Thursday, April 3, 2008

20th Wedding Anniversary Celebration - Part Two

After our ceremony the celebration continued with a very fun party. We had about sixty guests in attendance, and plenty of good food and drink.

The party wouldn't have been a success without the help of our friends. Amy, Heather and Steph provided most of the savories. Between the three of them they made smoked salmon sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, chicken satay, antipasto kabobs, a fruit and cheese platter, humus and pita, guacamole and chips, meatballs, and stuffed mushrooms. And all was absolutely delicious!

Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

Stuffed Mushrooms

The desserts were made by yours truly. They are my specialty and what I enjoy making the most. Over the course of a few weeks I made cupcakes, chocolate almond bars, lemon bars, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate eclairs, cream puffs, cutout cookies, turtles and vanilla creams. I made things in steps and somethings could be made ahead and frozen and others were prepared at the last minute. My mom was in town for three days before hand and she was a great assistant. She let me do all the prep work, baking, and decorating as she went behind me cleaning up every mess that I made. Everything went very smoothly with the exception of one little or should I say big mess that occurred when Mom was taking the glass pitcher off the blender and the bottom came off and spilled the punch mixture of strawberries, lemonade and cranberry concentrate all over the counters, cupboards, floors and her.

Punch Mess

Cupcakes on stand

Cupcake Variety

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Cookies and Bars

Dessert Table

Our Friends Helene and Jerry also provided champagne for a toast.

The traditional 20th wedding anniversary gift is china. As a way to tie that in to our celebration we decided to use china plates instead of paper. Amy, Steph and I pooled all our china together in order to have enough for everyone. It was also a way to keep our party more "green" by not creating as much waste.

We also participated as best we could in Earth Hour. It just so happened that "earth hour" was taking place during the height of our party. So without compromising anyone's safety, we turned off as many lights possible and spent the hour in candlelight. We also placed 24 luminaries outside on the walkway and steps. It made for a very nice ambiance and I don't think anyone minded.

Homemade Chocolates and Party Favors

For party favors the kids and I made seed balls. My friend Steph told me about these and I fell in love with the idea and knew I had to make them. They were relatively easy to make and the kids had fun too but they had more fun making clay figurines than they did actually making the balls. If you'll notice in the picture below the kids are nowhere to found and that's because, for them, the seed ball making got old really fast.

I found several recipes on the web and decided to use a combination of two recipes. The recipe I used was:

9 cups of dry red clay
6 cups of compost
2 cups of native wildflower seeds

I mixed all the ingredients a bucket and then added enough water to make the mixture wet. This recipe yielded about 300 seed balls. The only problem I had was finding the dry clay. I couldn't find it locally and ended up ordering it from a ceramic supply store. The recipes said it would take about 48 hours for the balls to dry. However, I was drying them in cool and damp temperatures and it took mine about 3 - 4 days before they were completely dry.


GRANDMA R said...

Kim and Keith, your food was as beautiful and good as it looks in the pictures. What a great party! I think you passed your Mom up Kim when it comes to the beautiful desserts. Thanks again, we had a great time!
Mom and Dad R.

Anonymous said...

Kim, I had been looking forward to eating what I assumed would be a chocolate in the little white box! What a lovely and unexpected surprise....

The party was gorgeous, and I thought it was so totally appropriate that Earth Hour occurred at the height of it. Chris and I were delighted to be there to help you celebrate. Many thanks!! MKP

Mad Queen said...

Oh, Kim, this was wonderful! I love the way everything turned out... minus the red punch berry mixture disaster... definitely picure worthy! Everything looked so beautiful and classy. You are amazing. I love how the pale blue and white cupcakes looked on the dark cupcake stand you made...the contrast was stunning. I also love the in process seed ball making... boys nowhere in site because it got old! That is my kids to a "T"... they start out excited and then disappear half way through the project. Too funny! Wish I could have been there to celebrate with you! Happy 20th dear friend.

Kelly said...

Very impressive! Everything looks wonderful!

Steph said...

It was such a fun thing to help you plan for this! And everything turned out lovely! I really enjoyed being part of the earth hour, no-lights commitment. That just seemed to fit in well with the rest of the evening.

DJEB said...


I'm glad you are getting practical use out of the seedball piece. Here's a trick I learnt from reporting on some research done on worm castings I saw: mix in 10% worm castings by volume of soil. It is supposed to improve germination. I haven't had the chance to try this myself yet, so you might want to do a trial run first.