Summer is for parties! A friends party each child and a joint family party; each party has a format that I have been slowly perfecting over the years. the variation and interest comes from the chosen theme and the whole year is spent in deliberation over what to choose and this year it was Moshies. Love them or loathe them, I don't care if last year we survived the infernal Rainbow Fairies, Moshies are light relief!
Pick a theme and photoshop a few decorations and invitations - or cross cost like crazy.
Party bags and plan a craft activity. Guests are greeted with a personalised party bag and sat down to a craft activity. It always breaks the ice, the shy ones can work shoulder to shoulder with each other, and by the time they are finished they are all friends.
This year I ordered a two meters of cream canvas and a reel of thin Moshi ribbon to make up some really cost effective bags. I added an extra loop so that home made Moshi key rings could be attached. Ebay is a wonder for parties, twenty plain key rings for a couple of quid - I added a little loop of pipe cleaner so they could use air dry clay to make moshlings. Another pound and I had twenty cup cake boxes (ready to be decorated) where the monsters could live until they were dry.
Is anyone ever too old for pass the parcel?
Donut eating - yum! Thanks to some bought candy eyes we had instant Oddies to munch. You know the game? donuts hanging form a line that have to be eaten with no hands. I recommend mini donuts.
Musical statues. Any excuse for a boogie!
Moshi pizza's made in advance and frozen, bangers and mash, slime (mushy peas), Monster munch, sandwiches - off message but they work.
Hansel ginger bread men - then, oh so inspired / plagiarised 'Ice Scream'. Ice cream served up with bowls of chocolate flakes, smartie type sweets, mini marshmallows, sprinkles, strawberries as well as strawberry and chocolate sauce.
Earn the party bags: a treasure trail. We always have a focal point with clues so this year we went for the Daily Growl with a code to break. As a crap blogger I failed to take photo of my lovely hand drawn Moshi pictures for the picture code so I have mocked this rather randomly to give you the idea.
The clues were simple to devise, work out any hiding place and use the Moshi Wiki to find a monster to fit. Pookie is a dinosaur with an egg shell hat, perfect for the chicken coup. Each clue was covered on the poster until everyone was back at base camp and had been given their prize for the previous clue, then the next clue was revealed. The best had to be finding Dr.Strangeglove hidden in the hedge!
The dreaded cake - much anticipated so rarely eaten. A Moshi cake is a doddle - a giant cup cake mould makes the perfect cutie pie, all it needed was a few Oreo and Bob's your Uncle.
Kick out the last little darling - breath a sigh of relief while mixing the perfect G&T. Over for another year!
Cake? You slave over the cake the custom has the you wrap them up and send them back in the party bag to be sat on and promptly binned. Why try when no one ever eats the blighters?
At the family party I do things my way - no traditions and expectations to adhere to, just what i say goes (i am a benign dictator). We have a couple of vats of paella (one veggy, one meat) cooked outside with endless cocktails on the go (one wobbly and one virgin) and a cake that will get eaten: ice cream cake!
Our Strawberry Sorbet recipe
Pickle is not addicted, she can give up any time she wants...maybe.
250g strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
Juice of two medium lemons
160 - 200g sugar dependent on how sweet the strawberries are. Generally I recommend 175g and add more later if too tart
50ml sweet rose (wine - the stuff that sounds like a good idea but half a glass in and your teeth ache and you switch to a crisp white instead)
Cover the strawberries with the sugar and lemon and refrigerate covered for an hour.
Blitz the mix then strain through a standard (not a fine sieve - a few seeds are fine and straining through a fine sieve takes too long, trust me).
Mix in the water and use an ice cream maker if you are lucky. if not freeze in a lidded container, taking it out and whisking it up every two hours for six hours. It is not make or break but it does give it a much better consistency of you can whisk it up three times like this.