I’ve managed to do Father’s Day 2016 on the cheap. Oh, sooo cheap. I’ve parted with a fraction of the money that got spent on me for Mother’s Day, but the gifts are infinitely better because they’re homemade. I’m going to make my husband feel really bad so he’ll have to try a bit harder next year. I’m a malicious witch like that.Β 

I’ve opted to appeal to his stomach and his emotions, by the creation and delivery of the following two gifts:

1. Chocolate Truffles
2. Handprints

Let us first discuss truffles. I’ve been with my husband for almost 12 years and I don’t know if he actually likes truffles all that much. But, they have a favourable low effort / high yield ratio and I had some petit fours cases in the baking drawer that I wasn’t going to be using for anything else (who makes petit fours?! It’s 2016. Buy them from Waitrose or Marks).

He loves cherries in chocolate, Black Forest gateaux, all that jazz. I regrettably couldn’t find any whole cherries that were not the synthetic glacΓ© ones, and I can’t afford kirsch, so the special ingredient in my truffle mix is morello jam. Yes, that’s right, jam. The posh stuff with the red and white gingham lid, whose name I always get mixed up with JoJo Maman Bebe. I’ve rolled them in chocolate FLAVOURED sugar strands because I don’t want to cause a cocoa coronary (tag: artful alliteration). They’re currently in the freezer nestled under a blanket of tin foil because they’re all soft and gloopy, and you wouldn’t bite into one so much as pour the liquid chocolate from the paper case into your mouth. I suspect this is because jam will only set as much as it’s already set in the jar – which in this case is not very set.

The handprints, however, are bloody brilliant. I do like to trot out a hand or footprint Christmas card when I can be arsed – Mouse’s foot was a reindeer for her first Christmas, and a snowman for her second. For her third, we travelled to the great land of the Americas and I was 7 months pregnant so my attitude towards Christmas cards was “fuck that for a game of (nutcracker) soldiers”.

Pinterest is so good for this type of thing, seriously. Take two random ideas, pop them both in the search bar at the same time, and crafts will come forth. Crafts will light up your soul. The available subject matter is vast – my husband is mad keen on superheroes and Marvel comics. (For the first 6 months of our relationship, we shared our “special time” with a lifesized inflatable Spider-Man suctioned to the bedroom ceiling in his awful student house. Thankfully he was facing upwards and couldn’t perve on us.) I saw a Pin where two upside down children’s handprints in red ink could be tarted up with a black fineliner and turned into Spider-Man doing some web slinging, and Iron Man doing some fiery whooshing from stage right. It’s really quite clever.

Only problem was, because of the frame I’d got from IKEA, I needed to do both prints on the same sheet of card and I wasn’t overly sure which child to start with. I had to get Moo’s right, really, as I could then manipulate Mouse’s print around that. I assumed Mouse would be the easier one of the two but she kept mugging me off and creasing up her fingers and touching all the soft furnishings. Moo wasn’t having any of this straight fingered nonsense either. “I don’t think she likes that…” said Mouse, as I knelt awkwardly on the bedroom floor with Moo jammed between my knees, gently encouraging (forcing) her hand onto the 200gsm card stock I’d pinched from the stationery cupboard at work on a KIT day. “Oh it’s fine, it’s fine, we’re almost done look. I can tippex out that smeary sixth digit, or fashion it into a jet stream coming out of Iron Man’s arse.”

He will actually love the handprints. I hid the frame in a bag in my PJ drawer and I kept taking it out to have a little look before I giftwrapped it. Throw in a bacon and egg sarnie for breakfast and I’m basically the best wife ever. Someone tell me though – when do kids start taking responsibility for their own Father’s Day / Mother’s Day gifts…?

-SJW June 2016

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A Mum Track Mind

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