Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Gestating, Cooking - it's all the same.

Poor old cooking blog. I got distracted by a big project - a big cooking project. The baking of a baby. I wasn't actually pregnant when I made the last post, but I was imminent. How do I know? Science m'friend. Science.

In actual fact the making of Katarina was a lot more like baking than the usual making of a child. Kat was made with the help of the bakers at Monash IVF - and I have to say that we didn't hold much hope for the process. Shows what we know.

We decided mid 2014 that we weren't going to keep trying to have a baby. We gave up. The boat had been missed, the ship had sailed and other nautical terms to mean we were done. And then my Dad offered to pay for IVF. And my friend April implored me in a heart felt manner to try "just once".

We thought about it. I have a sort of ideological issue with IVF which hasn't entirely gone away with the using of it. I feel that if you can't get pregnant naturally then that might be a message from the Universe. That's a pretty harsh way to look at it, especially if you are childless, which I was not. I already had Gabe so I was in a pretty good position truth be told. But... but... I wanted another child and there ain't no logic to that - it is the strongest imperative that we have as humans. So my liberal minded, what about the planet, no interference issues went out the window and lay on the sidewalk. I didn't go get them again.
There is a keep calm for everything.
We visited with Monash IVF - the basically the best in the world at this. They were very nice and very conservative in their estimates for success. We had to be "realistic".

"I will do one round and no more" I stated. My baby Dr (Dr Nick), smiled at me in a way that indicated he had heard this before.

"No, I mean it, I have no intention of doing more than one".

"That's a good plan" he says, smiling that smile - still.

That is someone called Jakob and not my Doctor, but it's a good approximation of the smile.
So, police checks and children checks and health checks and money money money. Not my money, lets be truthful, just lots of it.

At the end of 2014, I underwent the process required to release lotsa eggs. They pump you full of this drug that puts all your eggs in one basket - or two, so to speak. You inject yourself each day in the stomach - and then around the ninth day you give yourself the BIG injection (same size as the others - double dose) and then you have blood tests to see if you are ready to go.

Lots of eggs, very good. Few eggs, very bad.
Then it's time of the harvest. So, what do they want? Well, at least 12 eggs. I only had 11 follicles so that meant that the best I would offer up is 11.

That was still ok Dr Nick had said.
Let's just see what we get Dr Nick said
Let's not count our chickens (he may as well have said).

The harvesting. An artistic rendering.
Two eggs.

So. You see, we knew that it was over. The whole endeavour was over. Two eggs was a hopeless position. We knew in the way that the nurses looked at us and the sound of Dr Nick's voice.

They called the next day to tell us that only one had fertilised. One. We had one embryo. Fab and I looked at each other and we looked away and we prepared ourselves.
  • They grew it to a 5 day blastocyst. 
  • They biopsied it. 
  • The biopsy came back fine. 
  • They froze it. 
  • They unfroze it 2 months later. 
  • They put her inside me (see what I did there.. changed it to her). 
  • They called me two weeks later to tell me I was pregnant. 
On November 1, 2015 Katarina Clelie Kahwati was born.

10 minutes old.
So, folks, I was cooking - it was a complicated process and I didn't think that I would be able to do it. In fact I was positive that I couldn't. Lucky for Fabian and I there was a tiny little girl that was so strong, healthy and ready to be born that she proved us wrong at every turn.

2 months old and a delight.
 We love her, we are blessed, we are grateful. Thank you Universe. Thank you.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sweet Nothings

That's what I've been putting here. Sweet nothing(s). Sweet FA, as they say. I even surprised myself when I saw that it had been 6 months. I have been adding things to my writey blog though and so it hasn't been a time of complete indolence.

I have been baking though - quite interesting thingies and so I'd like to share that with you whilst I wait for another boring IT process to finish running in the BG. That's Background for you non-IT types - you lucky things.

