Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Fourth Birthday

Rahul celebrated his fourth birthday a day early with a wee banana cake for him to cut at school and cupcakes and cheese straws from Cal Club and orange Tang (courtesy Dadu) for his classmates in lieu of goodie bags. Baking the wee cake was rather traumatic what with a series of oven disasters (that YFMY, I tell you!) but his teachers were kind enough to say it tasted good. Here it is, before and after a coat of supremely garish yellow icing. He had four little racecars for candleholders alongside but I don't have any photographs of all that because it happened at school.

He celebrated once more with an insect-themed party on that Saturday morning. I had a great time looking up ideas on the 'net and even managed to implement a few. Vicky, on some coaxing, designed invitation cards (soft as well as hard versions) that were duly sent out to friends and classmates. The work is all his, including the funny, apt lines.

He also designed placemats as a return gift for each child, an idea of Aunty Kiran's that gelled rather well with the spoons that Giga had bought for this express purpose last December!

Before gift wrapping and packing in homemade newspaper bags, I taped a spoon and some 3D insect stickers on to each mat. What I really liked was how Vicky managed to fit in the story as well as most of the pertinent pictures from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a book that has been a huge favourite of Rahul's ever since Aunty Cee sent it to him two years (?) ago.

Not all the invitees turned up but the ones who did managed to fill our small flat to bursting. From grandparents

to the mama (my brother)

to people like Dipali, Evie and M4 with her duo. (No pics for privacy reasons, I'm afraid.) Ratul brought his mum and charmed the company, as he did the last year. I have no idea how any child of Dr D's can be quite so beautiful. All credit can and does go to Mrs Dr D.

To Rahul's intense excitement, Chinkydidi came along. Unfortunately, his excitement precluded him from wanting to be photographed. After all, all these kids were playing with his toys. Not the time for posing with mothers!

I'd settled for a 2 hour party from 11 am to 1 pm. Around noon almost everybody had come -- Taishan and his folks came late and I can't find any photographs of them or of "Sheejan", Rahul's very best friend from school who turned up with his grandfather despite not being very well and whose appearance was greeted with even more excitement than before, ending with Rahul lying flat on the ground from sheer euphoria -- and by then everybody had had some tea/coffee. So I started herding them towards the cake.

Kim the Caterpillar was made for me by my mother and aunts for my 6 or 7th birthday. Ma managed to actually dig her cookbook out in time for me to figure out how to replicate their efforts. It's not a patch on the original but I thought she looked rather nice, all the same. You can see the step-by-step creation here. Two ring cakes (sponge bundts) sliced in half and aranged in a wave, then iced with buttercream in sections and decorated with biscuits and Gems.

To the right are the candy snakes I saw by chance at the mall. Guess who loved them the most? Dipali and Evie! Rahul spent much of the first hour trying to sneak off with one. I told him he had to wait until his guests arrived so the appearance of almost every guest needed a fresh explanation as to why he couldn't have them just yet!

There were also egg and lettuce sandwiches made by my mum, mac'n'cheese, 'worm cakes' with honey (buttermilk pancakes piped into worm shapes, with raisin eyes), popcorn, tutti frutti ice cream (Rahul fell in love with 'orange' ice cream in Shillong), chicken patties and mushroom-corn cups from Cal Club and apple juice, orange Tang and lemonade. The idea was to arrange the sandwiches as butterflies and macaroni is known as pasta poka (pasta insects) in the house but I ran out of enthu.

I loved how all the kids got together and blew the candles out. As a kid I remember all of us being rather proprietal towards this part of our respective parties.

I was a bit worried as to whether M4's EO and Chinky would not find the party a bit childish what with me not providing any games or anything, but they seemed to have a merry old time with the toys. EO charmed the old Thomas the Tank Engine set out of me and even got me to give him permission to paint my fridge!

He extended his painting skills, this time with actual paint and not just water, to the box -- but I drew the line when he asked if he could paint his younger brother! It was a great party and Rahul got lovely gifts, all of them. Thank you guys for making it so much fun and thank you Evie and Dipali for the photographs. :) Oh, and Vicky, thanks for all the unwilling Photoshopping.


R's Mom said...

Wow..what a wonderful party...Wish I was in Cal :):) happy birthday many more years of such fun

Aneela Z said...

oh the pins..the pins...must be all the late night socializing.

Sachinky said...

Aw, looks like like fun party, Sue. Happy Birthday to Rahul.

