|The Birthday Invitation|
It has been a frantic family week with a birthday party, an engagement and a funeral.
The color theme of the period was typically black, white, silver and red so those colours featured in the table linen, the vases, and the flowers.
|A decorated table|
The cocktails were made by my son from lists of typical cocktails...and he chose The Brooklyn and The Sidecar. They were delicious but lethally alcoholic and so I restricted myself to one cocktail and then enjoyed the French champagne provided by my daughter's father.
|The Buffet table|
Researching the recipes and making the food was my pleasurable task. As finger food after the guests'arrival I served vol au vents, filled with either a smoked oyster or asparagus sauce and tiny bite sized onion tartlets. I read that the Americans of the East coast in the Art Deco period loved all things French, so I had something in common with them! The fork food included Coq au Vin, Seafood Thermidor (again the French influence), natural oysters, Oysters Rockefeller (with a spinach, parmesan and breakcrumb topping), Caesar Salad and rare Roast Beef with a mushroom sauce.
The birthday girl with her croquembouche "Where do I start?!"
I chose to have a croquembouche made as the birthday cake. I decorated the base of the magnificent structure with iceberg roses from my garden. It was decadent and delicious!
But the most exciting moment of the evening was actually early in the party. Before I invited the guests to enjoy the buffet, my daughter and her partner announced their engagement! What a double celebration!
The happy couple
The other family news I received was that my "other father", the head of a family which has supported me since I was a little girl, had died. And so, as my daughter flew back to Sydney on Monday, while I would normally feel miserable and indulge in a champagne with friends to cheer up after her departure, I was instead able to say "see you tomorrow". After putting the house back in order I flew to Sydney to stay with my daughter and her partner and attend the funeral on Wednesday.
Mr M was a remarkable man. He was humble, but extremely successful; a gentleman and devoted family man with seven children. All of the children, grandchildren and even a couple of great grandchildren took part in the Mass to celebrate his life. His widow, also a remarkable woman, was elegant in her dignified sorrow throughout the day.
|Typical flowers of the '30s...calla lillies, peonies and antheriums, complemented by Australiann silver gum leaves|