Dat kitten bored...
Let me digress delightfully for a moment and say that the number of C&W tunes playing on my Pandora station are disproportionately high given that I only said yes to Carrie Underwood. Right now I am listening to a guy talk about how rain is a good thing because it makes whiskey. Honestly how can anyone listen to this without laughing? I am seriously asking that question.

I'm not apologising for the kitten picture either. Until someone apologises to me for the C&W music. 

Christmas came and went, so that's news. With it the treat making that characterizes that time of year. My lucky old book club were furnished once again with some edible whimsy. Michelle, Sue and I got our act together remarkably quickly, and since we've stopped making toffee the more terrifying aspect of the treats has disappeared.

It was actually pretty civilised. We agreed to make a few things the night before so that we might sit an gossip and decorate gingerbread trees. And eat. 

Menu: Neapolitan fudge, gingerbread trees and some nut and dark chocolate brittle or bark if you prefer.

This is how you make Neapolitan fudge

That goopy stuff stage left is sugar syrup. It is super super goopy. It is the stickiest thing I have ever encountered. That is not a photo, it is a video. That is how goopy and slow moving this stuff is. Apparently along with a sea of condensed milk, butter and sugar you need this in fudge - to, I don't know, make all your teeth voluntarily fall out.

Neapolitan fudge consists of a chocolate layer.

A strawberry layer.

And white chocolate on the top - which is a cheats way of getting that third "flavour". After making two other lots of fudge though I was kind of grateful that all I had to do was put white chocolate on it. It was a labour intensive process, only helped by spoonfuls of condensed milk, which I adore.

I did have a final picture of the fudge but I lost it, or ate it. I forget. The web just failed me big time. I went to find a pic of the one that I made and it's NOT THERE. I am scanning down that big page of images and by the time I got to this:

I knew that I wasn't going to find my Neapolitan fudge pic. Anyway I want to get off the topic because I mis-type Neapolitan every time and spellchecker offers me something like neophile - which I don't want to know about.

In the last 6 months I also made a bunch of other stuff - but most noticeably (preens slightly) I have been working with shortcrust pastry and making tarts. Yes, she says airily, I'm quite clever.

So to celebrate Carolyn's spanking new house I made lemon tarts - or Tartes Citron - if you'd like to be all frenchy. They were super lemony and came from a recipe in Little and Friday - given to me by super cooking friend, Stacey. It's called Little and Friday - because the baker used to open a tiny venue on a Friday only. The title has all but lost it's meaning since she has now opened her second bakery that runs all week long. P'raps they should call it "Quite large and Seven Days" - which doesn't have the same ring.

I make your mouth purse with tartness!
These little guys were the business mate. It was worth all the rolling and making and overnight infusing. They were delicious.

Also on the lemony vein - I also made some bickies that you can freeze part way along! Wooo! I *think that I might be coming to the dessert freezing party a bit late as this was a revelation to me, but on further careful review of the entire web it looks like others do it regularly.

I added the lemon icing. I add it to everything. I'd add it to the cat if he'd let me.

Anyway they had poppyseeds and lemon and I'm a fool for that combination. You make them and then can freeze them half way through the process. Also you do do that with pastry with no seeming ill effect, except perhaps some passive aggressive ill will at being rolled out.

No recipes here today - if you really want them I'll get them to you - I am just happy to have a post in 2015.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Food as Love

Recently I attempted to prove myself via baking. Prove myself as a mother, a baker, a friend and a party thrower. This is my story. Starting now. Almost now.

But first; I am not a regular blogger at the best of times, and these are not the worst of times, no they aren't. But they are the busiest of times. So I tend to bake when I'm not screamingly stretched to breaking point. So, recently, no baking.

Until now. And with what sweet crumb driven morsel did I decide to rejoin the baking world? A birthday cake for my darling 7 year old. He had expressed many desires over the last 12 months. Gabe tends to plan ahead. For example, as he cut into his cake last year he said "Next year I want a Minecraft Cake". True story, literally as he cut the 6 year old cake.

