Joy's kitchen

I love the way food can elicit certain memories for people.

As  my grandmother Joy iced this slice recently, she spoke about the way, every time she was expecting visitors, her stepmother would always set the table perfectly, with the best crockery, and the same three foods - butterfly cakes, neenish tarts, and date slice (pictured below).


She told me people would dress in their best clothes for a visit to a friend's home and that they didn't have big shopping centres like we do now. Ingredients were harder to come by, and everything was carried in brown paper bags,which she says was unfortunate if it rained.


I thought I would share this delicious recipe here with you, kind readers - from Gran's kitchen to yours. Although I've posted a photo of the recipe, the paper is crumbling apart so I thought it might be easier for you to read this way. Enjoy!

Joy’s original ‘date slice with lemon icing’ recipeDate slice ingredients
  • 4 ounces of butter
  • ½ a cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of self raising flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of chopped dates

How to make it

  1. Melt the butter and the sugar together in a saucepan
  2. Remove the saucepan from the stovetop and leave it to cool slightly
  3. Mix in the egg and vanilla essence
  4. Add in the dry ingredients (sifted) and mix in the dates
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased and floured lamington tin
  6. Bake the mixture in a moderately-heated oven for 20 minutes
  7. When the mixture becomes cool, spread on the icing
  8. Cut the slice into fingers to serve.

Lemon icing ingredients

  • 4 ounces of icing sugar
  • 1-2 ounces of softened butter
  • The juice of 1-2 lemons

How to make it

  1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl
  2. Work in softened butter with a wooden spoon
  3. Add sufficient lemon juice to make a smooth paste.


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