People often say that living in mining towns makes or breaks couples, I have seen this. We were fortunate to be on the make side. I’m certain that the years removed from our family and lifelong friends only brought us closer.
People also say that FIFO (Fly In Fly Out) breaks families.
The first time I heard this I didn’t think FIFO seemed so bad. I thought that if we ever had to, we could handle it.
Thankfully, my husband never agreed with me and it’s an experience I’ve never had and that I never care to have.
Living in a mining town is one thing; it’s hard on many levels. Often the medical and educational resources are limited. The miners work long hours. The heat is relentless. The boredom can be extreme, that’s why those who last are those who make their friends their family.
FIFO is a whole new ball game. It is exhausting for everyone, the one who leaves and the one who stays. It is constant adjustment, adjusting to parenting on your own and adjusting when your loved one returns. They too are adjusting to work and then trying to slip back into the family scene without messing up the routine that’s been established in their absence.
It is attending school award days on your own; it is missing the award days.
It is attending sports days on your own; it is missing sports days.
It is celebrating Christmas and birthdays without your Dad; it is celebrating Christmas and birthdays on your own.
It’s living in a house where you have to fix the blocked pipes and the broken garage door; it’s being a middle aged man and living in a donga.
It’s so many things that I don’t have the words for. It’s becoming self-sufficient, running the family on your own, but not at the cost of pushing your husband away.
For the husband it’s fitting back in, it’s being Dad and doing what needs to be done before leaving again. It’s attempting to ignore the intense fatigue and to get on with it.
As I’ve said, FIFO is a constant cycle of adjustment. It can be hard, it can lonely, it can be frustrating and it can be downright exhausting.
Some people choose to do it because it works for them.
Others do it because life and the place where their path has led leaves them with few other choices.
Whatever the reason, it’s a life unknown to many and I just wanted those Mum’s who are living it to know that some of us, although having never been there ourselves, do acknowledge how difficult it can be. That it can, in its own way, carry the isolation often only associated with living in a mining town.
No Bake Lamingtons
- 2 cups desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons honey*
- 1 tablespoons coconut oil or 1 tablespoon coconut cream**
- 1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
- 1 – 2 tablespoons 100% raspberry fruit spread or make your own using this recipe
the coating (you can use melted dark chocolate if you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
- 2 tablespoons honey, gently heated until it reaches a runny consistency. It only takes a around 10 seconds.
- 4 tablespoons cacao or cocoa
- extra desiccated coconut to coat the lamingtons
- Line a loaf tin with baking paper overhanging the sides. Mine measure 19.5cm x 9.5cm
- Place the lamington ingredients into your food processor and blend at high speed until the mixture resembles a smooth, thick paste.
- Press the mixture evenly into your prepared tin.
- Place in the fridge to set for 30 – 60 minutes. Alternatively you can pop it into the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the slice from the fridge and cut into even sized squares. I made 10 squares (5 lamingtons in total).
- Dollop half of the squares with a teaspoon of jam in the centre. Gently top with another square and return them to the tin.
- Place the jam filled squares into the freezer while you make the chocolate coating. They would be easiest to work with if you allowed the jam to harden, this would take around 30 minutes. I wouldn’t make the chocolate until you are ready to take the lamingtons out of the freezer as you do not want the chocolate to set at all. I have made them without giving the jam time to harden and they are still divine, just a little more fiddly to work with.
- To make the chocolate add the softened coconut oil to a small jug (I find this shape best for dipping) or bowl and stir until the oil is smooth.
- Add the cacao or cocoa and mix to combine.
- Add the runny honey and mix to combine.
- Remove the uncoated lamingtons from the freezer and dip half of each one into the chocolate. Sprinkle the choc dipped half with the extra coconut and return it to the lined tin. Ensure the tin is lined otherwise they will stick.
- Repeat until half of all of the lamingtons have been coated with chocolate and sprinkled with coconut.
- Return them to the freezer for a few minutes. Remove from the freezer and repeat the dipping and sprinkling process with the other half of the lamington.
- Once they are all dipped and coated place in the fridge to set.
- Eat and enjoy.
*you can use rice malt syrup if you prefer.
**the coconut cream will produce a softer lamington than the oil. However, I have given both options as it can sometimes be easier to just use a tablespoon of oil instead of opening a tin of coconut cream. Either way they will be delicious. Also, depending on the strength of your processor you may need to add an extra tablespoon of whichever one you have decided to use.