. I strongly urge you to make these for your next party, they are truly delicious and made in the American way by adding a quantity of milk, or in this case buttermilk, to the batter. To ice the cupcakes I used my own favourite buttercream recipe, one which incorporates a tub of marshmallow fluff into the icing. The fluff is an import from the USA and can be found quite easily in many specialist food shops of supermarkets. It is, I’m sure, chock full of chemicals and sugar but the icing is quite wonderful.
Cheese straws finished the deal and all that was left to add were a dozen of so bottles of chilled Prosecco and some juice for the children. The sun shone, the toddlers played happily (!) and all was well with the world. Quite definitely a good sendoff. Oh, but I am going to miss them!