Thursday, 25 February 2010

A premature birthday and a send off (featuring lots of cocktails, cupcakes and cheap olives made fancy)

Busy week, but I wanted to share last Friday with you. It was a premature birthday celebration - I turn 24 next week, as well as the final party that my much-loved flat is going to see as I am moving in just over two weeks time (more on that later...).

M made various batches of very potent cocktails, there were French martini raspberry jellies served from teacups, plenty of pink-iced cupcakes, strings of glowing fairy lights, home-made bunting, Buddy Holly on the sound system, jam jars full of pink and white flowers, and a wonderful birthday cake that C had made (Three layers! Creamy white frosting! A trio of deep blue anemone flowers resting on top! Silver candles! It was perfect).

And of course there were the guests - I had a house full of friends who had travelled from as far as Edinburgh, Worcester, Cambridge, Colchester, or simply hopped on the tube from the wilds of South and East London, but I truly appreciated every single person's presence. It was so wonderful to see people I hadn't seen in an age, and just as lovely to raise a glass with those I see all the time.

It was a fitting send off for a home that has seen many a party in its time, and though Saturday morning featured a sore head and lots of tidying up, it was certainly worth it (it also featured Buck's Fizz, a batch of blueberry muffins and plenty of eggs and sausages for those who had stayed over so not all bad)!

Becky's Cheap Olives made fancy

I had over forty guests on Friday night, and though everyone loves a few olives to nibble on with their cocktails my budget didn't quite stretch to big tubs of them from the deli cabinet so I decided to make my own. I bought a huge jar of green olives from the supermarket, and a huge can of black and then, loosely following a recipe from 'Fast, Fresh and Fabulous' by Rose Elliot, I marinated my own. I drained and rinsed the olives from the brine they were stored in, before tipping into a large bowl. I then added a few glugs of olive oil, a couple of tablespoons of orange juice, the juice of a lemon and the zest (removed with a vegetable peeler to give largish strips), a couple of teaspoons of chilli flakes and four or five fat gloves of garlic (peeled and cut into thick slices). I mixed this all round and left for a few hours, before decanting into pretty glass bowls and dotting around the room along with many jars of cheese straws. Very easy, and so much cheaper than shop bought. Pretty yummy too!


  1. Happy birthday, another Pisces... And those olives look delicious. Even better if you can make them a day or so in advance!

  2. Yay birthdays should be celebrated for as long as they can be – especially when cupcakes are involved!!