The Minecraft Cake morphed to Angry Birds, Spiders, Volcanoes (again) and then Minecraft and... the Adventure Time cake. And there is stayed - virtually solid.

Do you know what Adventure Time is? Short answer - a cartoon on TV. Long answer - I don't have enough space in this blog to really delve into what Adventure Time is.  'Seriously bent' is a good shot at it though. It is an exceedingly loopy adventure series following a dog called Jake and a human called Finn - who inexplicably wears a white hat that gives him weird ears. There is an episode in which that hat comes alive and tries to kill everyone - that might help you with the style of the show. Gabe loves it. LOVES IT. Luckily he doesn't understand all of it. Luckily I don't either, I might go mad if I did.

I went online (Oh Internet, how I love you) and looked for Adventure Time cakes. BIG topic. Very big. Lots of Adventure Time cakes. I had already decided to enlist the two biggest guns that I have in my baking arsenal of weapons/friends. Stacey - all round baker of the stars and Sue - all round doyenne of fondant. Good women to have at your back, during a cake fight.

Sue recommended we make this:

That doesn't look too hard!
Compared with some of the other designs online I agreed with her. As long as we didn't have to make the Rainicorn then I was feeling good.

Stacey gave me a chocolate cake recipe that was good for covering with fondant and which would also taste pleasurable. Sue bought a kilo of fondant icing, some gum stuff and all manner of other contraptions which I ogled at.

I'm not putting the cake recipe here - it's a basic chocolate cake and is so not the point that even writing that feels like too much information.

Sue arrived at around 6.30 pm - I had already made the two cakes that comprise the base and Sue had the Hemisphere Tin that would make the rounded top section. So we made that. Rounded base tins do not like to sit evenly in the oven. After some hilarious and jaunty angles we corrected it, but not before we irrevocably made it wonky.

We ate dinner, with no idea of what was to come.

Fondant requires a lot of rolling - it is a sort of sticky demon substance which is white. It tastes weird, like sweetened cardboard. If you want to make it a colour you must add the colour and then knead and knead and knead. Forever. Jake the Dog, is a yellowy orange dog.
Knead Sue Knead!
This is how people get Carpel Tunnel. We kneaded a shitload of the orange fondant and then set about rolling it. Nice and flat and even. It feels lovely I have to say, very silky and tactile - I could patted it all day. Which is lucky as it was meant to be a dog.

We covered the chocolate cake base in frosting so that our fondant would stick. The whole thing is double iced.  I really feel that if I had all the facts before we started, I wouldn't have started. But we were now in too deep, people were relying on us, money had changed hands, lives would be changed - or altered, slightly altered.

The base cake with it's dress on.
Fondant needs loving care as it is smoothed on, you need to work efficiently and thoroughly. Lucky Sue was there. Those are her hands smoothing. I was busy making Finn.

In fact Sue made his arms and I made his body and then we jointly fashioned his head. He was still a bit floppy and had to be propped up on things. Our body of knowledge on how to make dry gum stick to other dry gum was limited and so we stuck toothpicks all through him. He was a booby trap waiting for a small child.

After we hacked away at the rounded hemisphere cake, it was a bit smaller than planned, so the whole cake was a bit shorter in the "neck" region. It was around 10pm at night and we were losing the ability to care.  We rolled yellow arms and jammed them under the top section, with no idea of how a professional might do it.

My dog has no nose.. how does he smell?! Like sweetened cardboard...
We had a few goes at the dogs nose. Full disclosure - I messed the first one up. I poked it and prodded it so many times that it fell to pieces and I made another one. Sue had made the first one and now just let me struggle over the second one. Which was fitting.

disembodied nose.
It's hard to get the dog to smile. Or look positive. For a start he has no pupils in his eyes and so the expression has to come from the mouth - which is kinda... hard. If you look at the first pic, the internet version, Jake the Dog looks like he is.. happy.

