The hustle and bustle of Christmas is now just a memory but before we start our year officially, I love to reminisce about the beautiful moments we shared, mainly to prolong the wonderful festive spirit.


Who can forget those dreaded days before going back to school! This is an antidote to that awful feeling, dwelling in the loveliness of Christmas and the pre-baking sessions. These memories go a very long way, and come June I am ready to plan for the next one.



This was the first Christmas I could really show and teach Mish about baking. She’s now old enough to enjoy and question methods (well to a certain extent). For me, it is more about sharing a tradition and a recipe than enforcing the perfect baking style. This sentimental outlook is a product of my mom’s pre-Christmas mood-setting.



She always baked tins and tins worth of cookies. Soetkoekies, Koffiekoekies, Spicy Cookies, Ginger….the list goes on. We had to prepare for our long trek to the coast and with five growing children, she was always prepared, a tin of cookies on the beach every day!


My mom in return was inspired by her Gran, a very hard working lady on the farm, very resourceful! I remember my mom telling us about making soap and butter with her Gran.

That is why it is so special to have my turn with our family heirloom, the Book! My Great Gran’s Recipe book. It first went to my mom’s eldest sister, did the rounds ended up with my mom, and now it is time for the next generation. I am the eldest daughter of my mom and so I have to make the most of my turn with the book before it goes to my two younger sisters.



We baked a beautiful ginger cookie.

Gemmerkoekies (1 batch of Ginder Biscuits)

1/2 Cup Butter, softened

3/4 Cup packed dark brown Sugar

1/3 Cup Molasses

1 Egg

2 Tablespoons water

3 cups All-Purpose Flour

2 Tsp Ground Ginger

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp each Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg and All Spice


There are so many special occasions to emphasise to our children, and I can’t think of a better way than to inspire a love for baking. Any craft for that matter. Technology is changing our ways and lives, and in many ways for the best. I just do not want my Mish to miss out on these wonderful traditions, passed on to me, and my sisters by our mom because we got lazy or busy with intangible things.


I can’t imagine my life without these skills, I can’t imagine not knowing little tricks and secrets of getting the perfect little cookie, I can’t imagine not knowing how to fix a garment or sewing a quilt, I can’t imagine not being able to at least attempt making something I see on Pinterest. I have these skills because my mom taught me, showed me, and had patience with me. Now it is my turn to start giving this gift to my daughter, and I hope that I do as good a job as my talented mother did with us. Because it’s not just about the skill, it’s about loving it too, and that does not just come from passing down a technique, it comes from someone who has a passion and love for it, and my mom certainly does!



The book will one day come back to my family when it is Mishka’s turn. My wish is that she will cherish it as much as I do!



“The secret ingredient is always love” – Anonymous – And I would like to add to that, fun! A Beautiful oversized basket (available from Perfect_IMperfect) is exactly what makes Mishka’s day!

Aprons by Granny Aletta


watercolour camera
Photos by Gillian Coetzee


Bows by Sweetpea & Milly






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