food

Childhood foods that will take you back to your 8th birthday party.

Western Star
Thanks to our brand partner, Western Star

I’m about to share a very important cooking tip with you.

You know cocktail frankfurts? Those pink, sausage-esque type almost-meat products from childhood? When I was a little girl, cocktail frankfurts were like fine dining for me, and for some reason they tasted even better when then were on the end of a toothpick.

Mum would put them on the boil the morning of my birthday party and I’d know it was almost time for everyone to arrive and for me to be the centre of attention, a novelty in my four-child household. But better than that, better than seeing all of my friends and the presents they would bring was the fact that Mum would let me eat all the cocktail frankfurts that had split their skins.

Nothing has ever tasted so delicious as those forbidden, unexpected cocktail frankfurts smothered in tomato sauce.

Since I was little, party foods have changed, but I still find myself serving up a few of my own childhood favourites at my children’s birthday parties. Get ready for your mouths to water and your minds to be flooded with memories…

Cake
Get excited, people. These foods will bring back the memories. Image: iStock
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1. Fairy Bread.

A staple in Australian children's diets has always been fairy bread, and I must confess, this is something my family and I eat to this day. Have you tried making it with chocolate sprinkles?

Americans have recently discovered fairy bread and they have called it an "Australian hipster-trend".

My mum had an interesting method for making fairy bread. She used to use fresh slices of white bread smothered in spread and then shake the sprinkles onto each slice. It wasn't until I had children of my own that my brilliant sister introduced me to a much better method whereby each slice of bread would be pressed face-down into a bowl of sprinkles, thus ensuring maximum sprinkle-coverage.

2. Sponge Cake.

If Mum included jam AND cream it was a real splurge. Image: iStock.

really hope Mum doesn't read this but I'm not a huge fan of her sponge cake now that I am grown. Her sponge cake is a bit like an omelette with jam and cream. But as a child it was manna from heaven. I'd never tasted anything so delicious.

Once again, the real action took place before everyone arrived for my party when Mum would let me lick the bowl in which she'd whipped the cream, a privilege reserved for the birthday person. And the slice of cake with the passionfruit icing that became my birthday cake tasted pretty good too!

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I think butter cake would have been a much better choice for a kid's birthday party. Click here for a super-simple butter cake recipe.

3. Party Pies.

Party pies were nothing without party sausage rolls on the side. Image: iStock.

Little foods taste better, don't they? I call it the Psychology of the Canape. Basically the idea is that typical foods we eat every day taste better smaller. Think High Tea.

And thus is the thinking behind the party pie, a miniature version of the meat pie which I'd eat often at school for lunch (although not all of it because they were so big!) and the fact they were called "party" pies, thus being reserved for special occasions like MY BIRTHDAY made them taste even more delicious.

For a fun party twist you can even whip up your own little chicken party pies using a pie maker and this easy recipe.

4. Sausage Rolls.

And party sausage rolls were NOTHING without party pies on the side. Image: iStock.

But what was the party pie without its brother/cousin/BFF, the party sausage roll. Like most Italian mums I knew, my mum would happily serve up whatever party pies she came across at the supermarket, but the sausage rolls were made from scratch with an elaborate filling that I always suspected contained vegetables, which she consistently denied.

"Mum, no vegetables in the sausage rolls. My friends won't like them. I'LL BE HUMILIATED!"

Such drama over something that could probably be served up on My Kitchen Rules and score full points. Despite the gourmet quality of the sausage rolls served at my childhood birthday parties, they were still dunked in too much tomato sauce along with the rest of them.

Mum's recipe is still a mystery, but I've found a delicious sausage roll recipe for you, which I like to use.

5. Honey Joys.

Some extra joy with Western Star's Honey Joys. Image: supplied.

With Honey Joys, made from Cornflakes, mum would give the addition of sugar a miss and simply melt honey and spread until it bubbled, stir in the Cornflakes and bake for eight minutes until toasty and warm.

Her birthday party variation also included the addition of sprinkles to them before cooled which was very festive. I still eat them for afternoon tea.

Who says these foods are just for kids?

If you're a grown-up and you love Honey Joys as well, try this Almond Honey Joy recipe from Western Star.

Which foods were a staple at your childhood birthday parties? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Western Star.

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