GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.

More comfort food!  Do you have a recipe folder with hand-written and cut-out scraps of recipes that you have kept for years and years?  I usually get nicely sidetracked when I start looking through mine – lost in memories of people and places that have signposted my life.

When I was browsing through mine recently I found this recipe, which must be over twenty years old – and I had subtitled it ‘bad back cake’  That’s how I can date it because I must have made this cake for therapy when I injured my back landscaping and was off work for three months in 1990.

It started out life as an upside-down pear cake but somehow, when I was cooking it the other day, it evolved into one with a sticky apple topping.  As some famous chef said, I think it was Rick Stein, “A recipe should be a tune you sing your own song to” – well I definitely like the way this sounded – I think I’ll record it – oh, and did I say that it’s very scrumptious too?

The beauty of this recipe is that everything is cooked in one pan – less steps and less washing up – more time for sitting down with a cup of tea and reading your recipe folder!
1 tbsp maple syrup
60 gm butter
3 apples peeled, cored and thickly sliced
couple of grinds of sea salt (big pinch)
150 gm butter
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup ground almond meal
1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cups self raising wholemeal flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
1.  Heat oven to 170oC
2.  Grease a 25 cm spring-form pan
3.  Put the 60 gm butter, maple syrup and salt in cake tin and place in oven to melt.  Remove from oven.
4.  Give it a stir to combine and then place apples in pattern over the base of the cake tin.  Put back in oven to caramelize and cook a little for 7-10 mins.
5.  Meanwhile, in food processor, cream butter and sugar together.
6.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well – should be light and fluffy.
7.  Add all other ingredients and fold into creamed butter mixture.
8.  Spread over yummy smelling apples and place back in oven for 45 mins or until cooked.
I was thinking that these little handwritten notes might not be around in twenty years time.  In this keyboard age – how many of us send or receive handwritten notes any more?
Remember picture postcards from far away places – does anybody send those any more either?  I have a wonderful collection that my parents sent to me and my family when they literally trotted the globe, in a van, over a four year period in the late 1970’s.  They drove from the UK to Australia – across  Europe;  then Turkey, Iran,Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (shipping it to Singapore) Malaysia, Thailand (then shipped to Western Australia), drove across Australia, finally arriving in Sydney. It didn’t stop there – onward to Fiji, New Zealand and then USA and Mexico.  I store these treasured postcards in my book collection and every now and again one drops out and I find myself transported – somehow their handwriting always brings them closer to me even though we have lived a world apart for most of my adult life and my dad is now on his celestial journey.  With our present world of emails and virtual communication I wonder if our children will find anything more than cobwebs in our attics.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:  The Banner Headline in our local paper the Byron Shire Echo – ‘Some People are so Poor All they Have is Money’
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