What do you do after weeks of rehearsal, hours of anticipation and 90 minutes of exhilerating performance? Hard to top it really – but how about a four-year old’s birthday party?
Observing the enjoyment and excitement had a grounding effect and I loved it.
Looking at the wonderful spread I thought back to the parties my friends and I had prepared when our babes were little. They were such good times, and we went all out. My friend Marica and I used to make home-made sausage rolls – adding grated carrot to the sausage meat mix (very very healthy!) and rolling them in delicious flakey pastry. They were so moist and delicious; it’s years since I’ve made them. These days Alison Holst has saved us the trouble and we can buy pre-prepared frozen ones from the supermarket – some are even pre-cut. Sorry, but they aren’t anywhere near as good as ours were…
And then there were the cheerios, star-shaped fairy bread, mini quiches, honey crackles, chocolate crackles, lollies and finally – the cakes!
The night before the party, hours and hours were spent crafting cakes chosen from the Birthday Cake Cookbook by the lucky recipient. My daughter can probably remember every cake she ever had – and will undoubtedly (hope I’m right) say the Dolly Varden cake was her favourite. The upper torso of a barbie-type doll emerged from a large princess skirt of lilac and white icing. A real labour of love that I’d happily repeat. It was so much fun to do. The cake itself was immaterial – the flavour unimportant. It was all in the ‘look’ – the pleasure of seeing the children’s excited faces and watching them jump up and down in anticipation was worth every second of effort.
There was also the train cake (Marica’s was particularly memorable) – carriages of different coloured icing, liberally decorated with licorice, pebbles, jelly-beans and marshmallows. Spectacular!
With all this temptation came the little fingers not being able to resist sneaking lollies from around the edges, the sides and off the top. Sugar, sugar, sugar…I don’t recall there being too many problems with sugar highs. Maybe we were just too tired to notice. But we had such a good time and so did the kids.
Some things never change.
Another birthday in the family tomorrow and I’d love to be making a cake to celebrate. A Black Forest Cherry cake might be the choice – shame they don’t travel well.