Tag Archives: Wedding

A Special Occasion Treat:

This fruitcake is a rich one and suitable for those occasions that warrant something really special.   Rose, from Canberra, gave me this recipe.

Christopher's birthday cake un-iced

Christopher’s birthday cake un-iced

My Uncle's 92nd birthday cake.

My Uncle’s 92nd birthday cake.


My aunt’s 90th birthday cake.


 Grand Marnier Fruit Cake

500g sultanas

250g mixed peel

125g raisins

125 dates

125 prunes

125g glace apricots

125 glace pineapple

60g blanched slivered almonds

60g walnut pieces

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

½ cup Grand Marnier (I use Cointreau)

½ cup caster sugar

¼ cup orange juice

250 g butter

½ cup brown sugar

5 eggs

2 cups plain flour

Place sultanas and peel in large basin, chop all fruit the same size as a sultana and add to the basin. Mix in almonds, walnuts and orange rind.

Sprinkle castor sugar evenly into heavy based pan, place over medium heat, cook until sugar is beginning to melt and brown, gently stir sugar until completely melted and golden brown.

Remove from heat, add orange juice, return to hear, stir constantly until toffee pieces are dissolved. Do not boil mixture; this will evaporate too much of the liquid. Add Grand Marnier, strain to remove any small pieces of toffee; cool.

Place fruit mixture in airtight container or large jar, which has a tight fitting screw top; pour Grand Marnier mixture over fruit mixture. Seal with plastic lid, stand overnight. Next day, invert jar or moisten mixture well. Do this for 10 days.

Beat butter until soft, add brown sugar, and beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time; beat only until combined before adding the next egg. Pour fruit mixture into large basin, add creamed mixture, mix well; use your hand for most efficient mixing. Add sifted flour; mix well.

Prepare a deep 20cm square or deep 23 cm round tin by lining base and sides with three thicknesses of greaseproof paper. Bring lining paper 5cm above edge of tin. Spread mixture evenly into tin, bake in slow oven 3 to 31/2 hours. Brush top evenly with about 2 tablespoons extra Grand Marnier, cover with aluminum foil. Leave until cold before removing from tin. To store cake: remove foil and tin, do not remove lining paper, wrap cake securely in plastic food wrap to make airtight, store in cool dark place, preferably in refrigerator. This cake will keep for at least a year.

Decorate cake with Marzipan and then a firm icing. These can be bought and rolled out using icing sugar to stop sticking. Marzipan oranges can be made to decorate this cake with some green leaves.

If nuts are a problem, I use the same weight in ginger or currants instead. If you like nuts and don’t want to ice, cover top with split almonds. Hope this appeals to someone out there, it is really a delicious treat! Happy cooking!






Enduring Threads: part 22


Walking into St Columba’s Presbyterian Church I felt such indecision. Uncle Henry filmed me, and it is plain to see indecision on my face. Ambivalence; was I was doing the right thing, was it too late to change my mind? Henry Purcell’s music lifted me; retreat was not an option. The Reverend George Stewart officiated at the ceremony. He had a strangeness about him. Our wedding was originally to have been on 10th December; this turned out to be the day his seven-year-old daughter died that year. It was as if he was having a premonition.

The church was full, everyone was there, and so I gradually decided to make the best of it. I could hear Elfie Aureli crying behind me during the ceremony. Was that because I wasn’t a Roman Catholic and the wedding wasn’t in a Catholic church? Was it because she felt she was losing a son? I stopped thinking about her dilemma, as mine was far more consuming.

The children’s choir sang the ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ in parts – such a beautiful psalm, with a hint of sadness. My mother had bought a box of chocolates for each of the choir members. She had also arranged the flowers in the church, and they surrounded us in their magnificence. I’d helped with the small posies on the end of each pew.

Umberto and Barbara Aureli with cousin Susan and brothers, Angus, Nigel and Graeme on right

Umberto and Barbara Aureli with cousin Susan and brothers, Angus, Nigel and Graeme on right

After the ceremony, outside the church, Bert changed my headdress. The scarf ends had been tucked into the neckline, but he tied them tightly under my chin. No discussion, and I let him. This symbolic gesture was a portent of how things were to be. We then went to visit Great Auntie Dolly, who wasn’t well enough to attend the ceremony. There were just a few black and white photos taken when we returned home.

Llibby Hallett, Annie Learoyd, Mary Elizabeth Roberts-Thomson, Umberto and Barbara Aureli, Geoff Parr, Susan Gott, Clive Roberts and Roberto Aureli 21-10-1967

Llibby Hallett, Annie Learoyd, Mary Elizabeth Roberts-Thomson, Umberto and Barbara Aureli, Geoff Parr, Susan Gott, Clive Roberts and Roberto Aureli 21-10-1967

The reception started outside with drinks and savouries near the fishpond in the garden. There were a few people from Hobart, including: Jack Carrington Smith, Pat Giles and Max Angus. Mr. Bini, the Italian Consul and his wife, attended with some other members of the Italian community. Angus and Nigel found the alcohol, and Angus ended up in the fishpond later in the evening.

Whilst I was greeting and kissing guests as they moved inside, I gave Geoff a kiss wondering how different things might have been if I’d married him. Not that he’d asked me! I wonder how many brides are in such a quandary on their wedding day?

Inside Bert and I mixed with everyone and finally handed around the confetti on Auntie Dolly’s large plate.

Before leaving I said to my mother,

‘Well, your problems are over now.’

She replied, ‘Yours are just beginning!’

That helped shatter any illusions I might have clung to. It made me think about what might be lying ahead, though in my naivety I still wanted to believe in the dream. I’d been brought up on fairy stories, and the endings were always Happy Ever After.