Normally on Easter Saturday on a long weekend I’d be doing…actually, unless I was away, I’d be doing exactly what I did today: get up early for the farmer’s market, avoid Mooloolaba, get some cleaning done, settle in for some writing, maybe go for a walk, and spend the afternoon baking and cooking.
There are some differences this year:
- There are fewer stalls at the markets and different regulations and spacing in place. You can’t really check the fruit and veg or linger in a chat with the stallholders.
- Usually we avoid Mooloolaba during the Easter break because of the crowds and holiday makers. This year people have been told to stay at home – even those who would normally come up from Brisbane for a day trip and even those who have holiday homes up here. The council has closed the car parks in an effort to keep people away.
Other than that, and the fact that there are more stir-crazy families walking the roads in our neighbourhood, it doesn’t feel that much different. I’ll eat too many hot cross buns with too much butter and tonight I’ll probably drink too much wine. Same same.
That’s been pretty much how the whole thing has been – same same but different. I work full time from home so the only difference for me has been how many check-ins we’re having at work with everyone who doesn’t normally work from home.
It’s the same socially. We don’t have a massive group of friends up here – mainly because I work from home so opportunities to meet new people are somewhat limited – so it can sometimes be a couple of weeks between social engagements, although we do eat out at least once a week. Now, though, I’m socialising with more people remotely via zoom.
We’re allowed to drive (short distances) to exercise, so I’m still doing my beach walk each morning – although there are more newbies doing it as well.
I’m fully aware of just how lucky we are to be living here and also to be healthy and active. To be honest, though, I feel a little guilty that my only complaints are that I can’t eat out as often as I’d like, that I have to buy flour whenever I see it, that my roots are very grey and I’m covering them with this awkward mascara-like pen thing (my hair is way too thick and long to even contemplate doing it myself at home), and that I can’t do the travel I’d intended this year. Too bad so sad. In the grand scheme of things that’s nothing. I’m even grateful at the moment for being busier than I usually am with both the day job and my volunteer position.
It is, however, possibly why I’m so judgey about the people who don’t follow the rules – because they’re the ones who have the power to change my normal for a new normal that’s very different from the old one.
In any case, there’s always baking and today I’m bringing you a lemon and raspberry slice from my new cookbook, Cuba Street, which I was ecstatic to receive in the mail the other day from my Kiwi bestie.
If you’ve ever been to Wellington, you’d know Cuba Street. If you haven’t been (and really, you absolutely should – it’s a fabulous, fabulous city) Cuba Street is a quirky, edgy, foodie street in the centre of town. Dare I say that it’s the coolest street in this self-styled (and not inaccurately) coolest little capital in the world.
The cookbook contains recipes from many of those foodie spots and this one comes to you from Sweet Bakery and Cakery. Essentially, it’s lemon curd baked on a shortbread base and for that reason alone I urge you to make it.
Okay, to the recipe:
Lemon and Raspberry Slice
Preheat the oven to 180C fan. Line a slice tin (approx. 20 x 30cm) or deep baking tray with baking paper.
For the shortbread base:
Into a food processor put 450g plain flour, 150g caster sugar and 350g softened butter and blitz it until it forms a soft dough.
Press the dough into your prepared tray and set it aside while you make the topping.
For the lemon topping:
Whisk together 4 eggs and 260g caster sugar in a bowl. Add 60g plain flour and, while still whisking, pour in 2/3 cup lemon juice and mix until smooth.
Pour the topping over the base and scatter across about 1/3 cup of frozen raspberries.
Bake it for 30-35 minutes, or until the lemon topping is just golden on the edges and set. Dust with icing sugar. If you can get them (and I certainly can’t at the moment), these look very pretty with freeze-dried raspberries dusted over the top as well.
If you can wait, the slice is easier to cut if you leave it in the fridge overnight.