May 8, 2015

Valerie's 1920's Cruise Ship birthday in March!

Valerie (October 2014)

In March, for Valerie's birthday we held a 1900's steam ship family party! If that title confuses you, I trust you will gain a better understanding of the setting and period expressed by this birthday as you scroll down through the pictures! I think the sisters (Nikola, Jessie) and our Mum did an amazing job representing the whole feel of the era! I mostly worked on food and dessert which unfortunately you cannot taste through pictures. The whole experience was lovely.
We played this lovely CD we have which always gives the perfect experience of the era.

This was one of my favourite birthdays yet! The whole dining experience was perfect.
And I really was impressed by how quickly my talented sisters set up this beautiful table! 

Jessica made portholes out of paper and a bit of paint to add to the look

Jessie, Valerie, our Mum and Dad

Elodie, Nikola, Laura-Lise and Katia
Sam worked late that night but joined us later :)

Inspiration for the name of the ship for this birthday came from the name of the ship on which our maternal grandparents emigrated from Scotland to Canada:
The RMS Aquatania

Our grandparents with the RMS Aquatania
(below: photos from Wikipedia of the Aquatania)

Twinkle lights make everything so lovely...

Our Grandma sends pieces of this set of china periodically
And as you are probably ready for some refreshments, allow me to present to you our meal....

                                       savory tarts

Alas! No good pictures of the chicken I made but let me tell you the whole experience was perfect. Slipping one's fork into slices of tender chicken breasts topped with tomatoes and olives and a browned-butter-wine sauce while listening to pleasant dining music and surrounded by twinkle lights and enjoyable company...

As for dessert: we had so many ideas we just did several of them and froze the extras :)
I tried petit-fours...below are both healthy and regular ones....It was fun to try fondant but I don't recommend attempting it for the first time 30 minutes before the birthday is meant to begin. ;)
Classic trifle...a must-have!

Ever since I saw a recipe for chocolate beet cupcakes in Pete Evan's Paleo Chef cookbook, I was eager to try them. This seemed like the perfect occasion and (although I didn't follow the recipe to a ''T'') they were perfect! Bonus: they freeze and thaw beautifully. Mazzou tip: Ice with chocolate whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate as shown.

   As for the was wonderful! It came from the Against The Grain cookbook and was entitled ''Italian Cream Cake''. We are not entirely gluten-free, so I did a mixture of whole wheat and buckwheat instead of what was called for in the recipe. The recipe also called for sugar so I used sucanat which gave the cake a pleasant brown speckling (suitable because the cake also has nuts throughout). Also had to substitute potato starch/arrowroot powder for tapioca short, I have no precise idea what I did but the cake turned out marvelous! Everyone loved it.

As for movies to go with the party, we got a few out and watched them throughout the upcoming weeks. 

If you are not a fan of mystery films, this one is the one to start with! (and work your way up from here) It's interesting yet not heart-attack inducing. ;) 

Our first Charlie Chan. 
Do forgive us- it came recommended. 
If you wish to have an argument on the topic, I'm open to it. 
In the end, we had fun watching the 2 Charlie Chan mysteries we have seen because 
1. They are mysteries
2. They are black and white mysteries
3. They are rather funny
Don't ask me why an typical American plays a Chinese detective....but it can be overlooked since the character is rather humorous yet smart. 

Captain's Courageous- a childhood favorite because of Spencer Tracy's role as a Portuguese fisherman. :)

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