So, I'm confused about his first name. Is it Sharabh? Like alcohol? Or do you pronounce it more like Saurav?

Rhea said...

Happy Birthday to Rahul!!

Sue said...

R's Mom, Rhea -- Thanks :)

Aneela -- Pins?

Sachinky -- How come you changed your name? You pronounce his name "Shuh-rubh" or, if you want to do it the Bong way, "Shaw-rawbh".

Aneela Z said...

as in the legs...hamarey zamaney may sexy legs were pins

Sue said...

Aneela -- Ah ha. Those. Funnily enough, I noticed only after posting that there weren't that many photographs of the birthday boy or his parents. Still, a post can only have so many pics. Also, many were censored because of my dress!

Mamma Mia! Me a Mamma?!? said...

We had a EO, foodie that he is, gorged on the food. And the YO is in bliss whenever he sees a set of wheels that he can play with.

BTW, the EO eventually did manage to paint his brother after they got home!

Sigh!! Boys!!

The Print Lover said...

Wow, love the caterpillar cake. I didnt quite get how you made it. Was the mould in the worm shape or did you do it in pieces and then combine them?

GettingThereNow said...

Just love, love, LOVE the invite and the placemat! Very creative! Party sounds like great fun - I wish I could be there :)

Every time you mention that Rahul liked the book, I thank my lucky stars that I chose that one :) Planning to buy that one for M too.

Sue said...

M4 -- My goodness! I've been known to make clowns out of my younger cousins with makeup when we were all kids. :)

TPL -- Two ring cakes sliced in half and laid out in a wave. Sorry, I thought it was clear, but I'll mention it in the text.

Cee -- Yeah, who'd have thought your geef would become so central to things when you bought it? :) Wish you could be there too.

Sachinky said...

Ah, thanks for clearing that up.

Chinky is my 'daak naam.' I'm a huge Sachin fan - practically worship the man - so on the internetz, I often go by Sachinky as well.

Sachinky said...

PS: The cake is awesomeness.

Padma said...

Sounds like a delightful party! That cake is absolutely lovely - looks like it was baked by a professional pastry chef or such.

Sue said...

Sachinky -- Ah, so you're another 'Chinkydidi'. And thank you. :)

Padma -- You flatter me, yaar. It didn't look the slightest bit professional but it was fun. And the things you need to think of... when I was icing it I was going to only place 'legs' on the front side but the photos were mostly taken from the back, so it's a good thing I reconsidered!

kaichu said...

I love this. it all looks SO wonderful, sunny!!

eve's lungs said...

My Goodness what I loved most was my return geef . And the cake - what a superb piece of work that was !

GettingThereNow said...

"Yeah, who'd have thought your geef would become so central to things when you bought it? :"

That thought tickles me too :)

Thinking Cramps said...

"Impressed" is an understatement. This is so very creative. I love the "very happy birthday party" and the placemats and the cake looks labour-intensive and oh-so special.

Can you come over in November and plan my birthday party? Butterfly theme? Or Calvin and Hobbes? Or just plain chocolate theme? Pretty please.

SUR NOTES said...

Sounds like a really special party! Absolutely lovely.

Hey how do you make butter cream? loved the caterpillar cake - will be stealing ideas from here if thats okay with you.

Anonymous said...

Wow... how many items on the birthday menu?! And what fun! Wish I was in Cal! Belated birthday wishes to the Bhablet.


Sue said...

How awful, I never replied to all these comments. Sorry, guys.

Kaichu -- Three months later, I'm impressed too, LOL.

Evie -- Thank you. :)

Cee -- Your geef is travelling even further. ;)

Ana -- LOL Happy to plan parties. I find I love the work.

Sur -- Steal away. Buttercream is butter and icing sugar beaten together with maybe a dash of vanilla essence and dribbles of milk for consistency. You can add colours or even strong coffee instead of milk.

Subha -- Wouldn't that have been fun, if you guys could have come? Thanks for the wishes. Maybe some day we will be be able to attend the parties at each others' places. One can hope!

GettingThereNow said...

Where? Where? Baby T? Some other kid? I would love that! Maybe we should add the name of every child it is passed on to :)

Sue said...

Cee -- Not the book itself, I'd never (ever) let that go, even if mera bad luck kharab huya. The idea of the book is travelling. Tell you later.

GettingThereNow said...

LOL! Okay.