I grew up in a little country town. The population always floated around the 500 mark. My great gran lived next door. My grandma and grandpa lived across the road. My gran and pa lived a few blocks away. I never knew any different and I did take it for granted.
The friends I had were people I had literally known all of my life. Their parents grew up with my parents. They lived next door, a street a way or at the most a two minute drive from my home. We hung out all the time. Before school, after school and on weekends. I slept at their houses, they slept at mine. For seventeen years this crew was all I knew and I knew them well.
We spent the years playing netball, laughing loudly and running a muck. But as with all things there was change. School ended. I was one of the few who moved away. I got caught up in life, in searching for my own home. I seldom made it back.
This week I released my first cookbook. It is completely surreal! There has been many exciting moments. However, the minutes I have enjoyed the most were the ones I spent reading the messages from my old familiar friends. I cannot thank them enough for taking the time to write, nor can I express how much their thoughts, encouragement and support has meant to me. I love having them on my mind again, remembering the Saturdays at the footy, the summers at the pool and the parties in the shed. I look forward to laughing with them all again.
12 medjool dates, seeds removed
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flaxseeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup goji berries
1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 175°C or 350° Fahrenheit. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm cake tin.
Cover the dates with hot water while you gather your ingredients.
Drain the dates and blend them to a paste.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.
Press the mixture firmly into your prepared tin. Place in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly before flipping the slice onto a cooling rack. When it has completely cooled cut the slice into bars. Enjoy.