Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dino Parties, the Last of the Summer Veggies and Things Designed to Induce a Vomit

Today we celebrated Littlest Monkey's 6th birthday with a dinosaur party for his friends. I must confess that although I am a teacher and although I do love an event, the children's at-home party no longer holds the same appeal as it once did. There was a time when I quite enjoyed planning the games and menu and such. But in the lead up to this party my shoulders felt heavier. The thought of 12 little dinosaurs stomping through the house and garden brought a rather pronounced furrow to my brow. It's so much bloody work to organise a kids' party. But the real problem, I realised, is that I've become a little too precious about my garden. When lots of little feet run about, I expect lots of veggie seedlings and new plants and growing bulbs to get squished. But what is the point of having a garden if you can't enjoy it with kids? Anyway, I needn't have worried because there were no casualties and we all had a great time.

For food I made sausage rolls with veggies and herbs (see I'm vegetarian but I can do meat if I scrunch my nose up while handling), pita crisps and carrot dip and a big fruit platter. I bought little sausages with dinner rolls and spinach and cheese triangles. And I used up the last of the summer garden veggies on these little pikelets topped with cream cheese and halved cherry tomatoes.
I try to put out veggies and fruit and something with a bit of nutrient at a party. Eldest Monkey Boy once came home from a "sports" party that served up nothing but junk - including red gatorade (for 5 year olds!). Monkey Man was in charge that day and let him go for his life. When Eldest Monkey Boy came home he immediately spewed the lot up in the hall - a big red stream of sugar and salt. And I had to clean up because Monkey Man was late for work. Hmm... I think we all learnt a lesson after that one.

Anyway, much excitement was elicited at our party today when this volcano cake came out. I have a couple of party cake books and the little monkeys love to flick through them each year and choose a cake for their party. And this was their choice.
Yep, that's one ginormous chocolate crackle cake.
I generally try to minimise the sweet stuff at our place but Littlest Monkey Boy looooves chocolate. Eldest Monkey Boy was two years old before he tried his first tim tam and after he would not stop jumping up and down on his bed. We just closed the door and hoped he'd wear himself down but 30 minutes later he was still at it. Similarly, sugar goes straight to Littlest Monkeys head. But it is his birthday and I thought I ought not be a grouch.

I've never made chocolate crackles before so I never knew just how much crap goes into the making of one. But a wee crackle in a patty case is one thing - contemplate the making of a volcano chocolate crackle. And then contemplate the amount of copha and icing sugar I poured into that thing. I can assure you that making that cake was nausea inducing. But made it I did and serve it I did. And not a spew was had - not in our house anyway.

Check out the blissful look on Little Monkey's face. Tonight he said he'd had the best day of his life.


  1. Aww, that is a sweet, sweet photo... and that cake also looks sweet, sweet, sweet! And a bit fabulous. Good on you for giving in and giving him what he wanted for the day. I can so identify with your wanting to protect your vegetables, I feel much the same way about my elder boy's birthday in July... you were very brave - and with no casualties, you are also very lucky!

    I keep on scrolling back to look at his fabulous hair in that last photo and then back further to look at the cake again, it's really something VG!

  2. Happy birthday to the Littlest Monkey...well done Mrs Monkey. In my family grandma (i.e. me) has to make the cakes. It is nerve wracking every time. I will remember the volcano idea though! I notice there is a bit of competition in regards to parties too...a little bit of one upmanship...among the parents. My daughter was very happy when her littlest has asked for a party at a play centre the last two birthdays. I wonder how long that will last? Can you have a 21st at a play centre?

  3. What a beautiful little man , and he is sooo enjoying his crackle cake .. and Ali you are so on the spot his hair is gorgous....Happy Birthday!!

  4. Happy Birthday Littlest Monkey. Everything is so sweet there...but the sweetest is the very sweet smile of Littles Monkey. A very magnificant cake.

  5. Nice one VG! That Volcano cake is truly awesome. I hope that not too much damage was done to the garden...

  6. Cake is awesome and love the fact you served them veggies. I think you can pat yourself on the back for that one. As a parents of a child that with one bite of a tim tam walks up the walls and will be up for hours I hope the other parents appreciated your menu.

  7. Very clever you had the sugary cake but it sounds as though you served a lot of yummy good stuff alongside. My grandson has the same reaction to sugar.

  8. Awww so sweet VG! Fantastic - a chocolate crckle volcano cake?!!!! YUM I ADORE CHOCOLATE CRACKLES. Can you make me one? :)

    Happy birthday monkey boy!!

  9. what a wildly fun-looking cake! Hope you got major mommy points for it!


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