My daughter, Jennifer, throws carefully conceived and fun birthday parties, and this year’s celebration of her daughter Hazel’s second birthday was no exception. I’m not sure where Jenn gets her party planning chops — as we all know, I’m a minimalist when it comes to throwing parties, like this one and this one.
Birthday Party Decor
The party had a Sesame Street theme, and was brought to us by the letter H and the number 2. As you can see, the decor reflected the theme perfectly. My granddaughter was delighted to have her favourite characters at the party. As you can see, she tried her best to reach Elmo, but he was just out of reach. (I know … that hair!)
Birthday Party Food
In my opinion, though, the food was once again the most impressive part of the party. Jenn made the cupcakes and chocolate “worms & dirt” herself, and ordered custom-made decorated cookies.
Just like the carnival-themed party she threw last year, everything fit the party theme just so.
Yes, there was also something for those guests without a sweet tooth, or who needed a shot of nutrition to counterbalance the treats: cheese and crackers and fruit and veggies. Not quite as exciting to look at as the sweets, but an appreciated option.
A Classic Birthday Cake
My contribution to the festivities was the birthday cake. I confess that, not having the event-planning gene, it didn’t even occur to me to try to make a themed cake. In fact, it’s somehow a badge of honour with me to not make character-shaped cakes. Maybe that’s a badge of dishonour?
The truth is, I simply prefer a classic birthday cake. When I was a little girl, for many years my mother would make a banana layer cake for my birthdays. It had a simple buttercream frosting with sliced bananas between the layers, and a fat maraschino cherry right in the middle, and it was so, so good. Whenever I think of birthdays past I recall a photo of me, perhaps around the age of four or five, sitting at the kitchen table, wearing a party hat and just peeking over the top of that cake. I think one of these days I’ll look for that photo and the recipe, and feature them here.
At any rate, this chocolate cake, but topped with a red current Swiss meringue buttercream (excuse me while I swoon at the memory of that frosting) and embellished with sparkling sugar and silver dragées, went over very well. It may not have said “Sesame Street,” but it did say “much love from Nana”!
Like any good party, there was something more important than decor and food: all the people who attended to shower Hazel with birthday love and good wishes. And to have a slice of cake!