At home for the last time, we got to work! We were expecting around 40 immediate family, and those considered family, for lunch the following day. Isn’t that what everyone does a week and a half out from settlement!
A branch from one of the bottlebrushes growing down the lane made the perfect Christmas tree simply adorned with a few decorations that we had found during previous visits. With the tree set up, a few additional decorations were set out. Then a table was set up with a a few bits and pieces to take everyone on a trip down memory lane. Added to the table were sweet pea seeds, and coathangers that mum had covered, for family to help themselves to.
The morning of the gathering, and it was all hands on deck with food prep! People popped in to see if they could help, but the little kitchen could only hold so many of us.
Cousin, Sandra, and her husband, Colin, arrived with a v-e-r-y long trestle table, it stretched almost the full length of the lounge room! Just perfect for all the food that was being prepared, and the food that our guests were bringing. Family members started laying out what they could on the table, and Sandra went for a wander down the lane, secateurs in hand, returning with a few sprigs of bottle brush to be laid on the table.
Furniture continue to be moved and sent to new homes, and at one stage, nephew Dave vanished up into the manhole, saying, just want to make sure that we don’t leaving anything behind!
With the arrival our other nephew, John, and his family, all the grandchildren were now on site. It was time for cricket on the front lawn!
And all the time the table continued to fill up with food!
Rather than desserts we opted for easy to eat sweet options. The sweet treats table included anzacs and chocolate chip cookies, as well as a firm family favourite, Nana Grace’s Yo Yo’s made by Olivia. There was a beautiful selection of fresh fruit, Jan’s lemon slice, a sweet selection from my cousin’s daughters’ cafe, Fred & Bets, and a selection of cakes including a gorgeous Vanilla Cake made and decorated by my great niece, Keira, a chocolate mud cake, Dave’s Tangelo Cake made by Sonnie, Nana’s Chocolate Cream Cake, and Mum’s Plain Sponge covered with whipped cream, fresh raspberries from my garden and drizzled with passionfruit. .
- 225 g / 8 oz butter
- 115 g / 4 oz custard powder
- 115 g / 4 oz icing sugar
- 2 - 2 1/2 cups plain flour
Preheat oven to 160˚C/320˚F (fan-forced).
Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add sifted dry ingredients and mix to a dough like consistency.
Roll teaspoonfuls of the dough into small balls and place on the prepared baking trays, leaving room for a little spreading.
Use a fork to gently flatten (dip the fork into some plain flour every now and then to prevent it from sticking to the biscuit).
Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes.
Join together with a little icing (see note below).
While many choose to join their Yo Yo's together with a butter icing, we always made a simple icing using icing sugar, a small piece of butter, probably about half to one teaspoonful, a little vanilla, and just enough boiling water to mix to a nice consistency.
The weather was perfect – the sun shone, the sky was beautiful and blue, and it was quite warm. Guests arrived carrying their chairs, and bringing along wonderful memories and stories to share. People had made such an effort to make sure that they could be with us on that day. With plates loaded they broke out into groups, that is, groups that would fit into the various pockets of shade in the garden and on the verandah – no-one wanted to be inside on such a glorious day. As the sun moved to the west everyone moved together on the eastern verandah and lawn.
Mum and Dad would have been wishing they were there with us! Actually they were there, in spirit, in the conversation, the memories, the food, and, yes, the garden and cricket! Really, it was because of them that we were all gathered on this day.
Anyone who knew our parents, understood how much they cherished their family. We all knew how proud they would have been on this special day – with their three grandsons, John, Dave and Christopher, four great grandsons, Aussie, Kai, Samuel and Cooper, and one of their three great grand daughters, Keira joining in the fun. Unfortunately (no-longer baby, and Mum’s namesake) Grace and her sister, Piper, were unable to come along, but they were not forgotten.
When I looked back at the photo below, I absolutely had to include it. You see there are 250 plus years of life sitting there! (My Mum’s two bothers in law and a very dear family friend). Can you imagine the stories that were being told!
As the afternoon wore on, it was time… Chris and Olivia set to work filling glasses with bubbles and handing them around.
We called everyone together, Jan thanked them for being with us, and then there was one final toast to our family home and the memories that it held for each of us.
While we had planned the gathering for 12 noon to 3pm, really, it probably started at about 8 am and finished when the final guests left around lunch time the following day. There was laughter, tears, hugs, one final look for many, and way too much food.
Finally, I leave you with some treasured memories…
Smokey the cat, and while not pictured, some of the dogs – Scamp, Red, Brownie, Angie…
Easter Egg Hunts in Nana’s garden
Games in the garden
While these pics don’t show Mum’s garden at its best, it was still absolutely beautiful! Hopefully we will unearth some pics of it when it was in its full glory and I can share them..
Until next time