You know I do a lot of online shopping. I could nearly call it a hobby if only that wouldn't make me an incredibly sad person. In any case for the last two months none of my orders have made it to our front door without some major effort on my part. Not my giant Lark Sale order, not any of my Bebe Online road test products, nothing. Occasionally we receive a postal card telling us to pick our package up in a few hours, but every time we do, the time of attempted delivery stated on the card is a time that I was sitting at home waiting! Most of the time we receive a final notice card from the post office telling us to pick up our packages that have been mouldering in the back room or they will return them to the sender. Annoyance! We had this exact problem a year ago in the month that I gave birth to Wolf. I ordered a ton of stuff in preparation for his arrival and we received none of it. After we came home from the hospital we called head office and discovered that we had five packages waiting in the post office. No notice. Nothing.
Worst yet, Josh made a call to head office to make another complaint about non-delivery. Just after he hung up he went into our bedroom and caught sight of the postal contractor van, and the bastard of a contractor running from it with a postal note which he dumped in our post box before driving off. Didn't even bother to deliver the package to our door. It was right there! In the van! It's not like it's very difficult to get into our building! Unlike many apartment buildings the security door stays open all the time (stupid Footscray. If anyone needed security doors by the load it would be Footscray residents.). Now we have to wait till after 4:30 to pick it up from the local where there is always a line 10 people deep. Wolf HATES the post office and always kicks up a fuss when I take him there.
Australia Post SUCKS. It is almost enough to deter me from shopping online! Which I love! Gah.
A few months ago one of my loveliest of lovely friends, Rachel, asked me to cater her daughter's first birthday. Just arrived home from that gorgeous party. Which I of course didn't manage to take pictures of because at first I was too busy taking care of the food, and then I was too tired from the last two days of cooking to do much but follow grumpy, tired Wolf around as he tried to snoop into other people's things.
If not for the new job which is taking up all my time, and which I will tell you more about later, I would have seriously considered starting up a children's birthday catering service. Something that does both good adult food and genuinely tasty, healthy and thought out kid's fare. But so busy right now. So many ideas though. All thanks to Rachel really, who planted the idea in my head. It's something to mark down for the future when there is both time and money and maybe a kitchen that I can take more than four steps in.
Still I did take a few pictures while in the process of cooking. Altogether I made nine platters of food for two babies and I'm not sure how many adults. I was happy with everything and we left the party in the wake of mostly empty platters!
First thing to be made was flapjacks with roasted pumpkin seeds. Did a vegan version for the two vegan guests and the rest were made with butter. Honestly when making the vegan flapjacks, it wasn't as fun as usual. You really need the scent and flavour of butter to make the whole dish pop. I don't know how they manage without butter. Or eggs. We stock all the alternatives at Passionfoods where I work. I am yet to attempt to cook with soy cream.
Rolling out short crust pastry for mini quiches and tarts. Just a basic butter, flour and water recipe. But it tastes so good! My go to pastry recipe every time.
The start of beautiful pizzas. A lovely sticky pizza dough from a really basic recipe that I'll post up later. It doubled in size within an hour and gave a base that was both chewy and crispy.
Wolf tucking into a piece of uncooked pizza dough. Tried to take it away from him but he cried. He really liked it. A lot. He ate...quite a bit. More than he did actual pizza.
A third of the batch of mini potato, rosemary and gorgonzola pizzas. These went down really well! So simple and tasty. Rosemary stolen from the local community garden. I say stolen, but that plant is so overgrown it pushes right through the fence. Someone's got to cook with it!
I made way too much pizza dough. So we had tomato, basil and mozzarella pizzas for dinner. This had a killer base that was nice and chewy in the centre but really crispy round the edges. The only problem with it, is the dough is so hard to clean from the bowl and from any implements used to cut it. Sticky stuff.
Stupid picture won't rotate. The first of a dozen duckie shaped sandwiches for the babies. Filled with either banana and cinnamon, vegemite and cheese or avocado and turkey. I may have to do these all the time, because I managed to feed Wolf two avocado and turkey sandwiches before he realised there were also pancakes and refused to eat anything else after.
Fruit platter that I knocked up this morning. Admittedly strawberries and honey dew melon are very much out of season. But they always look so good on a fruit platter. New season blood oranges and pink lady apples. I love the black trays I served everything on. They were an amazing find, at only 50 cents each!
Well that's all the pictures I have. I wish I'd taken more pictures, like some of the mini tomato and basil quiches and the mini ciabatta that were filled with turkey, ligonberry and camembert or bacon, tomato, avocado and mayo or radish, carrot, avocado, rocket and vinaigrette. They were really cute.
Hopefully I'll get more opportunities to do catering for friends and relatives in the future! It was a bit of work, but a lot of fun and a great result in the end. It was all worth it to see Rachel's happy face and also a bit of relief and not having to do it herself. The cake she made was amazing. I'll see if I can get a picture from her. It was a giant cupcake cake. Amazing to behold.
Personally, I would be happy with the reverse, if someone would just do all the decorations, table setting, invitations etc. for me instead while I cooked (hint, hint, Josh.) A few more birthdays and he might get the picture.