i had an easter saturday tea-party and it was absolutely ten shades of fun! being a preg, a traditional party would not be appropriate. and proper dinner parties, with their massively timed OMG WE GOTTA TAKE IT OUT THE OVEN LIKE NOW NOW NOW are a bit... much, really. plus they are the most fun only if you can drink a vat of wine during dinner and maybe smoke a joint or whatever afterwards, and i am not allowed to do that either. but a tea-party! yeah!
ace tea-party ingredients
first of all, you must absolutely have an awesome frock. my sister was rocking a 1950s vibe in a black and white polka dotted dress from vivien of holloway worn with a red pursebelt and her hair all done up in rolls and curls and stuff. and i wore a 1940s tea-dress (isn't 'time as colour' great? i love senselessly ransacking the past!) which made jimmy (that's the name of my unborn child inside my tummy, casual readers!) look massive. of course it wasn't an actual 1940s teadress but a copy from topshop maternity, truly the greatest shop for preggoes on earth. they take their normal fashion outfits and then just add lots more fabric for yr bump. simple!
2) food and drink
anyway. looking lipsmacking and delectable isn't enough i'm afraid. you also need lipsmacking and delectable FOOD, and also, some kind of alcoholic beverage, because even if you can't drink, sadly you are not the centre of the universe, for all you might think that you are, and your guests might want to drink lots.
drink a: gin fizz
we made an enormous punch bowl full of this. it contains:
sparkling white wine
mix it all up in whatever proportions seem appropriate. don't overdo the gin, obvs. and DO NOT USE SUGAR-FREE OR 'LIGHT' CRANBERRY JUICE. ew ew ew. it has no flavour.drink b: tea
i think you know about tea, but let me reiterate: a blend of assam and earl grey is essential, and don't forget to warm the pot! and use a pot. if you don't use a pot, you probably shouldn't even be reading this. go 'way now, non-teapot-users.
btw, 'stuff' is important. make sure to serve it on nice stuff, e.g. some amazing glass tea-cups and saucers you got from a charity shop ten thousand years ago (drinking gin from a tea-cup is so ace! and wrong!) and some alfred meakin leaping stag crockery
that you have been collecting off ebay for like ever.
all sandwich recipes were purloined from 'olive' magazine, which is quite gay and has a pretty bad features-to-recipes ratio, unlike our fave, bbc good food magazine. howevs, these recipes were awesome:
egg mayo and chive mini rolls (pretty obvious)
beef, watercress and mustard (mix watercress with creme fraiche, shred the beef, and use wholegrain mustard - yowsa!)
smoked trout, horseradish and cucumber (trout mixed with horseradish and creme fraiche, organic cucumber so you can leave the skin on, mmmm)
use soft white rolls for the egg mayo and chive, brown bread for the trout and white for the beef. and cut off the crusts of the bread and then slice them into finger sandwiches so they are all dinky and refined. and put some little flags in them! because it is cute.
also we had:
cheese straws and dips (dips served in pastel ramekins that used to be grandma's)
i made madelines. i had never made them before. you have to use a special tin. they looked like bears' paws. these were rosewater madelines from nigella lawson's domestic goddess book. i did not get to taste any, but apparently they were 'lighter than air', 'like eating a kiss', 'absolutely incredible' and 'better than any madeline from a shop, ever'. i will hanker for those untasted madelines as long as i live. i made another batch the next day and i thought they were decidedly perfunctory. :(
cakes 1: cupcakes
cupcakes decorated with pink and white icing and alphabet letters and silver balls. DAMN but decorating cupcakes takes forever. i had not realised. still, they looked cute.
cakes 2: coffee and walnut
i totally burnt the stupid victoria sponge so we had to get a cake from a shop
cakes 3: fruitcake
my darling friend andrea bought a delicious fruit cake she made!
anyway, so that was about it, and it was awesome! it was one of the nicest parties i have had in ages. lots of people rubbed my bump which i totally don't mind at all, because i am a vile and hideous attention-seeker who loves physical contact, not one of those grouchy ladies who is all THEY ARE INVADING MY PERSONAL SPACE, OMGGGZZZZ GET THEM OFF ME. (but maybe i will become that in the final stages of pregnancy, who knows? i am already much changed: spent most of easter sunday locked in the bathroom sobbing on the floor after a fight with my mother, and all of my toughness has deserted me, and i am frail and vulnerable feeling like a woman is allegedly supposed to be according to historical annals of femininity, instead of all tough and nails and whooshy-haired and bike-riding like normal.)
and the best people came (not to disparage some of the awesome people who totally couldn't make it), including some new people, like jesse, who had a great swagger to her and a way of abruptly asking the most personal of questions that reminded me of my own knack for doing exactly the same, and sarah, who had a bewitching curl dangling beside her big green eyes which had the most enormous black pupils as though she was on ecstacy even though i am sure she was not, and my wife's new boyfriend, who had a wonderfully benevolent air, and and and! some old people (not old in age like moi but old like i have known them for a bit), like miranda with her auburn hair torrenting down her back, and janine who i have not seen for a hundred years who had her fringe in a curl and wore these thick false eyelashes that were speckled with GOLD, folks, actual GOLD, and alex who delivered me two shiny discs of 'ho-rap' for my stockholm listening pleasure, and - oh! everyone. it was fantastic.
