Sunday, November 22, 2015

Life is too short to decorate a strawberry

A word of advice: if your daughter ever asks you to make some fairy toadstools for a party say no. If asked why not, answer misquoting Shirley Conran: life is too short to decorate a strawberry.

If you are thinking, 'it can't be that bad,' and are tempted to say yes don't say I haven't warned you. But here to convince you is the story of my morning.

So a while ago Daughter sends me a picture and asks if I'll make some fairy toadstools for GrandDaughter1's 6th birthday. I have a quick look at the picture and say, 'Of course, no problem.'

Come this morning I have gathered all I need: strawberries, marshmallows and a tube of Sainsbury's white icing* and I begin.

Have you ever tried to balance a strawberry on a mini marshmallow AND make it stand up? I think maybe I just need to make lots and cram them all together so they support each other so I persevere.

What's more, no matter how much you pat them with kitchen towel strawberries have a natural moistness, which makes it almost impossible to make the icing spots stick on. That irritation plus the fact that I felt the arrangement of the spots was perhaps not botanically correct cause me to go and look for the original picture and instructions.

That's when I discover:

a) that the toadstools are meant to be stuck on cocktail sticks not to stand on their own;
b) and that they're not mini marshmallows;
c) and that I was supposed to use *melted chocolate not icing for the spots.

I make some executive decisions. I shall merge my idea with the original and go retro by covering half a butternut squash in foil in the way cabbage was used in the 70s for cheese and pineapple on sticks.

What seems like a brilliant improvisation turns out to be flawed.
If the stick isn't vertical it will gradually work its way through the strawberry flesh and the fruit will fall off and there are only so many upright toadstools you can get on the end of a butternut squash.
Seven in fact.

I could go on listing the problems but by now I hope you will have got the message but just in case I'll repeat it for you.
Never agree to make fairy toadstools for your grand-daughter's birthday party.


Thud said...

My little uns would love these.

Trubes said...

Well at least you tried Liz, they look very pretty too ! the surviving
ones, that is !

Di xx

Ole Phat Stu said...

how many will fit on a butternut squash?
Why only seven?
Because there's not mushroom up there ;-)

nick said...

Clearly there's a huge market for pre-prepared fairy toadstools from Waitrose.

Liz Hinds said...

Just allow plenty of time to make them Thud!

They were quite effective in the end, Di. At least the little girls all knew what they were!

Ha ha, stu.

Perhaps I should go into business, Nick. No on second thoughts.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

They do look very effective ... well done ! A real labour of love .