Only six hours later!
Our Jake the Dog looks, well, like he is patiently putting up with having a kid on his head - which is probably fine.

It took six hours. No wonder people pay a fortune for them. Gabe woke up the next day to the cake and almost fell into a heap of delight. "It's... it's spectacular" he said. And he meant it.

He told everyone that Sue and I made it and the party was a success (I contracted the actual party out to professionals).

Will, in the front and Gabe at the back. Cake excitement!
As he cut it he said "I love you Mum. Can I have a Minecraft Cake next year?".

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sticky Toffee Loaf - The Comfort of Food

I'm back to the book. David Herbert's wonderful "Best-Ever Baking Recipes". I have been cooking things from this from time to time, but such is my posting malaise I am only now managing to report back.

Why a posting malaise? Not sure really, I note that other, more prolific and famous bloggers also go through this and I imagine that this is my, much tinier and less significant version. In fact a few of my absolute favourite bloggers have slowed right down, if not having stopped entirely. I realise how much I loved those posts, now that I have them no longer. Also some of them used to blog a lot. Thank god for Julia - still posting and still as brilliant as ever.

Anyway sticky toffee loaf and all that conjures up. It's winter here, the most beloved season by my household, and I am in full winter cooking swing. Baked risotto, lamb shanks, casserole, curry... oh swoon, all so lovely and rich and warming and EASY. Screw summer with all it's salads.

This loaf, yes a loaf, was really rather delicious. Fabian even ate some, and he is not a cake guy. It is one of my crosses to bear, that my husband doesn't really like cake. And me, a baker. It makes no SENSE! I do like him to keep his snake hipped figure though so perhaps I should quit complaining.

So, it was big when he ate this - and really loved it. He ruefully loved it. He ate with regret and genuine disappointment in himself that he could not resist. It was touching.  Gabe loved it too - which was unexpected, what with the dates and the strong flavours. There is a reason why this cake is unstoppably good - I will reveal it to you.


Sticky Toffee Loaf - David Herbert. 
175 g of pitted dates
1 tsp bicarb
300 ml boiling water
75g of softened butter
185g Caster sugar
2 free range eggs - lightly whipped - I mean, beaten.
210g SR Flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

Toffee icing
100ml double cream
100g light brown sugar
40g butter
1 heaped TBL icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180 and grease and line a loaf tin - they recommend 24 x 10cm which I suspect is a standard size. I have two loaf tins and I just chose the smaller one.

Looks like.. I don't know, something gross.
That is step one above in that bowl. Place the dates in a bowl, sprinkle the bicarb over and then pour on the hot water. Let them emulsify. That was my little bit of editorialising then. Emulsify, sounds good. I just looked it up and it's not really correct, but I don't care.

The cat has arrived and is making my blogging so much easier by standing under my nose and butting his head against my shoulder. Louie see's me doing something useless with those big old meat hooks at the end of my arms and he thinks "I can put them to good use on my head, scratching". And then he arrives, he likes to stand directly in front of the keyboard - but he also likes to stand on the keyboard too - he can be diverse. When I don't start scratching him he starts to push his head under my armpit, sometime so forcefully that he slides backwards across the table with all his pushing. Now he stands to my left with his back to me. He don't care. I mean nothing. I love being a cat owner.

Place the butter and sugar together in your electric mixer and mix for 7-8 mins until pale and fluffy. I usually just do as they say, I set a timer and walk away to contemplate my navel for 7-8 minutes. That's a good length of time to do that.  Add that beaten egg a little at a time and beat well between additions. Sift in the flour - then add the dates and their water, and the vanilla. This a wet mix - don't let that perturb you.

So much potential
Bake that sucker for about 45 mins or until it's done. You know the drill. Cool it's heels in the tin for 10 and then turn it out. To fend for itself.

And now the icing. Oh, the icing. This is the secret. The icing is so damn delicious you might not be able to get it onto the loaf - I ate a shitload of it - it makes quite a lot - more then you'll need for the cake - which is such such such a shame.

