“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Sugarpuff remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the mum: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Sugarpuff.
“You must be,” said the mum, “or you couldn’t be related to us.”
OK, so I may have taken a little licence with Lewis’ original here but you get the gist… we’re all fairly certifiably nuts at Casa Eats World. Which is hardly news. But what you may not know is that we’re not always travelling or stuffing our faces! Sometimes we’re tumbling down rabbit holes in search of crazy adventures. Though you can pretty much guarantee we’ll always stop for a snack.
Chief nutter and tea party connoisseur, Sugarpuff, has turned five and to celebrate in salubrious style she decided on a decadent tea party sprinkled with a hefty dose of insanity. Inspired by Alice and her whacky adventures in Wonderland, her “easy peasy” requests included games in a giant garden (we live in a flat), a ten-metre tall cake, the presence of a talking cat and magical tea party food that could make her new school friends change sizes and shapes.
I found myself wondering if acid flashbacks can actually skip a generation? And if the parents of said school friends would be upset about my daughter’s desire to drug and experiment on their children? Figuring the answer to both questions was a fairly definitive yes, I sat her down to negotiate.
After much debate and a few mighty harrumphs, she eventually acquiesced to kiddy croquet in a local park, a tallish cake, the presence of some cool cats in the form of her much adored former pre-school teachers and cousin, and some pretty but non-toxic party food that wouldn’t have her mother arrested and imprisoned for narcotic distribution or child abuse.
While Alice may have believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast, generally I only believe in one… sleeping in past 6.30am with two small children in the house. But on the morning of her party I’m up way before that as I have at least six impossible tasks to perform before breakfast to get this mad tea party on the road, not least of which will be getting the birthday girl to make a decision on what to wear. After a dozen outfit changes, and more than a little flouncing, I could care less if she wore a gorilla suit with a pair of six-inch heels, but I digress.
There are 8,785 perfect little crustless tea-party sanctioned sandwiches to make, a platter ful of vegetables to julienne, fancy fruit to rinse and slice, guacamole to throw together, cream to whip, and a towering cake from hell to finish.
Then I need to find time to comb my unkempt locks and have a shower so I don’t turn up to the party looking, and smelling, like the love child of the Mad Hatter and the white rabbit.
Before the guests descend we decorate our favourite tree in our favourite green park with ribbons, bunting and blooms. Then we put up signs so people can find our mad tea party… like the streamers, high tea platters and raving loons running about the park aren’t give away enough.
And as for mad, we don’t need any magic potions. We simply load the kids up on sugar and the madness and mayhem follow as if by magic.
The children dine on the aforementioned sambos and pretty home made cakes.
They gobble little clock cookies (recipe below) and scrumptious scones piled high with jam and cream.
And they devour the glistening piles of jewel-hued fruit. Someone even eats a whole vegetable crudité. Though that may have been a parent.
The kids play a round of Wonderlandesque croquet before the boys take off with the mallets, and what appears to be the intention of beating each other to death, while the girls run wildly amok.
There is more wanton violence when the piñata arrives.
Trees are climbed and merry made and then it is time for the cake. As over the top, tall and mad as a small eccentric nutter could desire.
Only this year she announces to her gathered friends and their gobsmacked parents that she loves it because, unlike last year’s effort, this one doesn’t look at all like a chocolate vagina. Phew.
Tic Toc Wonderland Clock Cookies
- 130g butter
- 130g caster sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 250 grams plain flour
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted (see note)
- Black icing pen to decorate
- In a bowl cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla essence and beat well.
- Add the sifted flour and stir through until the dough begins to come together.
- Divide dough into two portions.
- Flatten individual portions, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Heat oven to 180 decrees c.
- Roll out the dough to 5mm thickness and use a gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes.
- Place on lined baking trays in oven for around 10 minutes or until golden.
- Cool completely on racks.
- Lightly whisk egg white and lemon juice together in a bowl.
- Gradually add icing sugar, whisking until smooth.
- Decorated cooled bsuits and allow to set
- Decorate with icing pen.
Lunging down the rabbit hole with Essentially Jess for #IBOT