Tractor cake

Jane joked that we’d be up ’til midnight making a tractor cake for Reuben and Joshua’s birthday party (later today). She wasn’t wrong.  However, I think you’ll agree that all the effort we went to was worth it:

Front

The body is made from two Victoria sponge cakes ‘glued’ together with raspberry jam. The wheels were cut out of another Victoria sponge using scone cutters and covered in black coloured icing; they’re stuck to the tractor body with butter icing (and prayer).

The eyes are made from marshmallows and jelly tots, which were also used for front and rear lights.

Tractor cake
Tractor cake inspired by John Deere (front view)

Back

The personalized number plate (R+J) was a last minute idea for which we used “writing icing”.

Tractor cake inspired by John Deere (rear view)
Tractor cake inspired by John Deere (rear view)

It was the first time that either Jane or I had ever decorated a cake like that, but we made a good team.  If only Michel Roux Jr and Masterchef dining expert Gregg Wallace had been on hand to offer a running commentary.

We took photos throughout the process of building it.  I’ll upload them to Flickr in the morning and link to them here.  Off to bed now, I think.

From Vauxhall to Citroën: our new car

Thursday morning

This was the view of our drive on Thursday morning.  Our hearse-like black Vauxhall Vectra Estate (09 plate, 1.9 litre engine) poised, as ever, ready for adventure.

Vauxhall Vectra Estate
Vauxhall Vectra Estate CDTi 1.9

The only problem was that it wasn’t really equipped for the adventure that we’re rapidly heading towards (the birth of Baby 3.0) in as much as it won’t accommodate three infant car seats side-by-side.  Seemingly the law looks disapprovingly on you if you keep one of your children in the boot.

Friday morning

This was the view of our drive on Friday morning.  The gloomy, unaccommodating Vectra has gone, and has now been replaced with a shiny, silver, seven-seater Citroën Grand C4 Picasso (56 plate, 1.6 litre engine).

Citroën Grand C4 Picasso
Citroën Grand C4 Picasso

We looked initially at a Ford S-MAX which was looking promising: nice drive, great storage, right size, but it was above our budget; about £3,500 above our budget, which is quite a lot really.

In the end we opted for the Citroën, which doesn’t have quite the same oomph or storage, but we got £500 back on the exchange and we have a car that we’re happy with.

This car will definitely enable us to embark on our next baby-enhanced adventure in January safe in the knowledge that neither Reuben nor Joshua are rattling around in the boot.