We have been zooming, zipping and exploring all over the country side this Easter hols, courtesy of our little automobile.
It has been an utterly joyful time. We have been welcomed by friends and family and made to feel special, loved and then missed again.
We have visited Ms Fish and the loveliest growing up fast Girl Fish, whose birthday we were honoured to be part of. We have stayed with Nonna and Granda, in the lovely Norfolk countryside, enjoying castle visits, Cromer fish and chips and cream teas.
We have been pod dwelling in Sherwood Forest's Clumber Park.
jaunt taking, bubble blowing,
treat tasting and all round holiday-ing. Once you give into it and its haphazard routines, you draw your
first deep breath, submission, finally feeling that glow of complete relaxation.
"It is our holidays, after all...." becomes a new family motto, rolled out with an ease belying its frequent usage!
'another glass of wine? Why not hey? It is our holidays, after all!'
'another slice of cake? Why not? It is our holidays, after all!'
'shall we take a drive to Bakewell, on our way to Clumber Park? Why not.....(you get the idea!)'
Royal wedding watching, Easter Egg hunting, Jersery Royal and Asparagus eating, BBQ-ing, day dreaming on buttercup strewn lawns.
And April's festivities made all the more memorable by the wonderful weather.
As we ease into May the weather has become mischievous, with playful winds, blousey clouds, bright clear sunshine and the occasional naughty shower. But the garden is loving it, soaking in the rain fall and growing with a fervour that reminds me of the small folk! Stretching and bursting at previously roomy seams!
So today is the last of our holiday days and the weeks must return to the formal and the familiar. No more 'Prosecco hours', no more week day pleasure trips, a lot less treat consumption, back to early bedtimes and the school run.
But perhaps that is no bad thing...there's always the weekend...'Why not? It is the weekend!'
Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes (Primrose Bakery Cupcakes)
('it is our holidays, after all')
- 110g (4oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 225g (8oz) caster sugar, preferably golden
- 2 large eggs, free-range or organic
- 150g (5½oz) self-raising flour, sifted
- 125g (4½oz) plain flour, sifted
- 120ml (4fl oz) semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
- 1tsp good-quality vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C (fan)/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray or 3 x 12-hole mini muffin trays with cupcake cases.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.
In a separate bowl, combine the two flours. Put the milk into a jug and add the vanilla extract. Add one third of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes (regular size) or 15 minutes (mini size) until slightly raised and golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes - it should come out clean.
Once cool, make a small hole in each (I used the end of a teaspoon) and spoon in a 1 tsp of strawberry jam. Warming the jam, makes this easier.
*I swirled a dollop of shop bought vanilla frosting on top and a sliced (dried off) strawberry. But they would be wonderful with a good splodge of whipped cream if you were serving immediately. Summer treat bliss!*
Perfect end to a perfect staycation. Perfect with your afternoon cup of tea in your May garden....('sublime' was the word MrB used! High praise indeed!)