Birthday Boy

Birthday boy 008‘I made it !!’  – this was what the ‘blue one’ announced the day BEFORE his birthday. I clearly had misunderstood the struggle he has endured over the last 6 months, as mentioned before, this has been a very long-awaited birthday, painfully long to be completely accurate. Thankfully we all ‘made it’ and my new ‘4’ year old is blissful in an obscene mountain of new toys and super books. We have importantly now also recovered from a crazy party where no less than 18 ‘little people’ ran riot around our once rather precious and pretty flat (note the use of the past tense)!

Mad, stupid or probably both I rather like the idea of having parties at home. Unlike the ‘blue one’, I am a summer babe so I have rose-tinted memories of parties outside . Conveniently for my parents my brother arrived the day after me, albeit 2 years apart, so my guess is, for the early years, a joint party really did kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Clearly the ‘little people’ conspired on their party agenda – exactly 6 months apart, so the pink gets the outside version while the blue one is confined, hence the 18 scallywags at home! Inside, outside, whatever ….. they both adored this party probably in equal measure and are still reveling in the discovery of hidden lollipops and other party paraphernalia that is littered throughout. ‘Mr.Lolly’ eased the entertainment side by taking on the brave task of keeping the party troop amused and I took on the catering task which likewise kept me pretty amused.

Birthday boy 006

The digger cake was a huge success (please excuse the finger imprint on the left hub – thank you Miss A) but I think I will draw the line next year. I do know my weaknesses and I am just not a cake maker of the party variety. Surprisingly the tea was not just an endless mountain of sweets and sugar, amazingly we managed to fill a number of dumper trucks and digger buckets with carrot sticks, cucumber batons, cheese sandwiches and hula hoops. Hot sausages on sticks, chicken and chips in newspaper cones and homemade pizzas all got guzzled before the really naughty stuff materialised. Cupcakes with lashings of butter icing, biscuit wands, fruit skewers and of course jelly. Jelly boats were without question the blue ones favorite and one I would highly recommend. No children’s party is complete without some jelly thrown in but until recently neither of my tribe would touch the stuff. Anyhow a little encouragement has now nurtured a love of the wobbly stuff and hence the ‘jelly boats’ sailed on to the party menu.

Birthday boy 077Jelly Boats
1 packet of Hartleys jelly- raspberry or strawberry flavor
5 oranges to make 20 jelly boats
Skewers for masts
Old paper for sails

1. Make the jelly as directed on the packet.
2. Cut the oranges in half and very gently with a good serrated knife cut and scoop out the flesh. (If you have been careful you may be able to use the orange flesh on fruit skewers or simply eat immediately for a good dose of vitamin C!)
3. You will now have 10 scooped out orange halves. Place each half in a muffin or cake tin so they are stable and now pour in the jelly and place in the fridge for at least 5 hours.
4. When the jelly has set, remove from the fridge, cut each half into a quarter, pop your mast and sail in and the boats are ready to go. In an ideal world the little darlings can eat them almost like ‘match tea oranges’ , but for those not keen on a ‘no hands pudding’ all you need now is a teaspoon!

My Party Address Book

Non stop Party shop: brilliant free delivery in London of mini trestle tables and chairs and gorgeous helium balloons. www.nonstopparty.co.uk/

Jane Asher : for fondant icing in every color under the sun. www.janeasher.com

Meri-Meri for tableware, plates, napkins, table decorations. http://www.shopmerimeri.co.uk/

Skewers : for the best array of skewers. www.skewers.co.uk/

Personalised Invitations: http://www.zazzle.co.uk/

Pinterest : for inspiration

Amazon: for old-fashioned striped straws and mini milk bottles.

Mr.Lolly : for entertainment. www.mrlollysparties.co.uk/

About lardersaga

Joanna Preston is mother of the 'little people', 1 pink and 1 blue, and wife to saintly Mr.Patience! After a decade dedicated to cooking for others (Alps, Africa and founding 'Sugar & Spice') my attention is now solely in the home kitchen. We are a food obsessed family that adore growing, sourcing and cooking delectable feasts for friends and family!
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