Friendships and Fruit and Nut Slice

Fruit and nut slice

Do you still receive hand written birthday cards in the actual mail?  It is becoming a rare occurrence in our house.  Last month I celebrated a birthday and received a perfectly written card from the one friend who I have retained from secondary school.  My friend was also a very tolerant bridesmaid at our wedding many moons ago.  The card, sent all the way from Canada even tied in with our wedding theme.  In case you are curious, daisies where the theme of the day in 2000!

This little ray of postal, cardboard sunshine got me thinking about my adult friendships.  I have never really been the type of person to be surrounded by a whole gang of close girlfriends who regularly meet up for rowdy gatherings and weekends away.  It can take me quite a while to strike up close friendships and as life rolls on and schedules and responsibilities increase it takes more effort and energy to maintain close friendships.

Fruit and nut slice

I have a handful of female friends who I can rely on.  Some I message several times a week just to say hello.  Some I contact every few months just to say hello. Some I meet regularly for a quick coffee.  One I speak to or see almost every week.  My sister in law is also one of my closest friends but we rarely chat because life takes over and we both understand that.

We had a rare night out at a 30th birthday party last weekend and I spent the night chatting to old and new friends.  There were some deep and meaningful conversations about family, children, death and the cycle of life but there was also laughter and celebration.  It reminded me how important it is to stay connected with those people that listen, lift our spirits and support us.

Fruit and nut slice

Sometimes social media can be blamed for killing real life conversations and friendships but this isn’t always the case.  A long time but completely random Instagram friend recently contacted my husband as he was going to be in our area and wanted to meet us in real life.  This ultimately led to an afternoon of talking, farm touring and an impromptu shared dinner.  This unexpected contact reminded me that reaching out to new people isn’t easy and we don’t always take the time, but it can lead to genuine connections and open up new paths for all of us.

Fruit and nut slice

Perhaps with friendships it is definitely a case of quality over quantity.

Do you have a whole gang of close friends or are your friends more scattered?

Do you ever reach out to new people?

Do you need an easy slice to share with new or old friends?

This recipe is adapted from a CWA   recipe and I used chopped dates and flaked almonds.  I think this would work equally as well with a variety of different dried fruit and nuts.  Using soft brown sugar gives this slice a dense, caramel finish.

Happy Sunday, friends x

5 from 1 vote
Fruit and nut slice
Fruit and Nut Slice
INGREDIENTS
  • 110 g butter softened to room temperature
  • 110 g soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit such as dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts such as almonds
  • 150 g self raising flour sifted
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Line a slice/brownie tin with baking paper.

  2. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Add all other ingredients and mix well.  Scrape mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

  3. Allow to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes.  Remove slice from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.  Cut into squares when cool.  

 

19 Comments

  1. Reply

    Chookyblue

    May 6, 2018

    My friends are scattered…… From all areas of my life……. I have never had a tight group that I only hung with although I know others do……… Sometimes I felt I should have a group like this but then I realised I was free to have my friendships everywhere and free to make new friendship also……… I’ve taken chances and they have been rewarding connections that I have been to pleased to do…….
    Mum makes a similar slice and it is amazing…… Love the pics to

    • Reply

      Jane S

      May 6, 2018

      Thank you Chooky, it is always lovely to hear from you.

  2. Reply

    kate

    May 6, 2018

    I know exactly what you mean – I have a network of friends just like yours and I suspect those rowdy friends you might speak of are not as rowdy or as gregarious as they can sometimes appear to be. I know one of those ‘outwardly’ on-the-go kind of women, and know that she finds it not all it looks.

    A handwritten card. Such a rarity. I do try to send them – I have good runs of them and then it falls away. I do love getting them though. Such a treat to read, especially with a cup of tea and a yummy slice. This used to be a regular in our house – so good to make for school lunches. Without children at home to gobble it up, I avoid slices because they’re too tempting for the two of us to eat and no one needs that kind of food temptation. I do think I’ll whip up a batch of this though. It will be nice to have morning tea treats at work through the week.

    • Reply

      Jane S

      May 16, 2018

      I hope you made the slice Kate! I know what you mean about food temptations…since the weather has cooled off I have done so much baking. It really has to stop!

  3. Reply

    ewe beauty

    May 6, 2018

    love to receive the written word in the mail too Jane! having just celebrated a birthday too, a card popped up from a dear friend last week, and she had cunningly stashed a surprise, as I opened it masses of tiny glittery starts tumbled out! I told her each star I pick up I will think of her … she is a very dear and special friend who has experienced tragedy in her life and doesn’t always find it easy to return the call, comment back to an email , but when we do talk w just pick up where we left off .. love that!
    we had a family of New Zealanders stay several months back, really only common interest was sheep / FB friend…………. but we had an amazing time with them and they will become friends for life.
    enjoyed your article , and now I’ m to try the slice …. lamb marking/ preg.testing calls this week, so a few paddock smokos .

