What do Elderflower Grapefruit Mimosas have to do with my Junior turning one? Indulge me and I’ll share with you the gushiest, family lovefest you’ve read about in a long time. Syrupy? Yes indeed.
Has it really happened? Did I really kiss my sweet baby boy to bed and say the words, “I’m going to miss you.”? Yes. I did. It’s happened everyone. The Last One. My sweet Mr. Wonderful turned one. And the night before he did, I did what I do with all my children on the eve of their birthdays, I said,
“I’m going to miss you.”
Because I will.
I always say goodbye to whatever age they are for those precious memories are something to be savored. Junior’s first year has flown by. It’s gone. All those little precious moments.
But how has a year flow by? I’ll never understand it, but in looking back on his precious birthday I find myself totally overwhelmed once again with love for my children. They are so amazing. So funny. So naughty. So loving. So amazing.
I had toyed with the idea of having a big party here on the farm. I even had extended family pencil in a date so it wouldn’t get gobbled up with everyone’s busy summer schedule but I should have known myself, I don’t like to share my kids on their birthday. The Lord is a jealous God and I am a jealous mother. So, as usual, it was simply the eight of us. Just the way I like it. The minute I start having people over it becomes about having enough forks and making sure the toilets are clean. (Never) I loooooooove to entertain and so there is absolutely a time for clean toilets and runs to the store for extra forks (’cause apparently we eat ours) but on the birthdays, I’m all about the child. I love to kiss on them, love on them, read to them, and play with them with no pressure to be hostess of any kind.
And so, our day with Junior was perfect. It began with some hard core family snuggling and then it was just playtime on the floor, cooking, photographs…. Thomas trains, big brothers, tractors… doting big sisters. My God, you could feel the love, it was thick in the air and each member of this family was mindful of it. You could see the look on everyone’s face throughout the day.
This is special.
These are our people.
This is “The Last One.”
Big sisters cried tears at how quickly he’s grown and big brothers marveled at how someone so little can still understand to scootch a train across the wood floors. Daddy savored the giggles and Momma cooked up a storm. Love was thick in the air. I don’t think anyone will every forget it.
For the first birthday I always make a huge dish of homemade spaghetti and sauce and this year was no different. The girls and I fussed over each batch, making sure the noodles were perfection. I had made the sauce a few weeks in advance in case it was a hot day I didn’t want the range rocking all afternoon.
And the cake…. making my kids their cake is such an expression of love. Of course a one year old won’t remember but every bit of that cake was oozing with my craziness for that little boy. It was more fun than the law allows (I had festive Elderflower Grapefruit Mimosas and music cranked)… indulge me and I’ll tell you about it.
Let’s start with a base line. I love cake. I love baking cakes. I love making them uniquely beautiful. I’m obsessed with making them moist and full of gorgeous flavor. The Last One had to be perfection. I was hell bent on it.
My cousin Darla loaned me a number one shaped pan. Perfect. And then my Gramma unearthed the frosting recipe of my Great Aunt Normie that I’ve been asking her for four seven years! And now for a theme….
Every night I sing my children a selection of songs. Each child has their own combo and to the boys I have always sung, Nature Boy. It’s one of my all time favorites. I decided that for my little Mr. Wonderful the theme for his cake would be “Nature Boy”. Deciding against chocolate, I went with a light, super moist cake loaded with vanilla bean (’cause that’s how I roll)…. a thick layer of lemon curd and another of blueberry preserves —- because: dugh. And the much sought after heirloom family frosting recipe to top it off.
Now, because it was late June and we are obsessed with foraging I decided to raid the farm and potager for all the flowers. No frosting decor for this cake. I wanted something gorgeous, edible and picked with, you guessed it, love. So, I went out back and grabbed white snapdragons, elderflower, radish and arugla flowers, brambleberries, chamomile and then the girls picked mint leaves and sugared them for me. I found a 16th of a teaspoon of edible blue glitter in the back of my little macaron drawer and dusted the snapdragons with it for a touch of blue and sparkle. It may not be your typical one year old birthday boy cake but oh my goodness…. I was so happy with it.
Our time at the table with Junior was enchanted. Joel prayed over him and he slurped spaghetti like a champ. The children gifted him all the chunky books his little heart could desire. Junior LOVES to read.
We feasted. We cried. We ate. We laughed. We loved.
The Last One.
- 6 cups of sugar
- 3½ cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of citric acid (optional but this allows your syrup to last longer and gives it an amazing "bite" which I prefer)
- 30 Elderflower heads, shaken and free of bugs and debris
- Combine water, sugar and citric acid in a stock pot and heat until dissolved. Do not boil.
- Meanwhile, trim as much of the stems off the flowers as possible.
- Add the flowers to a large glass jar and once the sugar is dissolved, pour over the flowers.
- Stir once or twice a day for three days.
- Strain into your favorite bottles.
- For your mimosas...
- Grab your favorite Champagne flutes or Marie Antoinette stemware.
- Rinse and toss in the freezer to chill.
- Make your mimosa to taste with Champagne and grapefruit juice.
- Drizzle with Elderflower syrup to taste.
- Garnish with fresh thyme