Mary Emma Allen
We seem to be experiencing a multitude of birthdays at our household...birthday
parties for family members and parties our grandchildren are invited
to. These may be a simple get-together of relatives or a theme
party for older children. Nowadays, too, birthday parties involve
outings to fast food restaurants or entertainment centers that
host these occasions for tots.
When I was a child, most of our parties were family ones with
the birthday youngster selecting his/her favorite foods for the
meal. One treat (which would seem strange to young people nowadays)
was the opportunity to select our favorite canned fruit to accompany
the birthday cake.
Mother canned many types of fruit and berries which often were
served as dessert with cake or cookies. Only in my high school
years, when Mother operated a little country store, did we regularly
have ice cream for a birthday supper.
A Variety of Party Foods
Preparing new, different and truly fascinating fare for our youngsters'
birthday parties often sends us searching through our recipe books.
There are a wide variety of birthday party ideas that can be utilized
and our tots will help us with some of their own.
Usually refreshments - the simplest for mom to prepare and also
the kind most youngsters expect - consist of cake and ice cream,
unless it's a supper party. However, it's usually easiest to make
birthday parties for young tots afternoon affairs with plenty
of games, favors, cake, and ice cream.
Refreshments Most Important
The "eats" often seem to be the most important part
of the party to many youngsters. As one little girl remarked to
my mom at one of my parties, when she became tired of games, "Mrs.
Place, when does the 'party' begin?"
It didn't matter that we'd been playing games and having fun.
The party to her meant the birthday cake.
Different Types of Goodies
Here are some ideas for slightly different goodies you can prepare
for the party fare. For the child who enjoys helping make the
party treats, as my daughter did and my granddaughter does now,
most of these recipes are easy to prepare and fun projects for
mother and child to work on together.
A Variety of Easy-To-Make Treats
MARSHMALLOWS cut and placed around the sides of a frosted cake
in the form of dolls make interesting party decorations for a
little girl's birthday cake.
MARSHMALLOW POPS make tasty favors for each child to take home.
Melt over hot (not boiling) water one 6-oz. pkg. chocolate bits
and 1 teaspoon shortening. Dip marshmallows, held on toothpicks,
into chocolate mixture, coating well. Roll in colored coconut,
chocolate and colored sprinkles, crushed peppermint stick, cookie
crumbs, or chopped nuts. Chill until firm on waxed. Makes about
Make a FLUFFY CAKE by decorating the frosting with tinted coconut
and jelly beans. Add candles in colorful holders.
Gaily decorated CUPCAKES with a candle on top often are much
easier for pre-schoolers to handle and may make for less mess
for mom to clean up on the table and floor. Decorate these with
colored icing, sprinkles, and marshmallows.
Cupcakes also can be made more interesting by putting a child's
name on each. In sweetened water, cook alphabet noodles until
tender. Color by adding food coloring to the cooking water or
by dipping cooked letters in food coloring. Dry letters before
forming names on iced cupcakes.
ICE CREAM LOLLIPOPS are tops with the younger set. Roll squares
or small scoops of ice cream in colored coconut; insert a stick;
store in the freezer until ready to serve. These can be made ahead
and stored in plastic wrap in the freezer for a few days.
ICE CREAM BALLS offer many decorating possibilities. Roll scoops
of ice cream in chocolate or colored sprinkles, in colored coconut,
chopped nuts, or dip in melted sweet chocolate.
CIRCUS CAKES are favorites with many tots. Decorate the frosted
cake with animal crackers and colored sprinkles. If you wish,
erect a tentlike canopy of gaily colored wrapping paper over the
cake held aloft by toothpicks.
If you want to be real fancy, make individual CIRCUS CARTS. Use
a slice of ice cream for the cart body, chocolate wafers for the
wheels, and animal crackers to pull it.
CAKE CONES are fun to eat. Half fill the flat-bottomed cones
with cake batter. Bake and ice as you do cupcakes.
(c)Mary Emma Allen
(In addition to writing cooking columns, Mary Emma Allen writes
for children. Her latest book is a coloring book to accompany
her children's anthology, "Tales of Adenture & Discovery.
Visit her web site to view more "Country Kitchen" columns:
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