Mum’s birthday afternoon tea

After Pattycakes’ birthday lunch picnic, Jac and I went to my parents’ house for my Mum’s birthday afternoon tea. Yes, it was a great eating day!

Mum was out on the patio frying up a batch of mini pork meatballs on the barbecue’s wok burner. These mini meatballs were especially for my nieces Ruby and Zoe. They love the homemade meaty little snacks their Ma-Ma (what they call my mum, their grandmother) makes, like mini pork meatballs, corned beef pastry puffs, siew mai (steamed pork dumplings), stir-fried salt and pepper chicken.

Mum cooks mini pork meatballs on the barbecue

The meatballs were shiny and juicy with a golden-brown crust, and deliciously moreish. Some of us adults couldn’t resist eating them too – Mum had anticipated this and made enough meatballs for everyone to have some. When I see a beautiful caramelised crust, I instantly want to taste it.

Mini pork meatballs

Jac and I brought fresh baguette, which Jac sliced thickly…

Fresh baguette

…to eat with smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion, pickled capers and lemon.

Platter of smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion, capers and lemon

Regular readers will know I don’t like smoked salmon – I didn’t eat any of this. But everyone else enjoyed eating that fresh baguette spread with cream cheese and topped with smoked salmon, red onion and capers, with a sprinkle of black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion and capers on bread with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion and capers on bread

I’d brought along something else to eat with the fresh bread – Nutella! Yes, I AM like a little kid. :D Even little Zoe, not yet 2 years old, loves smoked salmon – in fact, when offered a choice between Nutella and smoked salmon, Zoe chose the salmon!

For me: Nutella on bread

My eldest sister CW made mushroom puffs. She was very apologetic – she’d just saved them from burning! We weren’t at all put off by their well-done appearance – they tasted great and we happily devoured them.

Mushroom puffs

My sister Juji made Mum’s birthday cake, covered in cream cheese icing, toasted flakes of coconut and and topped with sliced fresh strawberries.

Mum's birthday cake

When you see a cake covered in toasted coconut like this, are you, like me, tempted to pick coconut off and have a little nibble? :P

Close-up of toasted coconut and icing

Strawberries on top of birthday cake - close-up

And in the middle of the cake, a layer of cream and jam.

Birthday cake slice

My sister-in-law Angela (Ruby and Zoe’s mum) brought some vanilla bean ice cream she made herself. If you look closely at the photo below you can see the little black dots of real vanilla in the ice cream, scooped beautifully by my brother. Cake and ice cream, perfect for a birthday afternoon tea!

Homemade vanilla bean ice cream

Sometimes I think it would be wonderful to be a little kid again, eating my food with pure enjoyment and the thrill of discovery without the slightest concern about making a mess! Oh, to look cute like a chipmunk, not like a greedy grown-up!

Zoe at afternoon tea

Actually, I think Zoe’s face has a look that says (in the words of classic Aussie band Australian Crawl): “Oh no not you again!” :D The girls are very used to their Auntie TFP pointing the camera at them, though at the moment Ruby is much more camera-shy than Zoe.

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