My daughter recently turned 4. It was a very emotional day for me, you see, since she is the youngest of my three kids, and the only girl. I remember when I was pregnant and I hadn’t found out yet if she was a boy or a girl. Everyone asked me, “Don’t you want a girl?” I remember my logical side was rationalizing, “Well, after two boys, I know what to do with a boy, I have all the clothes, toys, lunch boxes, backpacks… Why would I want to buy everything new for a girl?” But deep down, the emotional nut that I was screamed out loud: “I need another female in the house!” My husband put it this way, “We need some PINK in our house.” And after four years, there is plenty of pink in our lives!
I admit it. I went nuts with her room as I was pregnant and nesting: wall color? Yup, not just pink but TWO shades of pink! I even convinced my husband to put up the wainscoting in her room. Through the years her clothing had pink in one way or another. Shoes, too. Baby dolls and barbie dolls in pink. Books, notebooks, coloring books are covered in pink. Her favorite stuffed animal? A pink poodle. The first crayon she reaches for? Yup, pink. Did I condition her? Possibly. So, when I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday, I wasn’t surprised. She wanted it PINK!
Again, let me reiterate, after two boys, I was ready for a girly birthday party. I mean I’ve done birthdays with Thomas, Batman, Spiderman, sports and dinosaurs. I was ready for a true girly party, my daughter’s FIRST real birthday party with her friends. We agreed (ha! ha! After my strong suggestion, of course) to have a Princess Tea Party. I borrowed small tables and chairs from friends and set everyone up outside. I found a pretty and inexpensive glass tea set and worked from there. I sewed up table cloths for each table (pink) and set a small vase of flowers (pink) on each table. Streamers and these poofy tissue paper flowers (all pink) were hanging from the upstairs balcony.
For an October tea, it was a sunny and cool day to celebrate in the back yard. My girl wore her new Belle dress (yes, certainly NOT pink!) and had her crown nestled on her curls. My neighbor was kind enough to fix her up beautifully, but my wild-child took it all apart after 10 minutes. Loose Locks it is! Finger food was aplenty: grapes, carrot sticks, grape tomatoes, little sandwiches and chips. And decaffeinated peach tea was served to the eager princesses, but not so readily consumed!
But, what to serve for dessert? My daughter requested a pink cake. I found the perfect recipe on two blogs: Smitten Kitchen and Recipe Girl. I must admit that I was intrigued: A Pink Strawberry Cake. First of all, it sounds divine. Secondly, it’s pink! I decided to make the three layer cake for the family celebration, which was the night before. I decorated it with white cream-cheese frosting and used clear sugar sprinkles to make it sparkle, you know like diamonds? And was a slice of three-layer pink cake too much for one person to handle? Well, you don’t know my family! I don’t think anyone shared anything!!
Now for the tea party, I wanted cupcakes. I found this recipe on Simply Recipes and knew this was THE ONE: Double Vanilla Cupcakes. Of course, these weren’t ordinary cupcakes. I made them using the giant cupcake baking cups you find in the grocery store. Remember, a little cupcake isn’t enough for a true princess! I frosted each cupcake with double vanilla frosting and topped them each with a pretty PINK flower candy, and of course, dots of pink GLITTER frosting! There were many happy faces that day.
Now the ladies at the party were expecting some yummy treats of their own, knowing how much I like to bake. For them, I made some special Peach Crumb Bars (recipe courtesy of The Brown Eyed Baker). Since I can still find great tasting fresh peaches here in San Diego, this was a real treat to devour in October. The best part of the day was catching some moms sneaking bites of the princess-sized cupcakes!
Many calories were consumed that day and no one seemed to care. The kids were laughing and swinging on our porch swing. Crafts were made before tea time. There were a lot of giggles and a whole lot of group hugs. And I was able to sit and soak it all in. The sun was warm, the weather cool and the tummies full.
I wonder if I’m too old for my own princess tea party?