This year it was Cinderella, last year it was the Sleeping Beauty, it’s quite clear that Princess parties are rather popular with the ‘Pink’ one. This was a family production with everyone hands on helping. It always surprises me how much needs to be done; added to which Mr.P never likes things done by halves and whether you are going to be 4 or 40, a whole lot of effort goes in to create an unforgetable day for the birthday girl or boy. It’s small wonder the ‘blue’ one has started his countdown already and he’s a good six months off! So once again the stage was set down at Blackberry Farm, unbelievably the Gods smiled on us and the sun shone. The ‘Raj’ tent was erected for the grand performance of ‘Cinderella’, the palace ballroom was made up and the banquet took place in the courtyard archway, festooned with billowing long white muslin drapes and masses of ludicrous pink pom pom balls.
‘Sharkey and George’ were hauled in last minute, as in a moment of clarity I feared that entertaining 20 small princess’s and a number of prince’s could be well beyond my entertaining skills. In hindsight, Mr.P did a marvelous job of directing ‘Cinderella’ and I’m pretty sure we may be able to manage flying solo next year, who knows what the production will be then? I guess Rapunzel’s in the running, or possibly Snow White. Anyhow, the remarkable thing was, the little people really did rather enjoy our Blackberry Farm Cinderella, it is rather a one man (girl ) show, but after all it was the pink ones birthday, so Cinderella she was. There was some genius casting of the ‘ugly sisters’ and some rather interesting horses that drew the carriage, the ‘blue’ one was the Prince and curiously, was pretty charming.
Catering for the ‘pink’ ones parties is always a treat. It’s fairy tale cooking with lots of pink, sweets and pretty flowers. A request for macaroons had been acknowledged, and then it was just all the old favorites, raspberry laced meringues, pink swirly fairy wand biscuits, cupcakes adorned with butter icing and crazy flowers and the cake itself, a ‘Princess Castle’. My cake making skills are really extremely basic, so like every year before I pitched for something relatively simple that just had to be iced to the nines. Inspiration was provided from some wonderful children’s cake book (sorry I forget which one) and I adapted it to what was practical and what was going to work for me. It was quite simply 2 large sponge cakes each sandwiched together in the old way, raspberry jam and butter icing, and then placed gently on top of each other with some round, firm card supporting the top cake, balanced on lolly pop sticks stuck in the bottom cake. The cakes were heavily iced with vanilla butter icing and decorated with mini marshmallows for battlements and little sugar flowers bought very inexpensively from Waitrose. The towers were made by sandwiching ginger nut biscuits together with butter icing and the walls of the towers, was rolled out fondant icing. Turrets, were ice cream cones dipped in icing and then coated with hundreds and thousands and buttons. I cut out windows and doors from the left over fondant and made flags with some spare straws and wrapping paper. Naturally I was swearing by the time I finished but all in all it did not take that long. Trust me, I’ll never go into cake decorating though, it’s a real test of patience!