I never met her, she was just always there, as familiar to me as my Mum or Dad. Every memory of her makes me smile. I only ever recall feeling happy and unconditionally loved in her company.
I remember her laughter, I remember how much she made my Mum laugh. I remember playing up at her little house when I was so young. I would play with her beautiful dog, Rufus; I would feed her talking cockatoo, but most of all I would follow around her daughter with utter admiration.
As I got older it was her embrace that comforted me when my brothers were teasing and making me cry, when someone at school was not playing nice. Every time she took my side. It was her daughter’s dresses that I would borrow for school socials and her daughter who stuck up for me whenever I needed it.
My mum and I would go up to her place for a cuppa and spend the entire time in stitches of laughter. We would all be sitting around the little table together, she would be across from us in her dressing gown, at the kettle, grabbing a cake from the kitchen and nattering on, making the simplest of stories the most classic of tales.
She would pop into our house on Friday nights, her and mum would sing and laugh and I would sit by her side or on her lap. We would all spend the Saturdays together at the netball and football, she would watch me play and then we would all sit in the car, eating pies and laughing as the boys ran around the oval.
This is how it always was with her. She is still one of the most genuine people I know, genuine in a way that comes so naturally to her. If she loves you, you know, wholeheartedly. If she doesn’t like you, well I suspect you would know that too. Thankfully I have never been on that side of the fence.
It has been so many years since we saw each other. The last time I ran into her briefly I instantly filled with tears, it was the strangest thing. It was what happens when you grow up loving somebody. When you have never known any other way.
You have had a rough trot of late. Your beautiful daughter is no doubt taking exceptionally good care of you. I hope everything starts to look up. Mum told me you were thrilled to hear about our third baby. I knew you would be. She said you sent a giant hug and to say that you love me, for many people they are just words and gestures, but I know that you mean it. That your hug is warm and all embracing, that you said you love me because you really do.
I love you too and I thank you for the countless years of laughter and warmth you have brought to Mum and I. Get better ok? I will be seeing you again soon. I shall bring the kiddos. x
1 cup flaxseeds
1 cup desiccated coconut
zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups raspberries*
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups desiccated coconut
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon concentrated vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 175°C or 350°F
Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm cake or slice tin with baking paper overhanging the sides.
Start by making the filling. I do this with a fork and bowl but you can do it with a blender or processor if you prefer. Mash the raspberries, sprinkle the chia seeds over the top and stir through, using your fork to break up any clumps. I mash this much like I do with the raspberries. Add the honey, again mix it through to combine. Move onto the base but stir this mixture with your fork every few minutes as it thickens.
To make the base place the flaxseeds and coconut into your processor and pulse until the mixture resembles a meal or flour. Add the zest, oil, honey and vanilla. Blend to combine, add the salt and egg, combine.
Press the mixture firmly into the prepared tin and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. Do not turn the oven off yet.
While the base is cooking place your topping ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl and mix well to combine. I initially mix this with a wooden spoon then I work it a little bit with my hands.
Spread the filling evenly over your base. Top with the coconut mixture. Somewhat firmly press the topping down. Return to the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before gently lifting and moving the slice to a cooling rack. Cool for a further 30 minutes prior to cutting. Enjoy.
*Frozen is fine but be sure to leave them out to defrost prior to making the slice.