Over the weekend we had Carl’s father’s 80th birthday celebration. My father-in-law and his wife live interstate but came to Sydney for the event that we hosted in a hired club room that overlooks one of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches.
In order to keep the costs down and within our budget we self-catered the event for the 20 adults and 10 children who were attending. The pressure was that we were only allowed access to the venue one hour before our guests arrived and there was so much stuff we had to truck in; I had no idea! I walked into the empty room and had to set up tables and chairs and a bar and a buffet table and glassware and plates and cutlery and napkins and serving spoons and all the food plus decorate, all in 60 minutes. We just managed it!
Here’s a little look at how we celebrated this very special 80th birthday…
The weather was lovely; not too hot and with a slight cloud cover, making it very pleasant.
I bought three different types of flowers and grouped them into glass jars of varying heights that I placed in a brown paper bags and did up with a rubber band then purple and green ribbon.
I wanted to give everyone who came a little gift and my friend Celia offered to make me 100 chocolates. She is so kind! The chocolates were amazing and I put five int0 20 little cellophane bags and did them up in the same ribbon that I used for the flowers and added a swing ticket with the guest’s name on them. These doubled as place settings. Here’s the link to the recipe for making the chocolates.
We had a separate children’s table and all the children were given an activity book and a small lolly bag with their name on it that doubled as a place setting.
My father-in-law is a minister and so I made him a Bible cake. The cake was edged in gold dust that was recommended to my by Lorraine and bought at The Essential Ingredient. (It’s great to know other food bloggers – they are a wealth of information!) It’s a powder that you mix with vodka and quickly apply with a paint brush. It works brilliantly and gives a great effect. The cake was a chocolate and ground almond cake covered in a dark chocolate ganache then covered in a rolled royal icing. The ‘scriptures’ written on the cake were what we call, ‘The Gospel according to Greg’.
The text for the cake was printed in Word, turned into a JPEG, then emailed to Pure Gelato who printed it on rice paper then express posted it to me. You place the rice paper in the freezer for three minutes, remove the plastic cover then apply to the cake.
And that’s all the photos we managed to take of the food. We were a bit busy! And I got a little sidetracked! The rest of the food was cooked on the bar-be-cue and it was boned and butterflied spatchcocks (poussins), marinated pork fillets and sausages. The cake was served as the dessert on plates with creme fresh and blueberries.
It was a very special occasion not only because of the birthday celebration but because the room was filled with extended family was see all too infrequently. And they’re lovely people! The last of the guests left the lunch function at around 7.30pm then Carl, Archie and Arabella and I cleaned up, poured ourselves a wine and sat on the balcony enjoying the view and remarking on what a wonderful day it had been. And Alfie had a coke!