Some people are cooks. Some people are bakers. Some do a little bit of everything. I’m not a baker at all, but I do try my hand a little at everything…


  • Add a little water/cream if the dough is too stiff or add a little flour if it is too sticky.
  • The dough needs to be a little sticky to cling to the baking sheet when pressed through the cookie press. It is not as stiff as dough which is rolled out.
  • Use butter at room temperature.
  • Use smooth jam which is fairly thick and sticky, too runny jam will bake out. Don’t overfill!
  • to avoid losing a first batch, always check baking time and temperature beforehand with only a few cookies to determine the right time and temperature, as ovens differ.

Twenty seven years ago a bride tried her hand at everything too. Her own wedding. All of it. From each individual handwritten invitation to the last flower in her hair and on the tables.

Baking her own wedding cake was the biggest challenge of all. With no money in her pocket and a generous friend living on a farm with a huge kitchen, she took it on. A rich and dark  fruit cake, covered with a “tablecloth” made from marzipan and finished off with a simple smaller cake shaping a bible and a bouquet of marguerites. All the while learning and compensating as she went along. The marzipan “tablecloth” turned out to be a bigger nightmare than than the organic chemistry she was obliged to take. Maybe the roots for not loving baking was established while wrestling with that marzipan tablecloth…

…a first and last self baked wedding cake……

Long evenings in between university exams were spent on writing the invitations in calligraphy with a pen and nibbs and golden ink that got thick every 30 minutes.  Making the confetti was an ordeal – many a hand helped  cutting and tying tiny bunches of dried flowers with long thing strips of ribbon which had to fill 4 baskets…

…handwritten invitations…

No hairdresser or make-up artist for this bride – there was no money for such luxury and too much work to be done on the wedding day…like arranging flowers.  An early wedding gift was put to good use as vases for the table flowers –  champagne glasses,  of which five have withstood the test of twenty seven years and are still in use today….! They carried simple bunches of red roses and some white gypse…all romance…

…roses in champagne glasses…

Persistant on designing her dress herself and having it made by a seamstress, she saw her dress show up unfinished and wore it on the day with some  spots carefully held together by pins and quick hand stitching.  But beautiful and dreamy it was and now it is waiting for a daughter or granddaughter or even a next generation who might  someday just like it enough…

…for a daughter or granddaughter perhaps…

The photographer arrived, just to find the  bride  still in working clothes, wrestling to make the wreath for the veil. Time was running short and with the help of a creative and loving sister, the wreath of roses was finally attached to the veil. Her long hair was hastily shaped by many hands in a large chignon to hold the wreath and veil, while quick daub of lipstick had to suffice for some colour on the face. An antique cameo rounded off the picture.

…roses for a wreath…

Time ran out and it was off to church in the red rover, driven by her brother. Flying low, they arrived at the entrance to the church a couple of minutes early. The nerves and emotions in the rover were raw and the throats were dry. So the bride and her brother took off again in the red rover, stopped at the nearest roadhouse, rolled down the windows and ordered two milkshakes. A bride always makes passers-by stop and enjoy,  dream, fantasize…This time was different. Passers-by stopped and anjoyed and giggled at the sight of a bride with a straw in the mouth.

The red rover pulled up 20 minutes later back at the church, the door was flung open and with a few trippling steps, the bride was ready to glide down the aisle. Late but happy.

…an old fashioned wedding…

*Trucs & astuces de grands-méres.

For a successful soufflé(salty or sweet), place the soufflé mold with the prepared soufflé for 15 minutes in the refrigerator before baking.

“Pour reussir un soufflé, placez la preparation pour 15 minutes au refrigerateur avant d’enfourner.

An entry for Eat Christmas cookies by Susan at Foodblogga.

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Coffee cookies.                            

Trudie’s lemon squares

28 thoughts on “Old fashioned jamdrop cookies and an old fashioned wedding.

  1. I saved many of the photos:) Happy Anniversary..tomorrow?:)

    Your calligraphy was perfect:) The dress too and the hair..(WE wore it the same roses were pink:)..
    Things were so much simpler it seems..
    No need to tell you I love this post even the way you amended the recipe..or should I say Almonded the recipe?

