I had a wonderful weekend. Not only was the Food Show in town (almost better than Christmas in my books) but my very good friend Rachel stayed. What’s even more exciting is that she’s 34 weeks pregnant and I was lucky enough to host her baby shower on Saturday. Just between you and me, I think she was a little crazy flying two hours up to Auckland at 34 weeks pregnant. I love babies, but I’m not sure how I would have coped if we had had an extra little surprise this weekend. As it turned out Baby Boy didn’t grace us with his presence. I know my friend would have been fine, she is pretty amazing and takes everything in her stride. Not only is she having a baby in a few short weeks she’s also selling her house and looking for a new do-up. Did I mention she’s a little crazy? But so wonderful! Did I also mention she had a little impulse shopping while she was in Auckland, bought a new car, cancelled her flights south and is now driving the length of our fine country home (including a 3.5 hour ferry crossing). Again, did I mention she is one amazing but crazy friend.
I love entertaining and hosting parties. I have to admit, I often have all these wonderful ideas on Pinterest and grand plans in the early stages, but have been known to become a little overwhelmed with my plans when the reality hits one week out. Sound familiar? Having a kitchen the size of a baby’s shoebox doesn’t help, neither does working and having a 14 month old. Solution? Planning! I plan it like a military operation, okay not quite, I am actually planning a military operation at the moment (true story), but it comes close. I’m not usually a big planner in my personal life, apart from holidays (vacations), those I like to plan well. Its sounds very romantic just turning up to a city and finding the cutest boutique hotel you have ever seen and stumbling upon this quaint family owned restaurant with the most amazing food and becoming best friends with the owner. But in reality it just ends up like a bad episode of The Amazing Race. You end up paying way to much for a boring hotel with dubious cleaning standards and looking at McDonalds like it’s actually a dinner option. So I like to research and plan my holidays and research and plan, plan, plan my parties.
I thought I would share with you all my baby shower menu plan. Maybe one day soon I’ll also share with you my detailed (some call it OCD) plan. You may be just interested in having a read or have a baby shower coming up yourself. This is a relatively simple afternoon tea but is bound to impress your guests. You can use this for any afternoon tea or even a bridal shower. I like to take quite a few strategic shortcuts to make my life easier but still retain a homemade feel to the afternoon tea. Feel free to take more shortcuts if you like (i.e. buy your scones, tarts, melting moments, meringues etc.) or less (i.e. make your own strawberry jam, blinis etc.) just tailor my guide to suit your time and skills. This menu generously serves around 15-18 people with leftovers. I always like to have too much food because (1) it looks good on the table, (2) you never really know how much people will eat, I would feel like a dismal failure if people ever left my house hungry, and (3) leftovers! Why have a party if you can’t have leftovers? I’ll include the recipes in future posts, but if you’d like them before then please contact me.
The baby shower was wonderful and everyone seemed to have a great time. Most importantly, Rachel had a great time (and got a huge haul of presents, people are so generous when it comes to babies). We all caught up with old friends and met some new ones. Right now, on Sunday night, I’m holding my breath, crossing my fingers and touching wood that my lovely pregnant friend Rachel makes it all the way home before baby boy decides to introduce himself to the world. Please cross your fingers and toes too!
Baby Shower or Afternoon Tea Menu
Old-Fashioned Sausage Rolls
Chicken, Lemon and Herb Tea Sandwiches
Radish and Chive Butter Sandwiches
Caramelised Onion, Thyme and Feta Tarts
Pistachio and Cherry Meringues
Chocolate Hedgehog Slice
Strawberry and Cream Scones
Baby Boy Blue Ombre Ruffle Buttercream Chocolate Cake
Refreshing Raspberry and Mint Water
Coffee – Regular and Decaf
Tea – English Breakfast and Peppermint