Thursday, 18 February 2010

The Engagement Party

Our engagement party: a beautiful day, shared with beautiful people, eating delicious food and vegging out. I can't think of a better way to celebrate!

It has been almost a month since Gib and I celebrated our engagement with family and friends. It was the perfect day: Fine, sunny, 26 degrees. We were out in one of our favourite parks, and everyone was either vegging out in the shade or playing cricket or frisbee or whatever took their fancy. So often at birthdays/engagements/weddings the kids get bored (I do too!) so I delighted that the weather was nice and everyone could do whatever they felt like.

However, leading up to the party, I decided I wanted to wear a pretty dress. At the end of a long day of no-luck-shopping for a dress and feeling kind of desperate, I popped into Lincraft and actually found - quite to my surprise - a fabric that I liked (for a number of years now I have hated Lincraft's range of fabrics, but they are my closest fabric shop, so I was truly impressed!). And then there was a sale on patterns. And then I found a pattern that I liked and it had my favourite word: EASY. It was New Look pattern #6557, and I made D, the yellow one. It was indeed easy to follow, and I even learned how easy it was to insert an invisible zip. I love how it tells you how to adjust the pattern to fit your measurements. I would happily make this dress again. Including the pattern, it came to a total of $50 exactly to make.

Here is an action shot of me in the Engagement Dress, while playing tug of war (Beth vs. Gib). Except the rope broke. I think there will have to be a rematch at the wedding...

My absolutely wonderful cousin, Louise, did an AMAZING job at catering all of the sweets, which you can see wrapped in clingwrap next to the cake, below. Every year she makes the most spectacular Christmas treat hampers, so I asked her if she could do the catering for our party. She went over and above the call of duty on this one, and made biscotti, mini cheese cakes, shortbreads, lady's fingers, mars bar slice, meringues, lemon tarts (ohmygoshamazing), lemon slice...!!

I made our engagement cake. I am so sick to death of chocolate cake, everyone has chocolate cake (apologies to any chocolate cake lovers out there), so I decided to make a carrot cake. You can see Gib in the background threatening to cut the cake with his bare hands.

Recipe for Carrot Cake

And before I forget, here is the recipe I use for Carrot Cake. Taken from my absolute favourite cake book: Family Circle's 'Making Beautiful Cakes' (p. 12). This recipe is brilliant, so smooth, and it smells and tastes fantastic.

150 g self raising flour
150 g plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200 ml vegetable oil
230 g brown sugar
4 eggs
125 ml golden syrup
500 g grated carrot
60 g chopped walnuts

- Preheat oven to 160C fan forced.
- Line the base and sides of a 10" tin with baking paper, including 2" collar around the top (although I used a star shaped baking tin!)
- Sift together the flours, spices, and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Form a well in the centre.
- Whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and syrup. Gradually pour into the well, stirring into the dry ingredients until smooth.
- Stir in the carrot and nuts. Spoon into the tins until 2/3 to 3/4 full, giving preference to the cake to be used on the day.
- Bake for 1 1/4 hours. Allow to cool completely before turning out onto a wire rack.
- Wrap in a layer of cling wrap, baking paper and foil and place in the freezer.

A photo of my dad, ever the practical joker, making his speech

And finally, a picture of me, my handsome Gib and Gib's Grandma

Unfortunately, my grandmother (dad's mum) was unable to make it to the party. As we were packing up the party, my aunt came and told me that Nan had just been transferred to the Austin. She passed away the next day, but we were fortunate enough to spend the evening with her, and the next morning as well. Dad stayed with her overnight. She was 89 and her body had finally worn out; thankfully she wasn't sick for long.


ren said...

Looks like a lovely day!!
Coincidentally I'm going to be using that same dress pattern this week! I've made the main picture one before and this time I'm trying the one with the gathered straps for a 'girly high tea' next weekend.

Beth said...

Ooh, how cool! It's a cute little pattern, and so easy too (once I actually read and follow the instructions, haha)

Sue said...

I'm sure you guys had a blast with your engagement party! Cool family! Yesterday, I went to my cousin's engagement party and it was awesome. The venue was enormous and there's this majestic tent rentals. California is where the two of them met for the very first time. Actually, most of the people who attended are close families and friends. Well, before the end of this year, my fiancee and I will tie the knot. Oh, time is running so fast. we need to hurry up with the preps. I still need to call our planner and our local tent rentals. San Francisco is where we're planning to celebrate our big day. Now, I just can't wait! Thanks for sharing your engagement party pictures. I'm so happy for you guys!

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