    • Reply

      Jane S

      May 16, 2018

      I love those sorts of friends too Trish! Glittery stars are always a good thing. Sheep and farms are an easy place to kick new friendships off. Good luck with the paddock smokos x

  4. Reply

    Francesca

    May 6, 2018

    My friends, real friends, are now few. I think this happens as you get older. I don’t seem to have time, but then that may be an excuse for a preferred quiet life. That simple fruit slice reminds me of my mother- she still makes it.

    • Reply

      Jane S

      May 16, 2018

      The quiet life is a good life Francesca. Thank you.

  5. Reply

    Annie Bart

    May 6, 2018

    I love hand writing in cards to friends with a little news at birthdays and also to grandchildren more regularly. If Grandies are lucky and young enough they get a short story. I am told that they are read and re read until the parent hides it or calls for mercy! My mother wrote to those grandchildren away at boarding school who wrote back, we found all those letters…Gran obviously cherished them. I also have a group of 5 friends who all boarded together in 1970. From about 2000 we all had a little more time so we took up again and now meet every year or so along with partners and have a long weekend together. In between times we rarely get in contact but we love those meet ups. My closest friend became my sister in law…all good! I too will make your slice to share Jane x

    • Reply

      Jane S

      May 16, 2018

      I hope you made the slice Annie…a good old, easy recipe! Your grandchildren will treasure those letters and stories x

  6. Reply

    Kate B

    May 6, 2018

    One of my good friends is also a sister in law and my other sister in law is now a good friend! How lucky I am. I don’t make friends easily so those I have are special.
    Oh… and I still have all the letters Granny wrote to me at boarding school. I love real mail. I have joined an Instagram postcard swap and it is lots of fun! Another positive to social media and real connections xx

    • Reply

      Jane S

      May 16, 2018

      The Insta postcard swap looks like fun Kate. Hooray for friends and real mail! x

  7. Reply

    Christine

    May 6, 2018

    Those are interesting questions. I have almost two groups of friends and new ones, so three. My old friends in the UK who I still keep in contact with and do things with, so friends prior to when I was 22. New friends I made in the USA when I was young, who I still get together with and several still live in my area. I continue to make friends, but I do feel that the friends made in youth are of a much tighter bond than most of the friendships I make as an older person. Not all but most.

    In ref to hand written cards, I have a friend who writes to me every week, faithfully, with the most exquisite hand made cards and papers. I am spoiled.

    • Reply

      Jane S

      May 16, 2018

      The friend who writes to you weekly sounds like a treasure Christine. How wonderful. Thank you for calling in. Do you like pod casts I wonder? If so, you might like Dispatch To A Friend which is based on a series of letters between friends.

  8. Reply

    Anne

    May 7, 2018

    That slice sounds good Jane; it’s definitely one to try.
    I was lucky enough to be in Young Farmers when it was in its heyday back in the late 70s early 80s and still have really strong friendships from then but have never been one for close girlfriends – perhaps I’ve never needed them because I’m one of four sisters. It can be quite difficult maintaining friendships when people move around so much these days, but I suppose like anything, the reward is worth the effort. And some friendships are transient, which we just have to accept.
    Happy birthday for last month 🙂

    • Reply

      Jane S

      May 16, 2018

      Having four sisters creates instant friends I imagine! Yes, the reward is always worth the effort, I agree. I hope you get a chance to try this slice 🙂

  9. Reply

    Laura

    May 9, 2018

    My friends are scattered across time and geography. I’m lucky to have many friendships that don’t need constant tending to stay strong. Also lucky in that one of my best friends is my sister. In my early years I used to be good at keeping in constant contact and also held tightly to friends – these days I realise that some friends will come and go and that’s ok. My introvert tendencies have also heightened as I’ve gotten older so that has led to a lot less socialising. We moved interstate 6 months ago and I know some friendships will fall away and others remain – I’m also rekindling lapsed friendships in our new place as we moved back to a familiar place.
    Baked goods are always good to share with friends – I must try this slice as it’s a new one to me.
    Cheers,
    Laura

    • Reply

      Jane S

      May 16, 2018

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment Laura. I agree, friends come and go from our lives for a reason. I hope you get a chance to try this slice.

  10. Reply

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    May 21, 2018

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