Birthday Season

Thursday 13 October 2016

Birthday season kicked off in our house last weekend, with the first of three birthdays in six weeks.

The first of those birthdays is Calum's, who turned 14. 

Thankfully, despite being a teenager, he doesn't mind his littlest brother helping him to open his presents!

When Auntie Anna came round to drop off his present, her dog Shadow got involved in the celebrations too. I think this is such a funny photo as Shadow looks very clearly to be saying how embarrassed he is by the whole thing!

'Please, make it stop.'

Have I mentioned before that Calum and Shadow are going to Crufts next year? Calum does dog agility with his Aunt's dog and a team they competed with have qualified for the Junior Team Agility event. Auntie Anna and Shadow have won numerous rosettes and trophies together in the grown-up agility competitions but she hasn't ever made it to Crufts before. So she's rather excited to be able to accompany Calum when he goes.

Anyway, back to the birthday. And it's OK, we took the hat off Shadow as soon as the photo was taken!

Calum's great interests are still photography, animals and trains.

His brief for a birthday cake was that he wanted a train themed cake.

I searched for ideas and inspiration on Pinterest and used a few of them to come up with this...

For his birthday dinner he asked for Slow Cooked Brisket with roast potatoes, yorkshires and plenty of gravy.

When I asked James (16) if he would help prepare the carrots he got a little distracted. I suppose that's what happens when you ask an artist to do something for you!

For making perfect roasties, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, I've found that you are best using King Edward potatoes.

He's an old fashioned kind of guy is our Calum, which is quite evident in his choice of birthday dinner.

The yorkshire puddings above are my 'normal' ones and the ones below are the wheat and dairy free ones. I finally seem to have cracked getting them to rise well, although they still never rise as well as the non free from ones. The secret to helping the free from yorkies rise seems to be to use half oat milk and half sparkling water as the liquid. 

The train cake was a hit and of course Fraser (2) had to help blow out the candles too.

It's just as well that Fraser got some present opening and candle blowing practise as next up in birthday season will be him!

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