    Have a wonderful day..I even love the shape of your cookies.I’ve never seen some like that.Is it an antique mold I wonder? Just so special all of a Xmas gift to us..Bonne Journée!


  2. What a lovely post. I really enjoyed seeing the memories of your wedding, and the cookies look great too.


  3. Loved the story of the wedding…

    I’m definitely not a baker…more of a cook…and I don’t usually use recipes or measuring (that’s one of the reasons I don’t bake…except for the fact that we EAT IT). Is it your anniversary tomorrow?


  4. Thank you for sharing your yummy cookie recipe but, better yet, your lovely wedding story … Happy Anniversary!


  5. Happy belated anniversary, Ronelle. I must say that this is one of the most beautiful posts I have read in a long time. You made it emotionally touching without being overly sentimental. As I read it I was picturing everything as if it were a movie. Thanks for capturing me. And thanks for the beautiful cookies.


  6. Ronelle ~ what wonderful, touching post! I love stories like this …as weddings are my ‘business’. You will never forget those unique touches. So much more meaningful. Your invitations are so elegant. …and the dress! Wow, you really can do it all! I hope it will be worn for generations to come.
    I must make these cookies. I DO love to bake. Did you use a special, antique press? I have never been able to make them that beautifully shaped.
    Happy Anniversary!
    xo ~ Dana


  7. Cookies and a nostalgic trip back.
    Happy anniversary, Ronelle. Et joyeux noel!


  8. Baie geluk met jul huweliksherdenking Ronell! dankie dat jy die storie en mooi foto’s met ons gedeel het. jou konfyttertjies lyk heerlik en ek is dol oor die vormpies! lekker dag-Colette-Suid Afrika


  9. What a lovely walk down memory lane. An amazing cake and stunning gown and unbelievable calligraphy. Thank you for taking us along with you, and congratulations on 27 years!


  10. What a lovely post and the cookies look wonderful. I just discovered your blog and I’ll be back again! Love it!


  11. Wowowow,this has to be the most romantically cute post i’ve ever read-so cute …so touching all at once-the way u tell the stori thru ur perfect pairing of pics is fantastic-i felt like i was there-like a lovely movie that u become a part of…
    Found u via ur cute cookies=food blogga cookie exchange and will stop by every so often-i cant afford not to ….would try this rite away if nt for the cookie press that i dont hv but will work my way roud that too!!!


  12. Best wishes for your anniversary,Ronnelle. it is a lesson for today’s society, who want to spend,spend spend.
    Your work is superb and you looked beautiful.. Thanks for sharing your story, and thanks for your friendship across the world. merry Christmas,Rosemary


  13. What a lovely wriiten story of your own wedding!! Just so lovely to read more about you,…

    your flower cookies look delightful, Ronelle,…my belle,…


  14. Happy Anniversary,
    I had a lump in my throat reading about your walk through memory lane.
    We were so young and idealistic back then, you made me remember some of that time back then . So much has happened in between those years some sad, some good, some tears, some joy, such is life.
    My wish for you is many many more happy memories.


  15. What a lovely story! Belated Happy Anniversary. What a beautiful bride. The cake was lovely, as was your dress, and your calligraphy. Oh my, you are so talented. May your love continue to grow, and your life be filled with many blessings.



  16. Hope there is not too much snow at your place……..I had a great serving of fresh berries over the weekend.


  17. Ronell, this is one of the most touching and inspiring blog posts I’ve ever read—-you DO try your hand at everything, don’t you!!
    Your dress is absolutely exquisite and perfect, perfect, perfect for you on that day 27 years ago.
    Happy anniversary and very best holiday wishes to you and your family.


  18. wow they look yummy!!

    i just wanted to pop in & wish you a merry christmas 🙂


  19. What a beautiful story Ronell – and how very brave you were!! I also had no make-up lady or hairdresser – one of my 2 bridesmaids was pressed into service to pin my hair up with lots of little flowers, and a good friend who worked at a cosmetics counter did my make-up. It was so fabulously stress-free (for me anyway – i think the hairdresser-bridesmaid grew a few grey hairs!!). I love the story of you drinking a milkshake in your wedding gown. I wore sunglasses throughout my garden reception and speech – people still talk about how unusual it was to see a bride in sunglasses 🙂 Here’s wishing you many more years!


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