Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lemon Lime Sorbet - A Little Celebration

My sister had her second baby girl few days ago, just a few days short of my mum's birthday.  So I thought I would throw a wee celebratory morning tea, since I think my sister is the bravest and most awesome sister in the world, and both her and my mum deserved a little treat!  (Yes, baby Arlea is only three days old, but her and her incredible mother were sitting in our lounge as if a two week labour followed by giving birth to a gorgeous baby was a walk in the park!).  So this is a 'Happy Birthday Mum, Welcome to the world baby Arlea, Well done sister' morning tea.  Here's how I put it together....  

The inspiration for the 'theme' (I think every little do needs one!) was this set of mismatched vintage crockery I've been admiring in my studio for the past week.  Three unique pieces, but I just can't separate them!  Love the combination of mint/lime, gold, cream and a hint of yellow, AND the floral detailing.  Super pretty.  Time taken to choose the theme: 30 seconds.

Being the start of spring there are lots of new blooms, blossoms and wild flowers everywhere.  Bunch them loosely in vintage bottles and jars, or place single stems in bottles.  Our lemon tree is laden with lemons at the moment, so they joined the party too.  Time taken to pick and bunch these together: 10 minutes.

Start to style and accessorise the table.  I got out my huge stash of vintage linen and tablecloths and selected a variety of cloths, napkins and runners that complemented the theme.  Pale whites and creams, with floral detailing and touches of lemon and lime.  Overlaying them made for the perfect base to 'build' the morning tea table - layers of lace and linen draping and hanging and peeking through.  And because I couldn't choose just ONE cloth, I got to use them all.  Beautiful!  Time taken: 10 minutes.

Add the accessories.  Vintage forks and spoons in little Agee jars, a pile of vintage napkins (in the appropriate colours), the teapot for the day and tea cups to match.

I needed something to make the setting 'pop' gently.  Since we love a bit of vintage (total understatement!) and this was also a celebration of a young child out came my stash of vintage story books.  Here's my 'bunting' made from five pages of 'little golden books', wooden pegs and twine.  Easy peasy!  And so effective and cute.  Simply pinned up on the wall above the table.  The colours in the story book bunting and the teeny bursts of colour in the linen and flowers bring this table to life.  Time taken: 7 minutes.

I decide a little height is needed for the centre bunch of flowers, especially as the cake and cupcakes will be on elevated cake stands.  Out come a pile of vintage books and voila....height!

Time to add the food....mmmmmmm.  Egg and ham club sandwiches made by my Nana (the are THE best in the world, the softest, freshest bread with REAL butter of course), Chocolate ruffle cake, and lemon cupcakes.

Lemon cupcakes were super easy to make.  I believe it is the easiest cupcake recipe ever.  But you'll have to wait for tomorrow's blog to find out!  Because all of this was very spur of the moment, the only cupcake cases I had in my cupboard were either blue or pink.  "That won't do!" I exclaimed!  So yes, I baked them in the blue cupcake cases, but then I made the little surrounds out of....you guessed it, vintage story books.  I used the same buttercream icing on both the cake and the cupcakes (easy and delish recipe in tomorrow's blog!), but I couldn't find my large star tipped nozzle so had to make do with this other nozzle - they turned out okay, would've preferred the icing to be a bit more immaculate like with the star nozzle, but never mind - delicious all the same!

Ahhhh the chocolate ruffle cake....it honestly is quite easy to achieve, and the 'ruffles' are very forgiving, you can make 'mistakes' and it doesn't really matter.  Of course you can use any cake you like - vanilla, banana, marble, whatever tickles your fancy, BUT this recipe I use for chocolate cake is NEVER FAIL, only 5 minutes prep, NO beating or creaming butter and sugar or even sifting required!  Rises perfectly and tastes AMAZING.  Even my four year old makes it.  But you have to wait until tomorrow's blog to get the recipe. As for the ruffles, they are achieved using a special icing tip, and delicious buttercream icing.  And you need a bucket load of icing for this effect.  For this cake and the cupcakes, I used 400 grams of butter and about one kilo of icing sugar!  Definitely not weight watchers material.  All on tomorrow's blog of course!

The finished product.  All ready to enjoy.  See that cute little teeny patchwork quilt hanging over the chair?  I got to choose it when my baby boy was in the neonatal unit, made by some lovely quilters in Palmerston North.  Isn't it adorable!  And a lovely morning enjoyed by the ladies in our family, and a few men who needed a sweet fix. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog for all of the recipes!

PS - Glass dome cover, cake stands, vintage bottles, twine and more available in our store ;-)

Hope you've been inspired.  See you tomorrow!

Christall x

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