Blueberry muffins. Scones, split in half topped with a squelch of strawberry jam and a tiny fist of cream. Maybe fingers of banana bread, triangles of fairy bread and the odd skewers of pastel-hued melon – where more of the juices will end lining pint sized t shirts than stomachs.

Ah, the joys of the children’s birthday party. Once upon a time, Saturday mornings were foreign affairs. We’d be dashing to Gatwick or Heathrow, duffel bags in tow or waking up in Paris or Istanbul. Perhaps if we were at home we’d meander to a new cafe, spread the paper wide and make our way through four flat whites and two orders of poached eggs.

Now, they’re just as likely to involve a small-fry who has been trained, patiently over the weeks prior how to respond to ‘Happy Birthday’ and candle snuffing – so they don’t blow their big moment. There may be games where you end up standing on an ever-decreasing piece of news print. And there will probably be some tears. It’s someone’s party- they can sure as heck cry if they want to.

We’re getting better at this new state. Books make good gifts. It seems they’re safe; not being made of plastic and most of them won’t ‘t make any noise . We’ll be sure to have at least one caffeinated beverage before we get there – though recently one event  was inspired enough to included a mobile barista for the adults. On the front lawn was a man, a van, a bag of beans and a ready supply of lattes and piccolos. If there’s one thing that will make any of us more social at 10 am after another night of broken sleep it’s that.

And now, I’ve honed my contribution to the table.

The traditional offerings at these parties will most likely be sweet and bread-leaden (though if that’s the way you want to go- think about pulling together this brack loaf, or perhaps a batch of these blueberry yoghurt muffins). This presents a more savoury and lighter path. It’s a slow carb option that’s easier to swallow- particularly when you spy across the party another guest who happens to be back in her black skinny jeans, just twelve days after giving birth.

Take these mini frittatas as a template and adapt to your heart’s content. Swap the ham for frozen peas, add mozzarella instead of feta or mint over basil. There are only a few caveats; try not to overbake and don’t forget to season them with a little salt- particularly if you’re using more neutral flavours like vegetables and mozzarella over the briney tastes of ham and parmesan. Otherwise they can be as bland and chewy as a bath toy. And don’t forget to use happy eggs. These ones came from the backyard chooks of one of the most recent party-throwers.  (You may feel slightly caged in by your new-ish social obligations, but there’s no reason why all birds of a feather have to flock together).

Nb, this is a recipe that easily doubles or triples- and is also quite handy as ‘grab and go slow carb snack food’ to have in the fridge during the week- whether the person tucking in is soon to be celebrating a small birthday, or a much larger one.

Mini Ham, Feta and Basil Frittatas

Makes 9 frittatas

Equipment
1x 12 hole 1/2 cup muffin pan, well greased

Shopping/foraging

8 free range, organic, happy eggs
125 g of leg ham, finely diced (could substitute for sauteed bacon, lardons or frozen peas)
40 g of feta, crumbled
30 g of parmesan, grated
1 large handful of basil leaves, torn
Salt and pepper

Here’s how we roll

1) Preheat the oven to 160 C/320F

2) Whisk together the eggs, torn basil, crumbled feta, ham and 3/4 of the grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

3) Portion into the greased muffin tins and sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.