Vegetarian Baby Birthday Party!

22 Sep

So Queen Z turned 1 year old today (Happy Birthday darling girl!) and since its the middle of the week, we are having her birthday party this coming Saturday. Or rather, her high tea. M + I remember from our own childhoods a simpler time, when birthdays were about bright colours, pretty yet basic food, lots of laughter and running about. Neither of us are too into having a theme for the birthday, though we did tease M’s husband by suggesting fairies, Barbies and glitter pink!

When M and I thought about the menu for the upcoming birthday party, we decided to keep it simple, and bring our own memory into play. I think this is a very important part of birthday ritual. Memories that have resonance for our generation can be passed down to the next through parties like this one. We have a photograph of M’s 1st birthday, a long table set up outside, dogs playing under her high chair, M with her hand smack in the middle of the cake, grinning and wearing a party hat. The table is set with a variety of goodies – cucumber and sardine sandwiches, mee, pretzels, crisps, tiny cupcakes with sugar flowers, carrots and dip, little cocktail sausages. Many people growing up 30+ years ago had birthday parties like this, with games like musical chairs and pin the tail on the donkey.

When we thought about Z’s birthday party, we decided on a vegetarian menu that would be rich with our own memories, and yet updated enough to create new ones.

Since I will be posting several recipes over the next few days which relate to this momentous birthday party, I thought it would be a nice idea to give you the work-in-progress-menu. Any suggestions are most welcome … We still havent decided on the flavour of the cake… but for the rest, a vegetarian celebration for the Queen of our world, Z.

  • Fruit punch + Fresh Juices + Iced Tea
  • Vanilla cupcakes with pink icing
  • Cupcake decorating station for the kids
  • Hummus + Artichoke Spinach Dips with Baked Pita Chips + Carrot Sticks
  • Vegan Cocktail Sausages with Pink Dip
  • Sandwich Fingers – Cheese, Cucumber and Peanut Butter Strawberry + Honey
  • Birthday Cake
  • M+M’s
  • Crisps with Sour Cream Onion Dip

I would also love to make scones with fresh strawberries – tiny pink meringues – biscuits with tomato jam – mini spinach pies… But I have to convince my sister to let me cook! πŸ˜‰

Food Colouring!By the way, I have done a lot of research about using food dyes (all that pink!) for children’s food. Red#2 is apparently particularly bad for young ones, and so I set about looking for alternatives. I found it in an amazing company called India Tree which creates the most stunningly beautiful products using vegetable dyes. So, for example, in place of the dreaded Red#2, they use concentrated beet dye. Because the dyes come from natural sources, the colours seem to me to be softer, sweeter, more honest. They dont look neon, which I find a bit scary in food these days. And they make every kind of sparkly decoration and sugar, as well as their food dyes. I have ordered a crateload, and will be using them for most of the cooking I will be doing. I will do a review of the products when I am done!

For now though, I will go to bed, dreaming of sweet treats for my beloved niece’s birthday party, and remembering my shared history with my sister. If any of you have suggestions for us, we would love to hear them — before Friday! πŸ˜‰

2 Responses to “Vegetarian Baby Birthday Party!”

  1. goddessmoments September 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Love everything on the menu! And oh my! – biscuits with tomato jam! And those colours are divinely slurpable πŸ™‚ I want! XOX

    • delectableblog September 24, 2010 at 1:19 am #

      Arent they gorgeous? I dont think M will let me do biscuits with tomato jam… just too much food going on as it is! Though we are making sardine sandwiches in homage to our youth πŸ˜‰

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