Perhaps one springtime day in ten is still, sunny and warm - all at once, and all day - in Melbourne. That was Sunday.
So one last garden party before we move to the new house. Just a casual kind of finger food affair, partly because we were nostalgic for the party food of our childhood - and there were children coming - and partly because a good deal of the crockery is packed away in boxes for the move. Yes, I know you still need plates for finger food, but you know what I mean.
Didn't stint on the linen, however. The crisp white linen tablecloths, probably forty years old, starch up beautifully and look magnificent spread on tables on the lawn under the canopy of the trees. (Until they are splattered with tomato sauce, splodges of food, spilled drinks etc, but that's at the end of the party. At the start they look great!)
Oh, the food. Let me see - there were sandwich platters: tuna, onion, cheese and parsley; curried egg with finely chopped celery; tomato, red onion, capsicum and rocket with mayonnaise; plain cucumber; plain cheese. After all these years, cocktail frankfurts with dipping tomato sauce are still a hit. Haven't had these for years but they all disappeared pretty quickly. Next up were miniature meat pies, which we still call party pies, and home-made sausage rolls. I must admit that pastry aroma coming out of the kitchen smelled good.
Most of the time, William slept in his pram, its white netting keeping the bees away, under the apple tree. There is something serene and peaceful about babies sleeping in their pram on the lawn on a beautiful spring day.
Except when they wake and cry. Then all hell breaks loose and you have to pick them up.
There were chocolate crackles and that kind of thing, ice-creams in cones for the children and, later, I brought out the huge cake I had made in honour of the birthday girl, T. - a significant birthday if it can be described that way. The cake was chocolate with a filling of strawberry jam and cream and iced all over with chocolate butter icing and dusted all over with chocolate and icing sugar. We sang Happy Birthday to T. and to nieces Kim, 10, and Caitlin, 13; both significant birthdays as well.
Mix sausage meat and minced beef in a 70/30 ratio, and combine this with a grated carrot, a minced onion, a splodge of tomato sauce, a lesser splodge of sweet chilli sauce and a good shake of white pepper. Form it into a sausage about an inch thick, roll it in puff pastry sheets, slice into two inch sections, brush with beaten egg and bake half an hour or so in a good hot oven until nicely brown. Serve immediately with tomato sauce.