Watching my small grandson approach his first birthday, I look on, in admiration at the way in which his parents stay strong in their desire to give him a healthy and happy childhood. There are so many pressures on them to parent in ways that don't sit well with them.
The celebration of birthdays is just one area in which they are finding some pressures and have chosen to celebrate Evan's first birthday with family and friends with morning tea. My daughter has asked for no presents as Evan is still exploring the small number of toys he has and really doesn't need any more at the moment. But invariably the response is that they must get him something to play with. But of course we all know that at this age the child's favourite place to play is the ''tupperware'' draw. Evan loves to open this draw and take things out and put them back in. He has a small bucket outside. He puts things in and takes them out. He uses the bucket when he comes to help me feed the chooks, and imitates everything I do. He helped me wash down the verandah. I had a bucket of water and Evan had his own. In and out went objects and then Evan himself. Mark and I looked after him for 3 hours while his mum had some time to herself (the first time since he was born) and really he didn't pay his small basket of toys much attention at all. He is full of wonder and joy and just loves to be with his grandma and poppy and be involved with their activities. We made muffins, fed the animals, let the geese out, cleaned the verandah sang and laughed and danced to some music. We had morning tea and lunch. He eats whatever's going and really enjoys his food.
Evan is breastfed, wears cloth nappies, eats food cooked at home from scratch. He doesn't have the latest gadjets, plastic toys, or merchandise from the latest children's programme. He doesn't have a favourite TV programme to watch before he goes to bed. He doesn't know the Wiggles or High Five. But he does get to listen to the birds, play at the beach,and talk to the farm animals.
The inspiration for my Farm Birthday Parties was a desire to provide an opportunity for other children to have what Evan has. A Childhood! An opportunity to walk around a farm and touch some anilmals, to pick something straight from the vine and eat it, to look at the world with wonder! To eat something made from scratch, on the farm, with fresh organic ingredients.
Our catering is dependent on the season, as is the theme for the party. In summer we provide lemonade (pink for a girls party) to drink and fruit iceblocks.
I promised to share my Pink Lemonade recipe a few weeks back and time has just slipped away, (sorry Linda). But better late than never.
This recipe originally came from here
4 cups of very warm water
2 cups room temp. water
1/3 cup honey plus 2 tablespoons
Add honey to warmed (hottish) water.Stir to combine and then add in room temp. water. Pour in juice of 6 lemons.Add mint. To make it pink puree a handful of berries and add to lemonade. Cool in fridge.
And for the iceblocks, blend 1/2 cup of yoghurt with fruit of choice in the blender. Make a cone shape from a piece of baking paper, being sure to secure the pointy end with some sticky tape. Sit cones in a glass for support and pour in yoghurt mix and pop into freezer. Before they are completely frozen add an iceblock stick.. the ones I made were banana and honey, and berries and guava juice. They were a hit!