Red Nose Day, 7am. The fashion debate starts within three minutes of Daisy getting up. I am trying to put Ollie into a pair of red shorts (yes, it is only mid-March but he is insistent on wearing red), and Daisy is telling me that she must go to school in make up and heels.
“My teacher said we can.”
We’ve been here before. She’s become more compliant in recent years, but when she started school it was a daily battle. Daisy is fundamentally against school uniforms and will do anything to try and jazz hers up: a pair of clip-ons here, sparkly nail varnish there; until in reception I was driven half mad with it and marched her to the school office. I demanded a copy of the uniform policy and read it out in a loud voice. She was four years old.
To get off the subject of heels, I deflect on to my favourite topic: Mother’s Day. “So! Only two days til Mother’s Day. What shall we do?”
“I’m going to dress in a really beautiful outfit for you,” says Daisy.
“So am I!” chirrups Ollie. “I’m going to look beautiful for you all day long!”
This is lovely but it’s rather missing the point: I don’t care if they go around looking like ragamuffins all day as long as I get breakfast in bed and a lie in.
To be fair to Daisy, judging on last year’s Mother’s Day, I have nothing to worry about. Her attention to detail is second to none. Anything I mentioned needing or liking in the previous month was committed to memory and bought or made: a replacement trowel, a bracelet in my favourite colours, a cake I’d said I liked….
Sorry! This is about Comic Relief, must stop steering any conversation towards Mother’s Day…… talking of which though, I will not be writing a post on Mother’s Day (what will I do with myself between 7.30 and 9pm?? I might actually have to put the kids to bed). I have told the family and someone else will be picking up the baton. It could be Tom, it could be the cat, but odds on favourite, it will be Daisy.
“I will do it!” she replies confidently, when I mention it over dinner, “I’m going to be writing my own blog soon: ‘Life From A Seven-Year-Old’s point of view’, so this can be my practise.”
I look at Tom weakly.
“Can’t you write it on Mother’s Day?” I say. I dread to think what Daisy’s point of view is. I don’t think it’s fair to be bombarded with home-truths on the one day when mothers should not be stressed in any way.
I’ve read one piece which Daisy wrote on the family last year. I did not come out of it well. There was a lot of references to her parents lying down; of Saturday morning telly watched unsupervised. I wouldn’t like this sort of document to fall into the wrong hands; as for having it out there on the World Wide Web for all to see…it’s enough to make you need a lie down.
Back to today, these lovely, light, almondy cupcakes doubled as a birthday cake for my friend, Kerry; and as something to mark Red Nose Day. They taste so lovely that Daisy and I decide we’ll be better organised next year and make them to raise some money. We can see them selling like hot cakes.
Ingredients. Makes 18
- 300g butter or marg
- 300g caster sugar
- 6 eggs
- 120g ground almonds
- 200g self raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 18 heaped tbsp raspberry jam
- 18 muffin cases
- 2 x 12 hole muffin tins
- 250g Icing sugar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 18 glacé cherries
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
2. In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs. Blitz again. Then add the other ingredients (apart from the jam) and mix until everything has combined well.
3. Spoon half the mixture into the cases, then add a tbsp of jam to each one. Add more cake mixture until each case is two thirds full.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
4. For the icing, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl until smooth.
6. Carefully spoon the icing onto the top of each cake until the icing reaches the sides of the cake case and top with a cherry.
(Adapted from a BBC Cherry Bakewell recipe)