There are two things in life of which I am terrified. There is an even longer list of things which scare me (like accidentally drinking expired milk or waking up to a spider on my face) or I find uncomfortable (like mustard and broken bones) but two take the cake: snakes and baby showers. Snakes are just plain old creepy and baby showers are just plain old weird. I find it awkward to hold an entire party to ask people to bring us stuff and in which the conversations center around how fat I am. There isn’t even any football to watch. Don’t even get me started on the games-talk about awkward! So with our little dude I was hoping to avoid the whole situation entirely but Husband thought it was important and my mom graciously said that I could help plan it and she promised no games (or anyone touching my belly which I find strange). Emily Post is rolling over in her grave at the etiquette faux-pas of helping to plan your own shower but I love planning parties so really don’t care. I am horrified at the thought of being the center of attention but love being at the center of the action so if I got to help with the planning, the actually party wouldn’t be as stressful for me.
That was an extremely long way to say that Mom hosted a baby shower for us, I got to help, and all of us had a great time. And it was exhausting but not scary at all.
It was important to me to have all members of the family be included, not just women because Husband and I are starting a family as a unit and celebrating that was what I wanted the party to be all about. Also, if I was going to do this, Husband was going to have to do it, too.
I absolutely love children’s books and reading so the theme was a natural one for Mom and I to pick. The invitations were made to look like library check-out cards, to get people in the mood.
I’ve had several requests for more details about the invites. You can find my follow-up post with more directions here.
When the guests walked in, they received a “program” in the fashion of a little golden book that detailed the day’s events, menu, and a note of thanks from Husband and I.
All of the food was patterned after some of our favorite books:
Meatballs from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Fruit cups from The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Muffins (recipes can be found here and here) from If You Give A Moose A Muffin
Hot Chocolate from A Bear Called Paddington
Spinach and Ham Quiche from Green Eggs and Ham
Chantilly Cream Cake (Husband’s favorite-you can find the recipe here) from Marcel the Pastry Chef
And about 50 other things. Once we got started, we couldn’t stop!
One of the favorites was blueberry ebelskivers (we called them blueberry pancakes because that’s what Curious George made) so I thought I’d share the recipe for that one.
baker’s note: ebelskivers are a Danish pastry that can be stuffed with all manner of delicious things. Sometimes we make them for dinner with potatoes and ham or have plain ones rolled in cinnamon and sugar. The only catch is you need a special pan which can be found here but probably on Amazon as well.
1 3/4 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp pure cane sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of one lemon
3 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 1/3 C buttermilk
3/4 C ricotta cheese
5 Tbsp butter, melted
1 pint blueberries
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks. Add buttermilk and ricotta
3. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until well combined. It will be lumpy. Don’t worry
4. In a separate bowl (yes, you’ll use a lot of bowls) beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
6. Put 1/2 tsp butter in each well of a ebelskiver pan. Place over medium heat until butter begins to bubble.
7. Pour 1 Tbsp batter until each well. Add a few blueberries and then 1 more Tbsp of batter.
8. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
9. Now the tricky part: turn the pancakes over and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes more. We use two wooden skewers to accomplish this. Husband does it perfectly. I make a disastrous mess.
10. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with lemon curd, jam, or syrup for the traditionalists.
In lieu of games, we had activities that would create lasting memories for Babysaurus.
Guests could design a fabric page for a touch-and-feel book. We just set out all types of fabric and stencils and let them go to town.
Instead of a guest book, people wrote a note to Babysaurus (and/or advice for his parents!) to be opened on a birthday of their choosing. We set out 19 envelopes-one for each year, birth day through eighteen-and each year as he opens those notes, he’ll be reminded of all of those praying for him and who love him.