Elderflower Grapefruit Mimosas and The Last One

Jul 10, 2017 | On Motherhood, Recipes | 13 comments

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 to 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.”

First Birthday Boy Dinner

Because I will.

I always say goodbye to whatever age they are for those precious memories are something to be savoured.   Junior’s first year has flown by.  It’s gone. All those little precious moments.

But how has a year flown 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 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 them, love them, read to them, and play with them with no pressure to be the hostess of any kind.

And so, our day with Junior was perfect. It began with some hardcore 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.”

First Birthday Boy Dinner

Big sisters cried tears at how quickly he’s grown and big brothers marvelled at how someone so little can still understand to scootch a train across the wood floors. Daddy savoured the giggles and Momma cooked up a storm. Love was thick in the air. I don’t think anyone will ever 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.

Homemade Pasta for the First Birthday Boy Dinner

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.

First Birthday Boy Dinner

Let’s start with a baseline. I love cake, I love baking cakes, I love making them uniquely beautiful. I’m obsessed with making them moist and full of gorgeous flavour. 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 favourites. 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.

First Birthday Cake

First Birthday Cake

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.

First Birthday Boy Dinner

First Birthday Boy Dinner

First Birthday Boy Dinner

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.

First Birthday Boy Dinner

First Birthday Boy Dinner

We feasted, We cried, We ate, We laughed, We loved.

The Last One.

Elderflower Syrup
Recipe Type: Syrup for desserts and cocktails
Cuisine: German/Austrian
Author: Angela J. Reed inspired by River Cottage
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: about a liter
A syrup made from the hedgerow Elderflower
  • 6 cups of sugar
  • 3 1/2 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
  1. Combine water, sugar and citric acid in a stock pot and heat until dissolved. Do not boil.
  2. Meanwhile, trim as much of the stems off the flowers as possible.
  3. Add the flowers to a large glass jar and once the sugar is dissolved, pour over the flowers.
  4. Stir once or twice a day for three days.
  5. Strain into your favorite bottles.
  6. Refrigerate.
  7. For your mimosas…
  8. Grab your favorite Champagne flutes or Marie Antoinette stemware.
  9. Rinse and toss in the freezer to chill.
  10. Make your mimosa to taste with Champagne and grapefruit juice.
  11. Drizzle with Elderflower syrup to taste.
  12. Garnish with fresh thyme


Elderflower Syrup

How about that French/German nod with the book there…. I got moves 🙂

If you don’t want to make your own Elderflower Syrup you can find some here… and if you’re making your own and need citric acid you can find it here.




  1. Mandy Friend

    Crazy how fast time flies. Hard to believe I started following you when your oldest was small! The cake is gorgeous!

  2. Pamela Lantz

    So sweet! I travel to your blog for my beauty vitamin. It feeds my soul!

  3. Abby

    So precious! What s beautiful memory you created for that sweet boy… and as always your photos and love for you family help feed my soul. Happy birthday Jr!

  4. catherine

    Thankyou for the most beautiful story, it was magical. I love your little traditions and the closeness of your family. The childhood goes so fast, and alot is forgotten as I find with my growing teenager boys as they transition to manhood, but remember its what shapes them into wonderful human beings.

  5. Karla

    So sweet! I love the cake, too – beautiful and no doubt yummy. I’m feeling all the feels with you… my fourth and probably last will turn one in September and I’m sooo saaad! This year has gone by WAAAAY too fast. Why does pregnancy last forever but that first year is over in a blink of an eye? Anyhoo, we’ll be camping out-of-state on his first birthday, so I’m trying to figure out what we can do to make it special. Truth be told, I’m glad we won’t be around so I don’t feel pressured to invite everyone over!

  6. Peggy

    Your cake was just stunning. How creative! Blessings to your happy family.

  7. Bonnie Schulte

    This post just made me smile BIG time. Love your beautiful family, and I can feel your love for each of the children, all the way across the internet. What a wonderful and awesome birthday party…

  8. Theanne

    What a great family occasion…Happy One Year to your youngest!

  9. Joan

    What a beautiful post and such a beautiful family. Your heart and soul comes through loud and clear in your words….thank you for sharing such incredible feeling.

  10. Donna

    How sweet, in our family Birthdays are for family, it’s their day, and it’s private and special. He is one lucky little boy!

    Now for the Heirloom family frosting recipe….ooooooh….lol! MWAH! Love to you all! Healing prayers!

  11. Bilancia Designs

    I found myself reading this beautiful “story” as though I was reading a lovely excerpt from one of my favorite books. Sweet, thoughtful, full of love, and beautifully written, I’m sure I can speak for others: I wanted more. Your various, amazing talents have almost outgrown this lovely, little, blog and I would venture to say you are not far from the spotlight of something BIG. Really big.
    – Lisa, Bilancia Designs

  12. Dore @Burlap Luxe

    Angela I feel like I’ve gone through most of all your beautiful birthings of these beautiful babies. Your littlest so bitter sweet to share how you bid farewell to that age and on to the months to follow.
    Your children have a great soulful mother who will teach them everything there is about life.

    Touching that Joel prayed over him, and what better way for your children to walk into life.

    Love the artistry in the the No. 1 cake, it’s beautiful.
    Happy Birthday to your Jr. Mr. Wonderful.


  13. Kristi

    Absolutely perfect! And how smart about not having big parties! I am a jealous mother, too 🙂
    Beautiful family, thank you for sharing with us! 🙂


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