By Veronica

Birthday tea

Our medical consultant in the shape of S's sister R decreed that his mum shouldn't go out in this cold weather, so instead of going to the pub for our afternoon tea, we decided to do it at home. A quick shopping trip, and we put a good spread together, including my first attempt at brandy snaps since the age of about 12. A very rapid learning curve and some cursing was involved as we researched the best method and timing of getting them off the tray and wrapping them round the wooden spoon handle. The result would be described by Mary Berry as "informal" and by Paul Hollywood as "a mess", but they were surprisingly delicious, filled with whipped cream. 

We also had yummy mushroom vol-au-vents (a traditional treat in S's family) made by R, egg sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and a swiftly made carrot cake with cream cheese frosting; pity we forgot to buy any candles for it.

Earlier it had taken J almost all morning to eat breakfast as people kept popping round with cards, presents, and flowers. Happy birthday J!

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