I was one of those little girls who spent as much time at their neighbours house as they did at their own. The only rule was I couldn’t knock on their door before 8am (this rule came into place after I had rocked up very early many times). The minutes leading to 8am would feel like a lifetime.
I remember Ad’s and I pushing my giant tricycle through a not-so-giant hole in the hedge between our houses. I remember believing we were Danny the Champion of the World, that we had discovered his caravan. I remember Alicia making me bowls of coco pops and cups of milo with a dash of milk. I remember the sleep overs, the laughter, the games. I remember cutting off Alicia’s fringe (I still feel bad about that!) and Mary’s amazing birthday cakes. I remember Matt being older and wiser. I remember them all being my friend. I remember the warmth I felt in their home, I remember it feeling like my home. I never felt like an extra, I think I truly saw myself as part of the family. At the time I never imagined a life where I didn’t see them everyday, where they didn’t know me inside out, such a notion was incomprehensible.
But we grew up, we moved on, the time between seeing each other, between chatting, grew longer. Today we remain in touch, but in a very distant sense. I am overcome with a strange sense of pride at how well they have all done, at the beautiful people they are, and at the joy in their lives. I still miss them. I miss that closeness. I wish I knew then how precious it was, that I could never get it back.
It is so many years since I left my home town. Their house has now sold. Everything changes.
I have lived in many homes between then and now. I have not known any of my neighbours through out that time. Until we moved here. I am surrounded by the loveliest people, we have friends and beautiful kids all around us. There is always someone offering to help, coming out side for a chat, or having us over for a cuppa.
I am the crazy neighbour who runs around the streets with her apron on carrying tiny containers of food. These guys make fabulous taste testers. I cannot believe how lucky I am. They endure my erratic, impromptu visits and my impatience. They play a big part in making this once foreign town, this foreign state, the place I call home. I hope they know how great they are and how much I appreciate them all.
Our immediate neighbours had been away on holidays, we made these muffins to welcome them home. I hope you like them.
Apricot and Ginger Muffins
1.5 cups almond meal / flour
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
juice of 1 orange
3 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of bicarb soda (baking soda)
pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Grease a muffin tray, this recipe will make 9 muffins
Place the chopped dried apricots and orange juice into a saucepan, bring to the boil, cover and remove from the heat.
In a mixing bowl combine the almond meal, eggs, coconut milk, ginger and salt.
Stir the bicarb soda into the apricot mixture. Pour this mixture into the almond meal mixture and stir until well combined.
Spoon the mixture evenly into 9 muffin holes.
Bake for 18 minutes or until golden and an inserted skewer come out cleanly.