I think that sometime in the past ten years I became old fashioned. I am not sure if this has anything to do with getting married and settling down – or in my case, settling down and getting married, or if it has to do with getting older. I like the idea of traditional wedding invitations, ones that come in the post, no matter how fancy they are. I want to receive them well in advance to make plans to be at the wedding and given that our diary is usually booked solid months in advance, one week’s notice does not cut it. This year so far, we have celebrated two weddings. The first one was my niece’s wedding. Two months before the wedding, I received a phone call to ask if Dave and I would be there. I am not sure when they set the date, but the call gave us time to organize flights and a dog sitter. Thankfully accommodation and car hire are included in a visit to Johannesburg as we stay with my parents and use my mom’s car. At the same time as the phone call I received a ‘save the date’ email from a close friend for her wedding. This was 5 months notice, and really necessary as flights to Durban are booked months in advance. We had time to organize car hire, accommodation, the flights and the dog sitter before we left for Scotland in April. My niece sent us the most beautifully designed wedding card and I included this in her wedding gift – a memory box for her and her husband to keep special treasures in. This idea was based on a gift we received for our wedding and at the time I was not sure if I would ever use it. But, it has all our special mementos in it. It has the letter asking me to be a godmother in it, cards and photos from special occasions, our wedding photos that did not make it into the albums as well as the memorial notices of family members and friends who have passed away. If we were to have a fire, it would be the only thing I need to grab and run with!
My friend’s wedding invitation was simple and understated and to complement it, there was a whole website dedicated to the ins and outs of the wedding to assist those people who were travelling from around the country and the world, for the wedding. This covered the majority of the guests as the bride is from the Western Cape and the groom is from Germany and they live in England. I took their wedding invitation and stuck it into a book for them to use for their travels as a ‘visitor’s book’. I know they will go through many of them in years to come.
So, this is where the old fashioned me gets confused – what ever happened to thank you notes. I posted my friend’s wedding gift to her from Edinburgh, and she called me the minute it arrived but I have not heard a word from my niece. I find it strange, but then I wonder, is this just me? Is it now acceptable to get gifts and not thank people for them? I could understand this happening if the gift had no card (which has happened to me recently) but the gift to them is clearly from us as I wrote a note in the lid of the box.
Do you send thank you cards when you receive a gift?
Another old fashioned love of mine is carrot cake. Dave has recently come to like eating beetroots, and so I took this old fashioned recipe and made this delicious beetroot cake.
- 190g flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 190g sugar - I used fructose
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 190mls canola oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200g beetroot, grated
- 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons chopped dates (pitted)
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate, grated
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 125g cream cheese
- 100g honey
- 2.5mls vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
- Butter and flour a loaf pan
- Sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar
- Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, oil and vanilla
- Mix in thoroughly and then add the balance of the ingredients
- Gently mix together and then pour into the loaf pan
- Bake for 45 minutes
- Beat together the cream cheese, honey and vanilla extract
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