Saturday, May 23, 2009
Civil War Birthday Party
Last year when my son turned 10 he wanted to have a Civil War birthday party. He loves Civil War history so we set out to find things for decorations & a cake as well. I soon discovered that no one makes Civil War cakes in my area & that I would have to venture to make one myself. Now I love to cook but baking is not my thing & I have never decorated a cake besides spreading some icing around.
So I went to the grocery store & talked to the pastry chef in the bakery dept. to get ideas on how to put a scene together. I also purchased a sheet cake from them so I wouldn't have to bake. They keep them frozen until they are ready to decorate them, so I just brought it home & stuck it in the freezer until I was ready for it. I paid $9.00 for the cake which I thought at the time was a good deal but realized later that I could have made a sheet cake for about $1.00.
I did make some cup cakes from a mix which I used in the decoration. My son wanted a scene from Gettysburg...Little Round Top to be exact. So here is what I did. First I bought some vanilla icing in a can because I needed it to be white. I then dyed the icing green so that I could create a field with grass for my battlefield. I sliced off a little of the rounded top of the cupcakes so that there would be a flat surface & then I turned them upside down to make mountains (Little Round Top is a mountain). I then covered the whole thing in green icing. I then made a red rectangle with a blue X using colored icing that you buy in the tube for piping. This was our Confederate flag. Then using a star attachment I piped on white stars on top of the blue X.
Our color scheme was red, white & blue so I used red & blue candles for the cake. Red represented the Confederates & blue the Union. Noah came up with the idea to do the blue candles in the fish hook pattern, which was one of the battle maneuvers they used in the war. Noah then helped decorate the cake with some plastic boulders & some of his toy soldiers. We then iced the extra cupcakes in red & blue for our color scheme.
For decor I went to the thrift store & found a string of plastic lights in red, white & blue stars & I hung these around the window behind the food table. You could also go to Big Lots at 4th of July & buy a lot of items that would fit the theme. I then floated red, white & blue balloons above the table along the ceiling. I wanted to use a Confederate flag for a tablecloth but my son wanted to use it in his war games.
We did not have organized games for the boys because at this age they can play on their own. I stuffed pillowcases with grocery bags & then hung them from the trees outside. These served as dummies that they used for "bayonet practice". Noah had received an electronic log with cans that you shoot at for Christmas. When you hit the cans with the laser they fall off, so we set that up for the soldiers shooting practice. You could also set up cans & give the kids water pistols to shoot. Noah collects toy guns & swords from the Civil War era, so all the boys had a weapon of some sort. They got out in the yard & divided into to two armies & the battle was on. Noah of course dressed up in his costume & all the kids had a great time.
We then had a sleep over for the boys who could stay & sent them all home the next day. It was a great birthday!