We recently had a great cause for celebration – the kids birthdays! Conveniently their birthdays are 4 days apart and it wasn’t hard to convince them to combine the celebrations – not with sustainability in mind – more like saneability.
A few ideas and requests were taken on board, such as location, age appropriate games, gifts and of course the cake. I have often dreamt of being a fabulous cake and muffin baking guru, but historically the minute any baking requiring attention to detail, icing and messy cake mixture appears in front of me, I immediately lose my rag and abandon the project. This time I settled on baking the cake, figuring that people won’t really eat that (it took 2 days to bake what was effectively a drum covered in flouro green icing) and outsourced the fabulous baking of muffins to my collegue Michelle http://boofyscupcakes.weebly.com/index.html
Michelle was completely happy for me to complicate the process by allowing me to provide the ingredients. I sourced the eggs and the carrots from our garden, the flour, baking powder and walnuts and butter were all from Victoria and purchased using our own containers. I struggled more so with the icing sugar as it was from NZ, but packaged in a brown paper bag. So far I had avoided the big supermarket chains and was sourcing everything from some of our favourite “health/organic” stores. However I came a bit unstuck with the following items:
Dates – I could not find locally produced dates. Apparently we have a huge export market here in Aus, but you can’t actually buy them in Australia. I ended up buying organic dates, from the US. Cream cheese (Kraft Philli) was the final thing on my list and I had run out of time. Convenience reigned supreme as I was already at Coles hunting down CSR golden syrup and brown sugar. I aim to keep an eye out for these products in more local, unpackaged form for future use.
The entertainment was a very sweet, though a little overly solid, elephant piñata, that Paul and the kids had lovingly made over the previous weeks. Filled with sweets from Stillwater sweets Australia. http://stillwatergift.com/kisswrappedsweets.aspx Aussie made, gluten free, generally old-school sweets that arrived in the loveliest barrel, which the kids now use to store their crayons. We didn’t give out lollybags – instead encouraging each child to make themselves a badge or magnet using the badgemaker borrowed from the local Community Centre.
When we mixed in some supreme weather, a beautiful park and loads of excited kids the result was fabulous.