We celebrated my niece Ruby’s 7th birthday recently with afternoon tea with family and friends.
Ruby’s mum Angela made sausage rolls which she served with homemade tomato sauce, and she baked mini apple pies, serving them warm from the oven. The kids’ Nanna made coconut and raspberry slice. Jac and I made fruit shish kebabs. My sister CW baked a Camembert for Ruby’s 6th birthday party last year and Ruby specially requested one for this year.
My sister CW served the Camembert in its baking dish surrounded by more cheese and two kinds of crackers. The bubbling molten cheese with oven-roasted garlic and rosemary smelled wonderful and we swarmed and attacked as soon as it was placed on the table. Auntie Jac demonstrated her double-cracker dipping method which Zoe adopted, so she never lost a cracker in the cheese again.
My sister CW’s baked Camembert is based on Jamie Oliver’s ‘Beautiful Baked Camembert’ recipe, but she leaves out the nutty cranberry crumbles and doubles the garlic.
Zoe’s dad showed her how to operate the Nespresso machine, a task she took very seriously! My brother handled the hot milk side of things. Zoe was very good with remembering our ‘orders’ – “Only Auntie Jac wants sugar, Daddy!” They worked together to keep party guests well caffeinated.
Angela made babycinos for the kids (frothy warm milk, no coffee), topped with chocolate powder and marshmallows.
My brother made balloon animals and flowers for the kids (they never get tired of them!). Flowers, elephants and rabbits were the most popular items, but Zoe asked her dad if she could twist a pink balloon herself to make a string of sausages. We are definitely related.
After birthday cake, it was LEGO time. As they played, the kids sang The LEGO Movie song ‘Everything is Awesome’, each with their own unique version of the lyrics. I showed them the photo of me with Emmet taken at LEGOland Malaysia in July (there’s a blog post still to come) – I think they were pretty impressed.
I watched The LEGO Movie on my last trip during my flight from Sydney to Los Angeles. The only time I sit down to watch a movie these days is when I’m flying. I really enjoyed The LEGO Movie, by the way!
Quite often at the kids’ birthday parties, we’ll have dinner available for the kids (for whoever wants it), so after the party it’s just bath and bedtime. My mum frequently cooks up a big batch of hokkien mee but this time she made rice porridge in her slow cooker. She brought along containers with all the trimmings – sliced yow char kway, chopped spring onions, fresh coriander, along with soy sauce and sesame oil. The porridge was loaded with pork meatballs and chunks of boneless chicken. We all had some, not just the kids. Some of us had seconds… and maybe even thirds.
One of Ruby’s birthday gifts was a LEGO Creator set called Furry Creatures. You can make a rabbit, a dog, and a cat and mouse (there are even yellow bricks to make a piece of holey cheese) – she chose to start with the rabbit.
Later on, time to test out the birthday art supplies. Tess the cat made a surprise rare appearance to give the birthday girl and her new sketchbook a few headbutts. Happy birthday, Ruby!