Saturday, 24 May 2008

Birthdays, Parties and Cake

I had a busy weekend last week, my eldest was 16 one day and my youngest was 10 the next. It made me think about how differently they see birthdays.
When I was young very few people had parties, and if they did it was generally in their own house with the usual sandwiches, sausage rolls, fizzy juice then ice-cream and jelly for pudding. Simple, kid pleasing food. I can't recall anyone having a party every single year and it was not presumed that if it was someone's birthday that there would be an invitation winging it's way to you.
When I became a Mum I never felt the need to have parties for the girls, when they were really small we would maybe have my parents round, but that would be it. They were not really bothered till they went to school and it all seemed to change.
It then became the done thing to have a party, and as time went on the parties changed, long gone was the way I remembered and in came McDonalds parties, Bouncy castle parties, Fairy parties, and Bowling parties. It seemed every child had a party and each would be different. It was now expected to have a party and I felt saddened that the children that could not afford a party would often not make a fuss of their birthday as they did not want to highlight the fact that they were not having a party.
Thankfully I have noticed a shift again and not so many parties are going on, and often children just have a get together with a few good friends and have a nice time together.
My eldest is not a fan of cake at the best of times and although I tried to tempt her with a chocolate cake she did not want one. My youngest is like me and loves cakes and all the food you should not eat. She only wanted a victoria sponge for her cake so that is what she got, but not just any victoria sponge. I had a disaster with one layer so I made another batch and ended up making a triple layer sponge with chocolate spread, pink cake, pink butter icing and topped with fluffy yellow butter icing. She refused the maltesers and mallows on the top and instead opted for sprinkles.

Victoria Sponge

100 g (4 oz) margarine
100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
2 medium eggs
100 g (4 oz) Self Raising Flour
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

1 Heat oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4. Grease an 18 cm (7 inch) sandwich tins.
2 Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each.
3 Gently fold in remaining flour.
4 Place in prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes in 2 tins or 40-45 minutes in one tin.
5 When cool, fill with jam or cream. Dust with icing sugar.


Raquel said...

Wow, Angela, beautiful cake! I am like you and DD#3, I will take cake and all the bad things any old day. We usually do birthdays with just family, although when DS was in about 6th grade on up, we had friends. We would rent some movies and get ice cream and pizza. Boys are pretty easy to please. When he turned 18, tho, I told him I would bake him a cake or whatever, but no more parties, just for family.

Marie said...

Beautiful cake Angela! Well done! My kids had birthday parties, but not every year and not with tons of guests. Usually only a few special friend for supper and lots of good homemade food. As they got older they opted to have a friend sleep over and we got in good movies to watch on the telly, homemade pizza's, pancakes for brekkie. I think they were a lot better than bouncie castles and McDonalds parties! But then what do I know, I'm only a grownup!

My friends call me Tulip said...

Birthday celebrations in my house too this weekend. I know what you mean Angela, I have 3 girls and have gone through the whole range of parties, garden parties with traditional games, Mc D's Pizza Hut, where they got to make their own pizza to camping in the garden (Like this year!)..each one different from the next. We always let them have a party on their birthday and make a huge fuss over them as we don't over indulge them at Christmas. We are off to the local chinese restaurant for dinner at the birthday girls request! Wishing your girls a very happy birthday.

Sylvie said...

What a fun looking cake!!!!

Sue said...

My mum made Victoria sponge cake all the time, not that I get to eat it much these days unless I make it myself.
Wonderful looking cake Angela.