Combine the sugar, cream and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, give it a stir and then reduce to a simmer. Don't stir it for about 4 or 5 mins- until it is nice and golden. To me it looks nice and golden early on, so I just let it go for 5 mins and all my spidey senses were tingling so I took it off. Set it aside to cool. When it's cool beat in the icing sugar and resist the urge to eat the entire saucepan. Get it on the loaf quick smart!

Quite sexy...

As with all of these sticky date type things they are better when slightly warm. So we tended to cut slices and then warm them up. It was perfect. Caramelly, toffeey, gooey... so delicious. Thank you winter.

Centrefold shot.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Warmer, warmer, colder, colder, COLD

I have no compulsion to bake in summer. None. Zero. You may have noticed, if you're a fan of my banal chitchat, that there hasn't been so much of that lately. That's because Melbourne became hotter than Hades. Think eggs fried on bonnets of cars, lungs singed, poets crying and women gnashing their teeth. Mainly me.

Not a fan of the heat. At all. That's WHY I live I live in Melbourne actually. Melbourne is not known for it's temperate climate, instead it's known for freezing winds, unpredictable rain and coffee loving inhabitants. When I visited Seattle I felt right at home. 

So, no baking. Screw that. It was 45 (113) outside and approximately 32 (90) indoors and I was only putting the oven on if I was climbing into it, and things didn't get that bad. Whilst American swirled in their Polar Vortex (which sounds like an evil nemesis) we sweltered in Satan's Underpants. But not anymore.

Here we are in lovely March, the month that used to be the hottest month but has now ceded that honour to January and February, may they rot in hell.

I made a lemon slice and it was lemony and cakey and has a nice crunchy sugar topping. We are all enjoying it very much. Our babysitter Jo liked it so much she photographed the recipe - because that's how the younger folk do it. The recipe is from The Book. the one that I promised to work my way through - and I am still doing that... very slowly.

Crunchy Topped Lemon Slab
250g butter softened
1 Tblsp lemon zest
250g caster sugar
4 free range eggs
275g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 ml buttermilk (or regular milk with a squeeze lemon)
juice of 1 lemon

125g granulated sugar
juice of 1 lemon.

Preheat the oven to 180 cel because you can, because it is a pleasant 20 cel outside. Grease a 20 x 30cm baking tin, grease the tin and line it with paper.

Put everything into a large bowl and mix it up. Don't over mix it as it will become tough - like that top dog female prisoner who runs the block. Spoon that gentle natured batter into the tin and smooth the top. Cook it for about 30 mins, or until it's slightly browned and pulling away from the sides of the tin.

Let it cool slightly in the tin, not too cool - I think that we're talking Morgan Freeman cool and not Lenny Kravitz cool.

Mix up the topping and spoon it over the whole slice - don't let the sugar melt. Slice it and eat it.

This slice is more like a cake, and although I don't normally like slice/cake crossover I thought this was pretty delicious. It has a nice buttery crumb. I learned that type of talk from The Great Australian Bake-Off.  A show that I can't get enough of. People bake the whole time! There is also a UK version which I caught a look at and HOLY MOLY not only do people bake but there is a very dashing silver fox who hosts.

Paul Hollywood. Yes, really.
He is a great reason to learn about baking, or just to watch that show. I don't know how well my dough would rise with those piercing blue eyes on me though. Shiver.

Monday, January 13, 2014

You (chocolate and caramel) tart! (amongst other things)

Well, you can't blame me for naming the post thusly, the number of trollop style jokes that fly around when you make tarts is disproportionately large. Clearly demand outstrips supply in the provision of tart related joke telling opportunities. Not sure how to exploit this for gain, but theoretically one could.

