You guessed it, cowboys was the theme this year. Well if I am honest, last year to be precise – where did December go? I digress, ‘Cowboys’ was a very good choice given all the paraphernalia we have knocking around the farm, though ‘Toffee’ the fat pony sadly did not make the grade. A seemingly endless supply of appropriate props; saddles, cowboy boots, bales of straw, reins and even a cactus or 2 meant we really could pull off with some authenticity the ‘Wild West’ look. Needless to say we had a lot of fun theming this one. Even the food was fun- burgers in mini buns, mini hotdogs, potato wedges, tiny pizzas – it was the blue ones dream meal. Naturally the savoury titbits were topped off with a volley of sweet eats – cowboy cupcakes, cactus and cowboy boot biscuits and of course the original chocolate cowboy fort cake with a rather blood thirsty shoot out taking place. Thankfully I didn’t entertain the cowboys and cowgirls that was wonderfully taken care of by the magnificent ‘Harry’ from Sharkey & George. It was high octane, high speed fun. Non stop games and treats and lots of happy faces.
No new recipes here today but just a few tips on how I made the cowboy party work. Meri Meri has been my go to for many years for invitations, and table decorations and this year was much the same. The internet as normal is a treasure trove of kit that can be ordered to create the magic. I bought bandanas, a cactus and cowboy boot cutter, mini milk bottles and the cowboy party bag fillers. The Fort Cake was remarkably easy to make, a simple chocolate square with buckets of butter icing, chocolate fingers and a collection of lead figures that had clearly had a few too many gun battles! We had the wigwam and lots of animal skins to transform the barn into a ‘Wild West’ extravaganza, along with a few pairs of cowboy boots and saddles which were draped over an old wooden saddle horse or two. I seem to remember Johnny Cash was crooning in the background – but I’m not sure he is very cowboy. All the food was served on oak wooden planks and the classic ‘WANTED’ sign of the 2 outlaw cowboys was hung on every door. A chill out cowboy zone was created in the archway with bales of straw and of course the necessary target practice. All in all it worked really well. There is something very special about hosting a party at home, especially for the little people, it is hard work, I would go as far to say, exhausting, but worth every effort!
Like all parties it did require a little forward planning and luckily I had the time and inclination to do this. Here is my little black source book and menu for said ‘Cowboy Party’.
Meri Meri : http://www.merimeri.com for invitations, table decorations and very cool cupcake cases and toppers
Amazon – Cowboy themed cookie cutters, bandanas, cowboy books for the party bags, sheriff badges, ‘Wanted’ posters etc etc etc
Sharkey & George for the entertainment: http://www.sharkyandgeorge.com
Mini milk bottles – http://www.dotcomgiftshop.com
Striped paper straws – http://www.partyparade.co.uk
Mini burger buns and mini hot dog buns Park Bakery Miniatures 02088747688
Cactus’s from the local garden centre and bales of straw from ‘Toffee’s’ stable!
COWBOY PARTY FOOD MENU
Mini burgers in mini burger buns
Mini sausages in hot dog buns
Homemade potato wedges with ketchup
Mini tomato and cheese pizzas
Hula hoop crisp wands
Cucumber, carrot and pepper sticks
Cupcakes with multi-colored butter icing
Cactus and cowboy boot cookies
Wagon wheels to go in the party bags
Chocolate Fort Cake with brutal shoot out taking place!