Regular readers would know that very soon Arabella will be celebrating her 21st birthday. As we did for Archie, we have a party planned, with a theme, and for that theme Arabella has chosen an outfit.
She found what she wanted in a shop but it was very expensive and out of the range of my budget. Undeterred, she found the same outfit on ebay and sat by her computer watching the bids fly and then a second before the auction finished, she put in her bid. And a nano-second after that so did someone else and Arabella missed out. Ebay can be very cruel.
We dried those tears and then can you believe, the same outfit reappeared on Ebay only this one wasn’t her size. Arabella is very thin but not scrawny and being tall, she needs a Size 10. This outfit was a Size 8. But Arabella was desperate. And she put in a bid and bought the outfit that’s too small.
It was delivered to the doorstep with great excitement and Arabella slipped (squeezed) into it and asked me for help doing up the zip. As I struggled, getting red in the face from all the exertion, I said, ‘Arabella, these two sides are never going to meet’.
‘Hold on mum, I’ll breath in’. And so we continued to wrestle with the zip with Arabella turning blue from holding her breath for about 10 minutes. Like a miracle, we managed to raise the zip but it was so tight she could barely take a breath. And so wearing the outfit at your party for about seven hours would probably be a little uncomfortable.
‘It’s okay mum, I’ll go on a diet’.
‘But you’re so thin already, Arabella, you lost so much weight when you were a cripple‘.
‘I’ll go to the gym every day and I’ll just eat healthy food. I’ve got six weeks’.
The weeks have ticked by and she hasn’t lost a gram. She works at the gym where I see Tiago and on Monday she was there doing her 5.15am shift and Tiago hovered at the desk. They started talking and she was telling him how she needs to lose weight to fit into a Size 8 outfit and he said, ‘Sell it on Ebay; you are thin already and I wouldn’t want to see you lose any more weight’.
Now that’s sage advice however, it does leave Arabella without an outfit for her 21st which is looming. This morning I asked her what she is now planning on wearing.
Wait for it…
‘I know what I want but I can’t find it so can you find me a dressmaker to create it. And could you do it today, mum, because we don’t have much time’. Wouldn’t it be nice to have so much optimism that nothing is too challenging or impossible. Perhaps she thinks I have a network of dressmakers waiting on my call. I don’t know whether to hope and pray no one buys the outfit on Ebay so she just has to squeeze into it or be grateful she’s no longer counting calories, weighing herself and going on about her diet.
Whatever the outcome, Arabella won’t be eating this slice this side of her 21st birthday; it’s not sugar-free. This is a recipe my mother used to make when I was growing up. Over the years (decades) the recipe has been memorised and so while it would have originally come from a cookbook, we can’t remember which one.
I wanted to make this because last week when I made Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies, a recipe that uses part of a can of condensed milk, I received quite a few comments from people wanting to know what to do with leftover condensed milk. Well…this lemon slice uses half a can of condensed milk so here’s one way to use up what’s leftover.
- 250g plain sweet biscuits (I used Nice)
- 125g melted butter
- 1 cup coconut
- ½ can condensed milk
- rind of one lemon
- 1 tbs softened butter
- 3 cups sifted icing sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- rind of 1 lemon
- Crush the biscuits into fine crumbs using a food processor.
- Place remaining ingredients in a large bowl, add the biscuit crumbs and mix well with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Pour into a greased 30cm x 20cm slice tin and press down with the back of a spoon.
- For the Icing:
- Combine the butter and icing sugar and gradually add lemon juice until icing reaches desired consistency. Pour over slice and smooth out with a palette knife. Sprinkle rind over the top of the slice.
- Place in fridge for 1 hour then cut into squares.