But I never felt compelled to read the book. It wasn’t one of those books I read over and over like Anne of Green Gables and Little Women.
Fast forward to my early 20’s.I found myself studying children’s literature at Uni and I stumbled across The Annotated Alice, by Martin Gardiner. I started reading it on the train. Finished a chapter. Read another.
My stop came… and went.
Like Alice, I was in my own little world, one of word pleasure and whimsy. I was hooked. I kept on reading.
I could not put the darn book down!
And maybe there is something about reading Alice as an adult, something which recaptures a snippet of the whimsical nonsense of childhood… When we believed that falling down rabbit holes was possible. When the idea of talking animals, singing roses and food that could shrink us smaller or grow us bigger was plausible.
Last week marked the 150th anniverairy of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I was fortunate enough to celebrate it at my local library (where I work incidentally). The events team there threw a gorgeous adult vintage-style tea party for a group of Alice enthusiasts and David Lewis, lecturer and expert in all things Victorian, delivered a fascinating talk on the origins of Alice and it’s fascinating creator.
I have also included a step by step guide so you can make your own ‘Queen of Heart’s rose red cookies’. Give them a go! I also recommend rereading Alice if you haven’t recently. Maybe you will find something in it, like I did, and be transported again to a time of childhood when you could indeed believe six impossible things before breakfast.
You will need:
* tip 352 (leaf tip) and 2 x tip 150 (rose tip)
Medium-thick icing tinted Forest Green (Americolour brand), Bright White (Americolour) and Super Red (Americolour)
Baking paper, cut into small squares
Fit your 352 tip on an icing bag filled with tinted green icing.
Pipe leaves around the edge of the cookie, slowly building up until the surface is covered.
Stick a small square of baking paper to the rose nail with a bit of icing.
Starting with your white tinted icing, pipe a small nub as the centre of the ‘rose’ then pipe petals around it, overlapping the edges of each petal with the last petal you piped.
Alternate with red and white icing, to give a ‘painted’ look.
When the rose is dry, peel it off the baking paper and stick it to the dried green cookie with a tiny bit of icing.
Place a few scattered roses around to give it a ‘hedge rose’ kind of feel.
That’s it ! I hope you will give it a try.
Happy reading and baking.