Woohoo! Legs in the air. Not tarty at all.
It's was the season to be merry folks and I made a few treats - full disclosure dictates that I need to put the treat making in the context of Book Club and also reference Sue and Michelle. Each year we gather on the Saturday morning before the final book club and we make treats for the group. This year marks the fourth year we have done this and we were as game as ever. And very organised, very, very organised. There is some fun lost when there's no panic - whilst we coasted politely to the denouement of the treat making it was nice, but not frightening and we didn't think that anything would fail. So, yes. Not very exciting. Clearly we have reached a pinnacle of some sort.

We made fudge (Sue), Hazelnut caramel thingies enrobed in chocolate (Michelle) and parmesan and cayenne shortbread (Me). Yes. Savoury. GET OUTTA HERE. I have to make mention of Michelle's adorable habit of saying that something chocolate covered is "enrobed" - making the treat sound like it's biblical and well dressed.

Gettin' enrobed.
I made several other things and in the interest of pure laziness and also getting this blog posted I will simply chat glibly about each one and add a photo. If you really really want the recipe I'll pass it on.

Chocolate Caramel Tarts 
*Modestly points out - this was my first real foray into sweet pastry, and whilst I made a few minor errors it tasted pretty good. 

Single tart
Many tarts

I made these tarts for Christmas day which was celebrated with friends. Friends. Why do we do it with family? Turns out it's much more fun with friends. (Dear family, I'm joking, I like all of you very well and I like seeing you at Christmas).
The weather was lovely and the food was great and the company was awesome and Shannon did a very funny and graphical demonstration of the various types of penile piercings available using a chipolata.

Back to the tarts: These were yummy and unbelievably rich - so I recommend that you add a small sprinkle of salt to the caramel, it will help to define the flavour and also cut the fattiness.  That is an actual real cooking tip from me to you.

Chocolate layer cake

I missed my brothers birthday. In my defence it's on the 29th of December and I was thinking about a bunch of other things and had just made it through Christmas. Still. I forgot. So I gaily promised him a cake. And he politely accepted and asked for ganache. Lots of ganache.

 For my own fun I decided to make toffee pecans and stick them to the top. I was very excited by the whole idea of transforming anything into a "toffee something". Not sure that pecans were the right choice, they were tasty but not mind-blowingly delicious. When I go to the trouble of toffee-ing something I want my brains literally blown out of my skull.

Also the cake was a bit dry. But there was lots of ganache - SOOOOOO much ganache. You're welcome Daniel. Happy Birthday.

What actually won the day was a chicken and leek terrine that I had made for fun the same day.

That terrine really was delicious. Brains everywhere.

I didn't take a picture of it because it was a savoury thing and I have made a pledge to only blog about sweet things, seems a bit strange now, what's my problem with savoury food?

It looked a lot like this:

Recipe is here: - you should actually make it - it's excellent.

Sausage rolls and Vegetable slice

I opened the door and now and I putting a wedge under it and walking firmly through. More savoury. In my ongoing search for things that both adults and children will eat, which are not spaghetti bolognaise, I have been baking a few new things. Or variations on old things.

Good old sausage rolls - these are quasi good for you, but they DO have zucchini and carrot in them - so that makes them partially health food.

Open sesame!
They are delicious, and freezable. And delicious. Slightly finicky to make, in that there are some shenanigans with pastry - but get through your dislike of shenanigans and just buy it.

Here also is a vegie slice that my child loves -

Lots of eggs, zucchini, carrot, corn, onion and cheese. With four rashers of bacon. Gabe loves it.

I will try and write a more gratifying post soon, containing less food and more actual banal wittering. :)

Monday, December 2, 2013


Gawd, I have started this post twice now with very good intentions each time. Turns out that good intentions are not enough - apparently you need to sit down and actually do it. First thing to observe, I am writing this from my new Macbook Air. I have never been a Mac user, I have nothing against Apple beyond a vague sense of disquiet at learning a new operating system and their super quiet keyboard. I really love to make a racket when I type.

Two things:
No End key
No back space.

