The last week flew by so quickly that Nugget's birthday party snuck up on me. As much as I tried planning everything ahead of time, there were still a few details that got left to the last minute. One of the details was the cake. I knew I wanted to make a sushi-themed cake to go with her Sushi/Japanese theme party and I had a few ideas that I researched and thought about. Most of the cake ideas were so grand and beyond the baking abilities of a non-baker like myself, that it didn't go further than me thinking about it. I thought I had time last week to do a test run but didn't. Things were running so smoothly at work I wasn't anticipating such a draining week. Her party was fast approaching and I thought about just picking up cupcakes from the Cupcake shop on Denman. But Nugget loved the idea of a sushi cake. She kept throwing out ideas for how to make it that I felt I HAD to at least try. So the night before the party, after spending the morning at our Misty Island movie premiere, the afternoon at my nephew's birthday party and the evening cleaning the apartment, I hauled my butt down to Safeway and picked up some supplies. I baked the cake just before Nugget and her cousin went to bed (again, thank you Duncan Hines) and I set to work decorating it this morning after I fed the dog. It was so very last minute, it showed. I have much appreciation for the organized moms, like my sister-in-law, who plan, cook, bake and pull off such awesome parties for their kids without a hitch. Despite all my efforts, I seem to always fall short. Here is my attempt at a sushi cake.
I used coconut for the rice which was a total pain to get on the sides. Surely there is a better technique than trying to press shaved coconut onto the iced sides with a spatula. The coconut just kept falling leaving little piles around the bottom. I opted to use strawberries, honeydew melon and cantaloupe to represent the contents of the sushi roll instead of Nugget's suggestion of gummy candies because I wanted to limit the amount of sugar. The cake kind of worked. If you look at the photo from far away it almost looks like a California roll. Kind of, right?
The snack spread for the party consisted of veggies and dip, fruit, nuts, crackers and cheese... yes, very Japanese. The edamame never made it out of the freezer. I wanted to keep the food selection healthy partly because Nugget turns into a scary beast when she has too much sugar. Being stuck in an 850sf apartment with five little girls hopped up on sugar was a nightmare I wanted to avoid, hence veggies and dip. Yeah party food! Maybe for 30 year- olds. Whatever, they liked it.
I also wanted to avoid giving them pop to drink. Again, sugar is bad. I made them virgin Bellinis, which were basically orange slushies with grenadine. I know, totally Japanese.
The original plan for the party was to order take out sushi and have lunch on the back deck on the custom picnic table Rutty ordered from a lady on Craigslist. The picnic table would also be the setting for origami folding. But the Craigslist custom picnic table that was supposed to be delivered last Thursday was now going to be delivered four days AFTER the party. Huge fail. My back up plan for bad weather and lack of picnic table was to take the girls upstairs to Jenn's empty apartment which would only work if the weather was crappy because Jenn's apartment during sunny weather is an oven. Today was sunny and very warm. I opted to take the girls to a restaurant instead which worked out well. We walked up to Oysi Oysi and the girls ordered what they wanted to eat and even got icecream for dessert. The best part was I didn't have to clean it up.
The other detail that ended up falling by the wayside was decorations. A few weeks ago I had this totally wacked out idea that I could fold 1000 paper cranes and string them together to make the best origami garland ever and I would hang those somewhere to decorate for the party. That was about a month ago and I calculated that I would have to fold thirty paper cranes a day in order to make them in time. I think I made one. This orange silk parasol was the extent of my decorating for the party and I didn't even think of it. Nana had given it to Nugget a while back and Nugget pulled it out of her room this morning and said "Can we put this somewhere?"
After we got back from sushi we arrived to find Hurley peed all around the apartment. I don't think I've ever seen so much pee on my floor. There was a stream down the hall, around the living room and into the kitchen, like he tried to write "Happy Birthday" in piss but realized he didn't know how to spell because he's a dog. Apparently he went to the door and sat there waiting to be taken outside to relieve himself but Rutty misread his signal for him waiting for us to come back. So much pee to mop up...
When all that was cleand up the girls voted on opening presents first and then origami. I printed some instructions that I found online and gave them to the girls. This didn't work out so well. Most of the instructions were so difficult to follow the girls gave up. This was as far as Maya got with the owl.
The party was to end at 4PM but the girls wanted to stay longer so I said 5PM was fine but I had no other activities planned. The girls decided to play Hide and Seek which probably was not the best choice of games in a small apartment with very limited hiding options. Isabelle had the best hiding spot. She piled a bunch of cushions on top of herself, behind the cofee table while Maya lay on top of the cushions looking as casual as one does when they're awkwardly balanced on a precarious heap of cushions and their sister.
After the girls had cake, their dads came to pick them up. The goody bags were distributed and the party came to an end. Success?
So to share in the celebration of the day I popped out my darling daughter, I am doing my first Giveaway.
The prize is a goody bag, just like the girls got at Nugget's party. A canvas bag containing the following:
*A pair of chopsticks
*A pack of hand-cut sushi stickers
*A sushi eraser
*A cherry blossom notebook*A handmade sushi barrette, like the ones I sell in my Etsy shop.
To enter write a birthday Haiku in the comments section and I'll get Nugget to select her favourite.