When I was small, I used to go up north to stay with my grandparents every year during at least one set of school holidays. They lived on a sugarcane farm and the things I remember the most about those holidays were things like the sound of green tree frogs croaking during summer showers, the smell of oil in the gravel near the huge shadowy shed that housed the tractors and harvester, the humid breeze in my face as it blew down from the nearby mountains and rustled through the cane, the roar and blaze of the cane fires and the pitch black of the night with a trillion stars overhead because there was not a town with it's blinding night-lights in sight.
There were freezing cold dips in the local mountain creek and piggy-back walks down the cane tracks with cousins and hide and seek games in the fruit tree groves and the farm dogs who'd follow you anywhere. There were afternoon teas with homemade sponge and caramel slice topped sky-high with marshmallow. After every night time meal there was what my Nanna called "pudding" consisting of canned fruit salad, jelly and ice cream. Every night! You've no idea how awesome I thought that was, considering I came from a household where dessert was always fruit, fruit and more fruit and would you like some fruit with that? The only icecream I ever had was the one we'd get as a treat at the end of the day on our annual beach trip (Bubble O' Bill incidently) so to have it every night with jelly and canned fruit was completely amazing.
And as an absolute constant there were my Nanna's biscuit barrels which were always, without fail, chock full of two sorts of biscuits, just right for hungry city kids, when the need struck, to bolt in from outdoors, grab two or three generous biccies and bolt straight back out again. The barrels were huge, repurposed Nescafe bottles (so thrifty of you, Nanna!) - giant, clear glass, cylindrical numbers with wide mouths and plastic screw top lids - one yellow and one brown (or maybe it was orange, I'm a little hazy there).
Anyway, I hadn't really thought much about those barrels 'til I was browsing through my Mum's recipe book shelf and came across this...
And you guessed it, inside are Nanna's biscuit recipes. Specifically, Coconut Biscuits. YUM! Not only are these a perfect lunchbox (or anytime!) treat, they go pretty nicely with a hot cup of tea for grown ups too.
See? I feel all satisfied and cosy just looking at that. So without further ado, here's the recipe - do try it!
115 grams unsalted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
Pinch of salt
Beat butter and sugar to a cream.
Add egg and beat in.
Add sifted flour, salt and coconut.
Measure and roll tablespoons of mixture. Flatten with fork on baking tray lined with baking paper.
Bake at about 150-160 degrees until light brown.
In the tradition of my Nanna, I made a double batch. They fill up my biscuit barrel perfectly too.