Thursday, 26 January 2017

A John Deere Birthday Party

My tractor-mad boy had his 4th birthday 7 months ago now, but I have had it in mind to blog about his party for ages.  He insisted that he wanted a John Deere theme...  'No problem' I thought and started scouring Pinterest for ideas.  There *were* lots of ideas, but I found myself searching through countless blogs and websites to collate them all, so I thought it could be useful to write a blogpost with them all in one place.  So if you're planning a tractor or farm-themed party, I hope you find this useful.

Firstly, I think a themed table-setting really gets you off to a flying start.  I browsed Amazon and found this brilliant 'grass' tablecloth for less than 3 pounds, bargain!  It'll definitely be usable again for future parties.  The tractor napkins were also from Amazon, as were the plain yellow paper plates.  Cheap and simple.  The spotty cups and plain blue paper plates on which I served some of the food were from Tesco.  I dotted the table with various toy tractors and farm animals.

I decided to make all of the food fit in with the theme, but wanted to keep this as simple as possible as well as making foods that your average child will actually eat!

Well, OK, the kids mostly ignore the crudites!  But it makes me feel better to put some out.  😉

Just breadsticks.

Tesco own-brand crisps.  I love those bacon ones, and enjoyed the humour of displaying them next to the toy pig!

Obviously you could make your own of all the above hot foods, and if I'd been in a 'Supermum' kind of mood I definitely would have done so.  However, my husband was away and my son and I were going out on the morning of the party (in a fabulous co-incidence, it was 'Open Farm Sunday' so we popped over to the local dairy farm to ogle at the awesome machinery!) so I just bought everything from the supermarket.  

I did however make some 'Cheesy Chicks', just cheese biscuits using Nigella's 'Cheesy Feet' recipe:

And now the puddings:

I had these cute little foil cases in the cupboard which I'd bought *years* ago from the Dollarstore when we lived in Canada!  Great to find a use for them.  This was just green jelly with green grapes cut up in it.  If I was catering for more children I'd have done some yellow ones too.

I was quite proud of these as I made up the 'recipe' and my son really enjoyed helping me make them.  I simply melted a mixture of milk and dark chocolate and threw in raisins and chopped nuts (none of the guests have allergies), then plopped it onto a lined baking tray in suitable 'dollops'.

A genius idea from Pinterest was making rice-crispie cakes into hay bales.  I displayed these in a trailer.

Lastly, my son's favourite popcorn (Coconut and Vanilla 'Propercorn').

I may not have made all the food myself, but I did manage to create the cake!  I had seen some amazing John Deere cakes on Pinterest, but this was one I designed myself; extremely simple but I thought it was effective and Ted loved it.

Judging from the carnage left after the tea, all the guests enjoyed the meal.  I did too (thankfully the mums of Ted's friends are a brilliant bunch) - but obviously I collapsed in a state of exhaustion, glass of wine in hand, as soon as everyone had left!