Monday, 29 April 2013

I had never really thought of

biscuits as an art form until the Whirlwind found the biscuit book last week. 
She made biscuits and, yesterday, she iced them. She did a pretty good job too. 
Sensibly she did not attempt to do anything too complicated the first time around. She cut out flower and leaf shapes and iced them. The icing was fine. We bought that although she wants to try and make her own "royal icing" one day. 
Her outlines are a bit wobbly and I was told "That's really hard to do!" She managed to get the rest of the icing inside in a technique I am informed is called "flooding" it . 
She left it at that for the first attempt. The Senior Cat and I were presented with one each. The rest, apart from one for her father, were taken back to the school  boarding house last night. They always try to make the first night back at school a little bit interesting for the boarders and this was her contribution. I know some of the others will come with other home made goodies too. I have, at her father's request, always seen to it that she has gone back to school with something, often something we have made together. Ginger nuts, popular in my boarding school days, are still popular apparently. I know one mother will have baked a large batch of ANZAC biscuits. Both those things keep well. The Whirlwind's biscuits will not last.
"It's a bit different from E's party," the Whirlwind told me. She was invited to a birthday party during the holidays. Everyone in her form group was invited. She went reluctantly. She does not like birthday parties. It means finding a present - and she is generous but afraid of getting the wrong thing or something that someone else has already given them. (We solved that problem this time by her talking to the mother of the party girl.) It means finding something to wear - and many of the girls at her school have a much more extensive wardrobe. 
Fortunately nobody expects her to reciprocate with the sort of lavish party that some children seem to get. Indeed, there are surprisingly few such parties among her school friends considering the school is a fee paying one where quite a few of the parents might be considered "well off". There was some discussion about this some years ago and the school guidelines ask that parties be kept simple for a number of very good reasons, particularly as the boarders cannot reciprocate.  Most parents are only too happy to cooperate. 
Her father has always asked the Whirlwind if she wants a party. I know that a number of mothers would be happy to help if she wanted one and he does too. Her answer has always been a firm "No." Her birthday always comes in the middle of the long summer holidays. She is often away with her father then. "Birthdays," she insists, "Have to celebrated on the proper day."
I suspect it is just an excuse. She is not fond of parties.
But she was happy to participate in what would have happened at school last night.  This time she had something from home "like everyone else" and she has made it herself. It is the first time I have known her to think that going back to the boarding house might not be too bad. We may need to try this art-form yet again.


Nicole MacDonald said...

My niece is quite anxious when it comes to parties, she prefers the quiet version for her own birthdays too. Everything does seem a lot more over the top than I remember ;p We just had massive sleep overs with pizza/sweets/movies. Always was fun (and noisy!)

catdownunder said...

I sympathise with your niece Nicole. I never had birthday parties and my siblings never had them either. The most I can remember is my two sisters being allowed to invite someone home for "tea" on the following Saturday and there being a "birthday cake" (sponge with candles stuck in the icing) to go with whatever we would normally be eating.
One of my sisters did make the most amazing cakes for her two boys - when they were old enough to appreciate dinosaurs and trains and the like but I cannot remember lavish parties. (Even their coming of age parties were pretty tame affairs!)