Caleb’s 4th birthday

This year, I missed my nephew Caleb’s after-school dragon birthday party because I was in Myanmar at the time. He had a cake in the shape of a dragon, and all his specially requested party foods: homemade sausage rolls, cheese and bacon scrolls, fresh fruit (watermelon, apples, strawberries and oranges), chocolate crackles, rice crackers, cheddar cubes, carrot sticks, and homemade herb and garlic dip. The cake was iced with butter icing coloured with spirulina – when Angela uses food colouring, it’s always homemade, natural food colouring.

The feast at Caleb's dragon party. Photo by his mum Angela. The feast at Caleb’s dragon party. Photo by his mum Angela.

All I could do was look at the pictures… but after I got back from overseas we had a celebration on his actual birthday, with a family afternoon tea. As uncles and aunties arrived with food, the dishes shared the table with LEGO. We’re very much a LEGO family.

Caleb playing with new LEGO Caleb playing with LEGO. His first words upon waking up on his birthday were: “I’m FOUR!”

We had mini zucchini quiches (baked in a mini muffin pan), fresh pineapple (served by Jac with sprigs of rosemary – fresh mint also works) and grapes (homegrown and store-bought), my mum’s homemade wantans with chilli sauce (a special request from Caleb), Juji’s honey joys and Tear ‘n’ Share Garlic Bread made by Angela from Jamie’s Comfort Food.

Mini quiche muffins Mini quiche muffins

Homegrown grapes Homegrown grapes (“We grew these,” Ruby proudly told me)

Wantans made by my mum Wantans made by my mum. She made them differently this time, looking more like tortellini than the traditional wantan shape. I think by the time we were done there were just a handful left in the dish.

Tear 'n' Share Garlic Bread from Jamie's Comfort Food Tear ‘n’ Share Garlic Bread from Jamie’s Comfort Food, served hot from the oven. They looked disconcertingly oily on top but smelled amazing and were fluffy and delicious – definitely one for garlic fans.

The kids' table The kids’ table

There was a birthday cake, but it was a ‘decoy’ made out of Play-Doh by Ruby so Caleb could blow out the candles while we sang ‘Happy Birthday’. Instead of cake, Angela had made choc-dipped strawberry ice cream popsicles. The chocolate dip was a homemade version of Ice Magic/Magic Shell (you can find recipes by googling ‘ice magic recipe’ or ‘magic shell recipe’) – it’s made with 50% chocolate + 50% coconut oil melted over low heat. We all watched in anticipation as Angela dipped each pop into the chocolate, which quickly hardened into a crisp shell… just like magic!

The 'decoy' cake fulfilled its purpose - look at how happy the birthday boy is! The ‘decoy’ cake fulfilled its purpose – look at how happy the birthday boy is! Uncle Mike helped light the candles.

Anticipation Anticipation… The popsicle maker and chocolate dipping station are by Zoku.
I’d love to get a set for myself, but then it would be way too easy to eat too many ice creams…
(this post is not sponsored, by the way – just mentioning as I know some will ask)

Homemade choc-coated strawberry ice cream“This one is mine!”

Ice cream chatter Ice cream chatter – Ruby preferred her strawberry pop un-choc-dipped.
Almost instantly, Caleb developed a chocolate moustache.

Father and son Father and son

We love ice cream We love ice cream

Ruby makes a new decoy cake Ruby demonstrated the making of a decoy cake

Strawberry cake with icing on the outside “It’s a strawberry cake with icing on the outside”

Caleb’s quite the young sportsman, and in his honour we all trooped off to the park to play soccer. The teams were the Black Shirts (my team) versus The Other Shirts (Caleb’s team). I had forgotten we’d be playing soccer and was wearing my practical-for-summer but terribly impractical-for-sports thongs/flip-flops, which hindered my ability to tackle and fend off tackles. Still, I scored my team’s only goal; the other team won with three goals. Next time, I will have proper shoes on and be unstoppable! I also found being a soccer player challenging as I couldn’t resist taking photographs out on the field during the match. It really was pure luck that I didn’t fall over.

Soccer star Our young soccer star

My sister Juji, goalkeeper for The Other Shirts team My sister Juji, goalkeeper for The Other Shirts team – temporarily my nemesis.

Caleb strikes! Caleb strikes!

The ball goes straight through... The ball goes straight through for a goal!!!

Zoe does her weaving Zoe preferred not to join in the soccer and instead sat under a tree with her weaving loom.

After winning the soccer, Caleb had fun hitting balls pitched to him in a cricket/tennis hybrid game. Unfortunately, his innings ended abruptly when he was hit in the eye by a wayward ball. His dad piggybacked him to the house where first aid and hugs were applied. Don’t worry, Caleb is OK – he’s back to playing LEGO, eating more choc-dipped strawberry ice creams and enjoying the rest of his summer holidays.

Onto a tennis/cricket hybrid gameCaleb retires hurt, but not too seriously injured. [/caption]

DSCF5671-3Happy birthday, buddy!

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