The Taco and Spinning Party

I had a birthday not too long ago, and because as any good crafter knows, a celebration isn’t a celebration without a healthy dose of crafting involved, I hosted one of my infamous Knitting Parties.

Tacos was the elected food theme for the day, so I fired up my slow cooker and made the very simple and very lovely Stupid Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken , diced some taco veg, heated some taco shells; made my Dill Salsa, and because I can’t have a Knitting Party without my Greek Dip, (though I make my own seasoning as the prepackaged one in this recipe doesn’t exist in the UK.) I made some of that as well.

My youngest son choose the cheeses for the, again required, cheese board, and then prepped the tea pot for guests to arrive.

People arrived with yarn, and projects a plenty, but what had happened organically was everyone who had a spinning wheel brought theirs as well! (People also brought awesome cakes and pavlovas as well! BONUS!)

So we set up in the biggest open space we had (in front of the food) and had a mini spinning party.

The more experienced Spinners held us baby Spinner’s by the hand as we learned to treadle, to draft, and relax our grips.

We got to try different wheels to see which style suited each of us better, (and I am now lusting after a double treadle conversion kit for my wheel), and witnessed how fantastic one of our members is for learning to spin on her warped antique double drive.

The event went down quite well as everyone at lots of food, drank much tea, and had a good gossip.

The day was a great success and I have even plyed our singles into a rather fetching bit of yarn.

Well, At Least It Was Tasty!

My darling daughter’s fourth birthday was Friday, and like every year, I offered to make her a cake shaped like whatever she wanted. This year, she’s finally hit princess fever so she wanted a pink castle cake with a princess and flowers and hearts.

Maybe it was because I left it too late, or maybe it was because I just got too impatient, but it didn’t quite turn out this year. My plan was to build three tiers of square cake layers (chocolate cake by the way, with strawberries and cream filling). For the towers I used ice cream cones, sawed off the widest part and dipped the rest in icing and sprinkles then put in the fridge to set. I iced the cake in pink buttercream frosting, and that’s when it hit me: this was turning into a disaster. The shape wasn’t right, the frosting was messy, and even though I had plenty of ‘decorations’ (ie, Skittles, gumdrops, chocolate chips, those little silver balls, sugar flowers, a variety of sprinkles, etc., even a pink plastic princess), I hadn’t really thought it through how I was going to use them. And it all suddenly seemed so tacky.

I took a break, made a quick trip to the shop and picked up some ready rolled white royal icing and covered the whole shebang with that. Well, actually my husband did because I had to call my mother. But anyway. It was covered. And wonky. And it had been several hours, the kids wanted cake, and I wanted them to go to bed so I could have cake (as you do), so I just said sod it. Forget the castle idea. I grabbed some left over buttercream, added some lavender colouring, stuffed it into a piping gun and squirted out some little flourishes. I had my daughter put the sugar flowers on, and then I discovered some rice paper butterflies and stuck a few of those on as well. And then I called it done. Definitely not what I was expecting, but the kids loved it and at least I got the flowers right. Ah well, there’s always next year! And it’s the taste that matters, right? 😉

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