26 Nov 2008


Late yesterday afternoon , just before making tea I did a little baking to refill the cake tins and biscuit jars.

One thing I made was Louis' current favourite, Lemon slice or to give it its correct name, Lemon Coconut Squares.
It's one of my mum's specialties taken from the 1988 Family Favourites Cookbook produced as a fund raiser by the West Launceston Primary School Mother's Club.

almost vintage cookbook

My Mother helped produce this book.
Mum had a long association with the school firstly as a mother from 1961 through until 1974 when my sister finished primary school.
Mum was a member of the Mother's Club all that time and by the time my sister finished school she had begun working in the office there firstly on a voluntary basis and then as an employee.
She finished working there in 1994 I think it was so that is 33 years of service to the school.

lemon slice

This is a super simple recipe and perfect for making when the weather is hot as it is an uncooked slice.
Also a good one for children to make as they are quite happy to bash the biscuits ( cookies) to make fine crumbs and there are only a couple of steps to do before they can be rewarded with something yummy to eat.

Lemon Coconut Squares

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk ( I make my own with a recipe of Rhonda Jean's , I made half the recipe for this. I can give you the recipe if you need it. I don't usually have condensed milk on hand anymore)

125g ( 4oz) butter

250g (8oz) Milk Arrowroot biscuits ( a very plain biscuit)

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 cup of coconut

Stir the condensed milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted.

Finely crush biscuits.

Add lemon rind, crushed biscuits and coconut to the butter and condensed milk.

Press this mixture into a greased or lined lamington tin ( 11" x 8" x 1 1/2")

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Lemon Icing

3/4 to 1 cup of icing sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons coconut

15g ( 1/2oz) soft butter

Mix together until smooth and spread over base.

When set cut slice into squares

I don't know if slices are popular in other countries or if they are called by the same name but they were hugely popular with my mother's generation and with my children.

frankie cookbook

Yesterday, after a round of errands I was having a look through the various Christmas editions of magazines at the newsagents when I came upon this pretty little cook book.
It has been put out by Frankie magazine which describes itself as a magazine for the twenty-somethings. ( if you go to the Frankie magazine site check out their computer wallpapers I chose the embroidery with the cat to replace my fifties knitting lady).

I do have a copy of one of their issues which I enjoyed mainly because of their obvious nostalgia for my childhood - a very strange sensation.

frankie cookbook

The slice pictured above is caramel slice, a favourite with my whole family and so much nicer home made and cut into small squares rather than the doorstop slices you see in cake shops. A little taste and then maybe another little taste is so much nicer than a whopping great piece that makes you feel ill when you have finished.

Frankie cookbook

This book has many pretty vintage fabrics and plates and doileys throughout including as pretty endpapers and I do love interesting endpapers.

frankie cookbook

The recipes inside could have come straight from the mother's club cookbooks from a thousand schools all over Australia through the 60s and 70s.

The chocolate cake above is one of my mum's favourites and one I took with me when I left home. In fact I also have that very same green plate and cake fork. The fork migrated from Mum's house some years ago.
Isn't it funny.

I guess it happens to every age, to be looked on nostalgically by the new generations who reach an age when the homes of their grandmothers, their parents childhood homes become attractive and interesting.

frankie cookbook

At the back of the book all the contributors have spoken a little about their childhood afternoon tea and cooking memories in a similar way to all your contributions on the give away post.

The power of food, the smells and tastes and warm-this-is-the-way-things-should-be feeling that food can bring us and bring back to us is quite amazing.

kensington ware

I have a nostalgia for the time of my parents' childhood, the imagined homes of my grandparents, I never saw my father's childhood home and my Mum's parents lived in a 1960s weatherboard far away from the home where she lived as a child, still I am drawn to the styles of the thirties and forties.

I found these cups and saucers last week at the op shop.
I liked the hand painted look and the autumn colours.
It turns out they were produced by Kensington Pottery in England in the early twenties to late thirties, the time when my parents were children and around the time this house was built.

I will announce the winner of the give away later today.
I want to read through all your lovely homemade memories again and I think that will be a lunchtime job.

13 Responses to “ ”

  1. My mum made those slices for us too-- the lemon coconut, the caramel and she also made peppermint slice. Yummm!! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Thank you for mentioning the copy of Afternoon Tea. One of the things my DH misses the most about living in the US is the lack of his favorite baked treats. Everytime we are in Aus, he hits the local bakery and indulges in caramel slice and mud cake.

    I think I will contact the publishers and see if they sell to any bookshops here. :)

  3. Thanks for the recipe. Would love the recipe or the link to Rhonda Jean's post on condensed milk.

  4. We have these recipes in the mothers club recipe book from my primary school. The lemon slice was my absolute favourite. Yummo!

  5. I think I found out recently in the UK they are traybakes.

    This one looked nice.


  6. Mmm caramel slice! Your comment about your Mum's fork reminded me of some little cake forks my Mum had, there were 6 of them still in their original box with two long prongs and tapering plastic handles in pretty fondant colours. Happy memories.

  7. I have a cookbook translated from English that has similar recipes like the slices, in all different variations. I use it a lot because most of it is easy to make and quick, which is what I need right now. :-)
    It's called "Brownies & Bars" by Liz Franklin.
    I really like the cups and saucers!


  8. More memories! I went to West Launceston Primary School from 1952to 1958. My sisters and several cousins also went there as did an aunt.
    I made these slices for my children.
    It is so lovely to be taken back to these times. Thanks Jenny.
    Regards Trish

  9. lovely post. let's see, i was born in 1979, that makes me 29 ... and i am drawn by old turn-of-the-century (last turn ... c. 1900 lol) china and dishes from the 1950s and 1960s. what does that say about me? lol.

  10. I love caramel slice, but homemade caramel slice, as you say cut in small pieces.

  11. They all looks so good.Thanks for the recipes

  12. Love this recipe! Here in the US we call these "bars". Lemon Bars are a favorite. Enjoy your blog so much and deeply appreciate your thoughts on home and family.
    God Bless!

  13. We also love that Lemon Slice, although it took me a few years to track down the recipe! My mum already made slices for us, and even butter cake was mostly cooked in the slice tin to cut into squares for afternoon tea. Caramel Slice is our favourite treat if we are ever at a coffee shop. I make Anzac Slice rather than Anzac biscuits, I always seem to burn the biscuits somehow but the slice turns out perfectly!


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.