Family afternoon tea

After an exhausting week at work, I felt relieved to have minimal activities planned for the weekend. The only event on my calendar was family afternoon tea yesterday, and all I had to do beforehand was help wrap prunes and pineapple chunks with strips of bacon (see below).

My younger sister Juji made party sausage rolls. It is impossible to just have one or two.

My niece Ruby made steamed buns filled with leftover roast lamb – she got the idea/recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Money Saving Meals – he uses leftover roast pork in his buns. See Jamie Oliver’s video for Perfect Pork Dim Sum.

Jac and I made devils on horseback, prunes wrapped in streaky bacon, held together with toothpicks, baked in the oven until the bacon is cooked and the prunes slightly sticky and caramelised. We used pitted prunes. Devils on horseback is quite an old-fashioned finger food / hot appetiser recipe. There’s a variation called angels on horseback, which is oysters wrapped in bacon (and we’ve also used smoked mussels instead of oysters).

We also made Hawaiians on horseback, which isn’t really a recipe, but something we invented years ago for Jac’s nephew because he wouldn’t eat prunes. As it turned out, I really love these and we’ve made them again a number of times. We used tinned pineapple and once again, wrapped the chunks in bacon and speared them with toothpicks, then baked them on the same oven tray as the devils. Anyone who likes Hawaiian pizza will probably love these.

I didn’t mention this earlier, but it’s my birthday. My eldest sister CW made a beautiful Black Forest cake for my birthday cake.

Was the candle a cat, cow or zebra? We decided to see it as a cat, and that was that! I blew out the candle and made a wish before CW sliced and served up the cake. I couldn’t resist teasing Caleb like we used to tease my brother when he was little. “Caleb wants a piece of cake that has candle wax on it!” I said. “Nooooo!” said Caleb.

All my birthday cards featured cats too (including hand-drawn cats by the kids). My sister Juji got me Andrew Marttila’s book Shop Cats of New York. I follow him on Instagram – he’s a photographer who specialises in felines. Anyone get the feeling my family thinks I’m a crazy cat lady? I must admit, the only things I could think of when anyone asked me what I wanted for my birthday were things for our cats… so maybe they are right!

Don’t worry, no one’s cake had wax on it.

After eating, we played a card game called Dixit. I had never heard of it before today. It’s a cool game that makes you use your imagination and creativity, inspired by the wonderfully illustrated cards.

Weekends go much too quickly, don’t they? That’s another thing about getting older – time seems to fly by faster every year. Oh, and I appreciate holidays so much more than when I was younger. I’m really looking forward to the Easter break.

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