How do Apple users do it! I use the end key ALL THE TIME! I like to cut to the end. I like to move from the here and now and get to the full stop. I am lingering a hell of a lot more in the middle of sentences. And what a crappy place to be!  So yeah, if you have the answer. Tell me.

Sooooooo - in the interests of full disclosure and also because I simply tend to talk about what is happening right now - I found a parasite on my head. Was it a louse? Well it was certainly a cad.. *weak laugh. Yes, a louse. Turns out we were "lous-y" with them. That's all. I promise.

In my defence: I am super clean! You could eat your dinner off me, and you're welcome to, just call and book - I am open to eat dinner off from 7pm to 11pm Tues to Sat.

Super clean with a louse. Anyway I got rid of it, or them, or it. How? I suffocated it to death with poison. And then I did the same to my child's head and my husband's. What a goddamn hassle lice are. I know that this is a food blog, but they have been on my mind - or head - and I had to get it off my chest - or head.

I have made heaps of things since I last blogged - so much food. It is actually hard to know where to start.

So here's a dot point list
  • Cheesecake
  • Brownies
  • Banana bread
  • Lemon slice
  • Chocolate Log
To name a few. Can't remember the rest, I can just sit around all day remembering things that I've cooked. The vast majority of these are from the BOOK. The one that I am cooking.

Except the Lemon slice - I made that one from a recipe provided by the doyenne of cakes at my school. We had a big event and because I like to exhaust myself and and over commit I decided that organising the logistics wasn't enough and I was going to bake too.

The slice looked great! It was gluten free, because why? Just because. People who have gluten intolerance's like lemon too. Also it had no eggs. For those of you that can't eat them either. Wish I had that recipe. I put it in that filing cabinet next to the regular rubbish.

Basically, that's it.
 Let me see if I can recreate it from memory.

Lemon slice
(No oven required)

1 x 250 gram packet of gluten free biscuits - like Arrowroot or Marie. Smushed finely.
1/2 tin of condensed milk
115 grams of butter melted
1 and a half cups of dessicated coconut
The juice and finely grated rind of one lemon.

More lemon juice and some icing sugar for icing. And yellow colour, for fun!

The recipe was exceedingly relaxed, it gave you guidelines and, like a good parent, let you make your own mistakes. So I'll do that too.

Grease a slice tin. Good luck figuring out the size.

Basically mix all the ingredients together and then press it into a tin. I mixed the butter, condensed milk and coconut with the biscuits first so that I wouldn't have any curdling issues with the lemon. Lemon is a great flavour, it can lift virtually anything, but it curdles. That's the deal.

Lemon brings to mind a story of myself and my dear compadre Stacey, trekking through the Indian desert on camels. I do not recommend this. If anyone says "Would you like to trek on camels for four days in the desert" the correct response is "No thank you". It is uncomfortable, and one bit of desert is much like the next bit. See it from an airplane, at a distance where it remains picturesque and theoretical. Anyhoo, there we were, sore-bottomed as could be and facing three more days. On the  first day the group had all showed each other what we brought with us. Various survival tools, if you will. For most it was chocolate and biscuits and water etc. For Damien, the Frenchie, it was lemons. How we laughed at that stupid French guy, how we laughed and laughed.

This is what you get if you google lemon and desert together. This snake.
Turns out the French know a thing or two about food. On the second day we all realised simultaneously that were were gong to be eating the same chapati's with sand and the same vege curry with sand for the whole trip. Suddenly, very suddenly, the lemons became very important. A squeeze of lemon, you see, makes something inedible, edible - like a chapati made with flour, water and (unavoidably) sand. Damien became very popular. And he saved all our tastebuds.

Exceedingly cool.
So yes. Add the lemon juice and the rind and stir and stir - it will be a big sticky mix. Press it into the tin and refrigerate for about an hour. Then ice it. Anyway you like. I decided to make the icing bright, artificial yellow. With a varying degrees of success.

That's the slice. It is delicious and a winner at school fete's.

Could not have said it better myself.