Not so long ago, in a land now far, far away, a friend and I went walking one summer morning. And, we stopped at a bakery and had breakfast. I’m so glad now that I ate what was quite frankly, a glorious meat pie that morning, because now, we couldn’t do this activity at all. The bakery is closed for sitting down and eating, the road it is on is too narrow for social distancing with a friend, and if you did manage to get a meat pie, you’d have to eat it out of a paper bag, perched on someone’s fence down the road (okay, I might have done that). Yes, I know meat pies are not the breakfast of champions, but it was so delicious, and reminded me that sometimes you just have to seize the moment, because god knows (literally) what might be heading our way, so it is important to enjoy what is in front of you.

So Jane, I hear you say, share something with us that will help us while we are stuck inside. Okay, I’m not even going to pretend this is healthy, but it is seriously one of the most delicious slices I’ve ever baked (and eaten – I can’t stop when it’s around). It’s super simple too, so if you can get it into the oven and baked without eating all the filling, then you are in for a treat. It’s a really old recipe from New Zealand (where I grew up). Hopefully you can get the ingredients. It doesn’t contain loo paper or hand sanitiser so that’s a good start. Let me know if you try it!


185g butter
310g flour
60g sugar

Rub the butter into the sifted flour which has been mixed with the sugar. Press into a sponge roll tin lined with baking paper, but save some of this mixture to sprinkle on top of the filling.

125g butter
1 tin of condensed milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup

Warm these delicious ingredients together in a saucepan and don’t even think about the calories. Pour over the base in the sponge tin and sprinkle the remaining base over the top like breadcrumbs.

Bake for around 30 minutes at 180C


The Early Years

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGrowing up in New Zealand, in the 60s, was pretty cool. The stuff we ate back then, is the stuff most people won’t touch with an electrified cattle prod anymore. We ate brains (which I hated), tripe (still a fav), liver, tongue, and kidneys. We baked, cooked, broiled, and preserved all manner of things. We used to put milk bottles at the gate each night, with money in them, for the milkman. Imagine doing that nowadays! In the summer, we would go to the beach for our holidays and eat ice creams, fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, sweets, sweets and more sweet. We rode our push bikes everywhere, and never wore sunscreen. We got up at the crack of dawn to play with the kids in our street, returning only when the sun went down. It was great. Today is great too, but I wanted to share some recipes from that time, the recipes that are cemented in my brain when I think about my childhood. No, perhaps not the tripe in white sauce, or the liver with onions, even the tongue sandwiches. Cos while they were delicious, it’s not the flavour du jour anymore. However, I’m going to make each recipe before I post it, because they are from a long time ago now. I need to make sure I can still make them, before I share them, and that they are as good as I remember. I’ll just warn you, the early years are all about sweet things (and Star Trek, and the boy next door, and trying to look like Farrah Fawcett). So standby, and get those sugar packets out from the back of the cupboard…