Maternity leave was beckoning a member of the team I work with, so my team-mates hosted a Baby Shower morning tea. We all contributed towards this happy event to see my team-mate onto the next stage of her journey, a baby girl. The team I work in is the team that is known for our legendary parties, (we do throw a good party!), so the baby shower was set to be a well-organised celebratory send-off.
The staffroom looked lovely decorated in the theme of a high-tea, with fresh flowers, old china plates, and hand-stitched linen tablecloths (pretty colourful floral patterns and geometric patterns, some hand-worked by DL’s mother – very special indeed). Soft toys were placed around the room and a huge wicker basket brimming with presents, sat center stage. In fact the basket alone, wasn’t big enough to contain all the gifts. Swathes of bunting hung all around the staffroom, especially made for this occasion by TB. The bunting was made up of triangles and squares of pink, and fawn colours with large and small elephant motifs. The edges were zig-zagged with pinking shears. TB had worked a whole weekend on the bunting. Being resourceful and a great shopper, she had sourced some of the fabric from a recycling centre, and matched colours and patterns by shopping around.
Some of the bunting in a pile:
The Bunting strung up at the top of a projection screen where a hilarious slide and video show compiled by EJ played during the present opening process, (unfortunately in this example the bunting is around the wrong way, which is why it looks so pale, but the patterns still show through and the overall look is very effective).
TB is a fabulously talented crafter. Take a look at the present she made for the baby shower: a ‘Square Tag Toy’ with beautiful soft ‘minky’ fabric, vibrant colours, and ribbons stitched in loops all around the edge.
The back of the Tag Toy showing the super soft ‘minky’ fabric with raised polka-dot effect.
Now we get to the food….
Plates and plates of food covered low tables – the more the merrier I say – and more than enough to feed the gathering twice over. I am going to mention the special efforts of the members of my team because they were responsible for the party. EJ spent her weekend and evenings baking and provided Butterfly Cupcakes (made with grated chocolate in the mixture, chocolate ganache to hold the butterfly wings in place and covered in 100’s and 1000’s sprinkles); bite-sized mini chocolate cupcakes; biscuits; ginger crunch; and mini meringues held together with home-made lemon curd (these were gluten-free for those with special dietary requirements).
EJ’s Butterfly Cupcakes and mini Chocolate Cupcakes on a pretty china plate and hand-stitched tablecloth. Thanks to TN for the photo.
DL made the wonderful pink lamington “ChewChewTrain”.
I would love to take credit for the clever “ChewChew” part of the title, but that goes to CJ who took the photo. DL pieced the train together with pink lamingtons, red liquorice for the smoke stacks, purple (grape flavoured) mentos for the wheels, fruit candy sticks to hold the carriages together, and the train carries a cargo of lollies, (with the black jellybean being the most precious and prized item.)
My team mates have some signature dishes: CJ is known for his cookie dough, (although, he didn’t make any this time), he made another form of uncooked biscuit mixture, which he is also famous for, his Lolly Slice – malt biscuit crumbs held together with melted butter, condensed milk and eskimo lollies. His Lolly slice was stacked neatly on a plate like Jenga blocks (see the above photo, top left).
BJ’s signature dish is something we all look forward to – Asparagus Rolls. She can be relied upon to provide this dish that we are all so very fond of, and with all the sweet food, it was nice to find something savoury. Our team parties wouldn’t be the same without the Lolly slice and the Asparagus Rolls.
Another savoury contribution was DL’s thickly constructed, yet delicate, club sandwiches made of layers and layers of egg, ham, lettuce and tomato, and possibly some cucumber. They looked very tempting, but by the time I went to find them across the other side of the room, they had all gone! I didn’t get any photos of them either.
All the food stopped the borborygmus* from setting in, and no-one could complain of being hungry as the amount of food provided snacks for the rest of the day. No-one was monitoring our sugar intake, but it is fair to say that everyone was loaded up (and so hyped-up) with too many sweet chemicals. With all those sugar atoms whizzing around inside us like in a Hadron Collider…. BOOM! – a chemical reaction occurred and sugar particles smashed into our bloodstream and we were on a sugar-high all day.
Sometimes during the set-up for an event, certain team members can take over and the whole operation can become fraught and tense. The feeling that pervades is: “I’m not really a control freak, but can I show you the right way to do that?” I am glad to report that the atmosphere during the set up for the Baby Shower morning tea was nothing like that – not even a bit. Afterall, as I mentioned earlier, we are a team that is well known for our infamous parties and we have had years of experience setting up successful events. Over the years we know who does what well and things get completed with a minimum of fuss and sometimes nothing is needed to be said, things are just done. I am so incredibly lucky to work with such wonderful people. My team-mates all worked really well together and we knew our roles to bring the whole morning tea into a successful event, and most importantly, the event felt like a real celebration.
*The word for the sound of the stomach (intestines) growling. The word even sounds onomatopoeic.