one of the best things about parties is also talking to lots of people in short bursts. it's like the twitter of socialising. so janine interviewed me about zines and shit and i waxed lyrical about how rubbish it is to do a fanzine and be all nostalgic for the 90s in that way now that the internet has rendered everyone into a zinester. and now, in typical about-turn fashion, i have, after a morning spent perusing pagan kennedy
's 'zine - how i spent six years in the underground and finally found myself - i think
', decided that doing a 90s-style personal zine all photocopied black and white on paper would be THE MOST AWESOMEST THING EVER, so watch this space for ordering details (because i don't want to go on about, like, 'my birth story' on the internet where anyone could see it, but what larks it would be to go on about it - with DIAGRAMS! - on some bits of paper that only the amazingest / undergroundest of people could get to see?).
and then jesse was talking about the birthgasm blog post i did recently, and saying that apparently after orgasm women release some kind of morphine thing that means that post-orgasm their pain threshhold goes up by like 100%, and why is this, this is clearly for childbirth since that is what chicks have to do that dudes don't. so i have already corralled the babyfather into promising to make out with me during the labour since that is supposed to make it better, but clearly we will need to take things up a notch so i wonder if anyone will mind if a rampant rabbit accompanies me into the birthing room, i mean they're going to see my vag anyway so whatever right?)
and then with my wife and jesse and my wife's boyfriend we revisited the age-old 'should underground magazines have corporate sponsorship' and frances was like 'no' and i was like 'yeah, if it's cool', because i am a massive HO who loves MONEY and believes corporate shit SHOULD support underground shit, and if they steal / dilute your ideas then just have more, because we are cool and underground and creative and have a ton of ideas while they are dried-up old lechy dinosours who must suck idea lifeblood out of others for they have none of their own. but frances is HARDCORE like a magazine ed is supposed to be and thinks all sponsorship is evil so that is good also.
oh and the best idea of all was janine's, that we should all bascially up sticks and move to whitstable, for we are all growing tired of london, we are old and sick of nursemaiding the creativitity of others through being PRs and music journalists, and we should move to the country and work on our own projects instead. i have never been a one for this 'let's get out of london' bullstuffs, but suddenly, with a TINY CHILDE inside my stomach, i find myself wanting to, for if he grows up here on a poplar estate he will surely grow up into a gun-toting thug or at the very least a cocaine tooting shoreditch hipster by the age of approx 7 years old, and i cannot countenance my son being a cocaine tooting shoreditch hipster, at least not until he is like 17 or something.*
6) future plans
anyway, no social event is truly successful unless it spawns an immediate desire for more of the same. i'm back for the may bank holiday so plans are already afoot for the next tea-party. also i have no friends in bloody boring old stockholm so have to ruthlessly exploit the ones i have here. RSVP for guestlist!btw: anti-flickr
this entry is in lieu of a flickr update
of photographs, for i have grown weary of toting my camera at everyone, and it seems a little intrusive. i hope nobody mentioned here minds. i do not see why they would.
Labels: cupcakes, easter, party, personal, tea_party
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I'm whispering here, but I have to admit that I've always had a bit of trouble with the whole third-wave rediscovery of traditional baking and crafting activity. I'm down with the anti-consumerist side of things (and I love cooking as much as the next awesomely cooking-skilled person), but somehow I've always sneakily felt that 'craftivism' was little more than another way for girls to avoid getting involved in 'real' artistic creativity. Encouraging them to spend their time baking cakes and knitting baby booties, as they have done for centuries, rather than learning how to play an instrument or master a CD or write a treatise or something. Continuing women's involvement in the private, domestic sphere, rather than the more high-profile and combative public arena. BUT. Randomly surfing old blogs led me to this delighful idea, posted on a LiveJournal community called Curious Cupcakes
: the Pay Equity Bakesale!
"Finally one member came up with the BRILLIANT idea of holding a "Pay Equity Bakesale." In Michigan (where we lived), women make an average of 67 cents for every dollar a man makes at the same job. So we baked our hearts out, then charged women 67 cents, and men $1 for each baked good. On the bottom of each cookie, cupcake, and brownie, we had printed facts about the gender wage gap on address labels and stuck them on. When people said "Hey! That's not fair!" We replied with, "Actually, it is fair; it's the only thing that's fair. Women make less money." So we got to raise money AND awareness at the same time!"
That's such an ace idea! (And please feel free to email me
with examples of more if you feel I am being unfairly anti-crafting.) If I'm ever involved in some kind of event where a Pay Equity Bakesale would be appropriate, I am so having one. I wonder when Ladyfest Stockholm is? :)
Labels: baking, crafts, cupcakes, feminism, ladyfest
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