Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Good Afternoon

We had my extended family over, as I said in my post this morning. I was really happy with how it went, the menu turned out to be just right, everyone appreciated the "decorations" and it was mostly nice and relaxed.

As our family arrived we offered them some Hot Apple Cider from the crockpot. This was the first time any of them had tried this! They all seemed to like it, Steve and my brother-in-law were even heard discussing how much they liked it, and how much that surprised them! I used this recipe but added a cinnamon stick as well. Yum!

Then we had Baked Potatoes and various toppings - Bolognese Sauce, Chilli con carne, Salmon Mornay, Creamed Corn, Bacon, Shallots, Cheese, Sour Cream, Tomato, Taco Sauce, Shredded Lettuce. Giving everyone a choice worked really well, although I didn't feel as if I had cooked much. One of my aunts quizzed me on the ingredients of each hot topping, and couldn't believe how simple it was - Bolognese (minced beef & Campbell Tomato Soup & herbs) Chilli con carne (same plus taco powder and kidney beans) Salmon Mornay (homemade cheese sauce & salmon & celery) creamed corn (straight from the tin!) So all were very easy-peasy! My sister-in-law baked some bread rolls so the kids had those rather than potatoes, but they still had some of the toppings.

To make my very mundane (in my mind) toppings more fun I made some little signs in Publisher to label everything and set a theme for the lunch:

...and my very quiet husband was heard encouraging everyone to "roll up, roll up" to get their hot spuds!

For dessert we had Apple Crumble and Easy Cherry Crumble, both made by Laura (so easy a child could do it!) My sister made a delicous birthday cake for Mum with macadamias and cream and vanilla glaze and flaked almonds on top and shall I go on...?

The Easy Cherry Crumble is the quickest dessert ever.

  1. Pour a tin of stoned cherries and juice into a pie dish

  2. Sprinkle over the top a pack of vanilla buttercake mix (dry)

  3. Pour over 100g of melted butter

  4. Sprinkle 100g chopped pecans on top

  5. Bake moderate oven 20mins.

As a table decoration I bought some corn and a pumpkin and used them and some other fruit and veges with some candles, on a little red and white checked cloth. This photo was taken after they left, so it's a bit dishevelled by now:

After lunch we played some old-fashioned quizzes that related to farm animals and crops (from a booklet from my Tupperware dealing days!) Everyone joined in and got smarties for the right answers. Then we gave Mum her presents and soon after that people headed home.

So all in all a very good family party. After everyone left (and I made a start on the washing up) I tried taking a few more photos of the beautiful corn, mushroom and pumpkin. This one turned out best. God is incredible to design such variety in plants!

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