So. It's the first day of the summer holidays. Eventually we drag ourselves from our beds.
"What would you like for breakfast darlings?" I trill at my two sweet urchins, pulling on my domestic goddess apron, plimming my bosom and tossing my hair in the style of Nigella.
"A treat," demands R4.
Rightyho. Is this the way summer is to pan out? Am I making a rod for my own back? Will they expect me to cook something from scratch every breakfast time?
Ptooey, as whatshisname says in the film 'Ratatouille'.
Anyway, today 'breakfast' is a loosely applied term, it being already pretty late. Not quite late enough, perhaps, for it to have become 'elevenses', but not quite the normal crack-of-dawnsiness one would really associate with the term.
A treat it is then. I survey the wreckage of my kitchen. I say 'wreckage' because last evening Brian took out two of the cupboards, the work surface and the radiator, then dug a big hole in the floor. No matter. I have a cooker and the top of the dishwasher, so off I go.
Yesterday was Farmers Market day in Haverfordwest, and I have a large punnet of fragrant strawberries from Manorbier. Muffins are breakfasty, so strawberry muffins it is. I turn, of course, to Nigella, at breakfast-times in need of treat, so I begin with her Orange Breakfast muffins recipe from Nigella Bites, and add strawberries.
INGREDIENTS AND METHOD
* Switch the oven on to Gas Mark 6 (200 degrees C) and pop the butter into the oven to melt (use an ovenproof bowl! Doh!). Then pop twelve cake cases into your muffin tin.
220g self-raising flour
25g ground almonds
half a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
one teaspoon baking powder
75g caster sugar
* Combine in a large bowl.
* Rescue the butter!
100ml orange juice
1 large egg
* Mix together in a jug, then add the cooled butter.
* Not an exact science this. Start off with about 16 big juicy strawberries. Fend off small, hungry children. Fail. Chop the eight remaining strawberries into cubes.
* Roughly combine the wet and dry ingredients and the strawberries. Pile into the muffin tins.
* Any mixture that you can't squeeze in can go into the oven in the oven proof bowl you used for the butter. The children won't know about this big, flat muffin cake. Cook's perk!
* Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot with butter (or, better still, clotted cream).
Makes 12 big fruity muffins (and a spare!).