Happy Birthday to my mischievous, rambunctious, at times clingy, other times worldly and wise and independent son.
I don't believe in big, costly celebrations, especially for one so young, but we're not going home to Manila, he won't be running around and having fun with his young (3-10 years old) titos and titas, and he knows what balloons and candles on a cake mean, so hubby and I decided to compromise. A party for his 3rd. A small, simple one.
I combed the streets of HK looking for inexpensive loot bags, balloons and snacks. In the end I decided to cook most of the party fare, and source my loot bags from one of the most inexpensive cities around... yes, Manila, Manila!
Balloons that fly cost from HKD 14 -20 each (Can you imagine a P100 balloon?). I had almost given up on decorating the venue, until I stumbled upon a tiny toy store along Caine Road. The owner gave me sound advice: blow up the balloons yourself and place them on sticks. That way, you won't feel like bawling your eyes out when you say goodbye to the HKD 14 balloon some kid let go of. Plain air makes balloons last longer, the sticks are a dollar each, a pump costs HKD 10 from Japan Home Center, and along with the loot bags from Toy Kingdom my mother-in-law kindly sent 20 balloons costing HKD .75 per. Wow, 1.75 for ballons compared to 14? And I get to keep the pump for little boy's bike and balls. Who could resist such a bargain?
I didn't. So now I have sore arms from pumping the balloons one by one. Oh well, what mothers will do for their sons.
Getting back to party fare --If I could only FEDEX my favorite party food from my hometown, the guests would be eating:
1. Pork bbq from this carinderia in front of Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City. tamang-tama ang timpla! (the marinade is just right)
2. Pancit palabok, or any kind of pancit for that matter, made by the best Pinoy home cook I know, my mother-in-law.
3. Pizzaburst (pockets of fried dough with pizza fillings and a marinara dip), doughburst (a starburst-shaped large doughnut), mini burgers and thick, rich milkshakes from my parent's food outlet, The Belly Burst.
4. Corndogs (a childhood fave of mine)
5. Caloy's Lechon from my cousin Steve's MEY HAN Catering. He concocted the rubbing paste and the manner of roasting the pig, and it is delicious. His catering service also makes yummy Singaporean chicken (slightly sweet with sesame seeds).
6. Bibingcrepe (a dessert outlet in Tomas Morato serving unique bibingka-like cake, or cake-like bibingka with various fillings just like crepe. The cheese and chocolate one is perfect for sweet- toothed partygoers).
7. Avocado sansrival, orange rhum loaf, calamansi tea cake, character cakes from hubby's Tita Lia's Cakes In Season.
Too bad I can't fly my guests to Manila, or the food to HK, so I've settled for the following:
1. Spaghetti Bolognese (recipe courtesy of my mother-in-law)
2. Tuyo (salted dried fish) and sundried tomato pasta sauce with olives and chili
3. Shepherd's Pie (recipe courtesy of a nice chef I befriended while training at the Makati Shangri-La ages ago)
4. Roasted garlic chicken wings
5. Cheese and Pepperoni Pizza (from Pepperonis)
6. Child-size chocolate muffins with chocolate chips and rice crispies (especially made for Joaquin by the Pinay baker at La Rose Noire who is amused by him)
7. NY chesecake
Times like these I wish I had an oven. I would have loved to make some chocolate fudge squares, peanut butter swirls, snickerdoodle cookies, chocolate crinkles and mini chicken-a-la-king on toast cups for my boy's party. Oh well. Like hubby said, keep it small, keep it simple. I believe I have, but that doesn't mean I can't daydream about other dishes and goodies, right? After all, I am the pernickety food addict. :)