Yes - another birthday - right after I've celebrated my man's birthday it's my Dad's birthday just a few days later! My dad is, well, he's my dad. He loves surprising others - either with the perfect present or an anonomous rose left on the doorstop every valentines day, which he blows by addressing it to Bluey - the nickname only he uses for me. He is the one who made sure I was slathered in sun cream prior to leaving for school - no questions about library books, homework, packed lunches or have you done your teeth just a 'have you got sun cream on Bluey?' every morning, without fail. I must admit this has paid off, as a red head with pale skin my lack of freckles in often commented on.
Yep, all that I am is a credit to my Dad, although those who know my Mum will most likely argue this point. Yes, I went through all of highschool without a single nickname as I never retorted to those thrown at me. I can throw insults and sarcasm back at Dad better than anyone - yes that is a bit of a feat! I love photography as he is a photographer. I followed him everywhere as a child taking photos and carting tripods. I don't mind getting a little dirt under my nails because I think he has the dustiest workshop in Perth - fixing skis, framing photographs and making furniture. This is on top of his 8.30-3.30 job as a high school Phys Ed teacher mind you - he can't sit still unless it's to eat or sleep. It was the Phys Ed teacher and crazy world iron man winning ways of my Dad that led to swimming my little legs off at training 3days a week at 5.30am and why I still do my sit ups every day (after he reads this I'll edit that to the true 3-4days a week that I visit the gym!). He never got angry at me when I ate the entire tin of Minties in 3days (cos he didn't know it was actually in 1- which Mum did!). This no problems with eating sweets stemmed from his knowledge that I did enough exercise to burn it off... we won't contemplate the dental side of these sweet eating antics here...so when his birthday present hadn't arrived from the US yet, I set about finding a recipe to bake him as an 'interim' gift... I mulled over banana bread and chocolate brownies but eventually decided upon his all time favourite, the super sweet and slightly too pink for this very manly man - Coconut Ice.
Just look at the sticky sweetness...
Note: before going any further this is not for the fainthearted and children certainly won't be able to help stir - it's too hard, or should I say sticky? Also please use a very thick handled spoon or you will break your spooon!
Coconut Ice: Gluten Free Recipe
4cups gluten free icing sugar
225g shredded coconut
1 tin condensed milk
1tsp vanilla essence
Pink food colouring - you could use another colour but pink is traditional
In a large bowlmix together sugar, coconut, milk and vanilla. Mix until all of the coconut and sugar is wet with the milk.
Spoon half the mixture into a lined baking tin (I used a 7.x 11inch pan) and press down, make sure you get into the corners. Set aside.
Add 2-3 drop of pink food colouring to remaining mixture and combine until pink. Spoon into white base and press to corners and edges with fingers. You can also use the back of a large metal spoon.
Cover with glad wrap (cling film) and refridgerate for 3+ hours. Remove and cut into small squares with a large flat knife. Run a little hot water over the blade if you find it's sticking.
Keep on baking paper in a sealed container in the fridge and it should last for a fair few days.
Happy Birthday Dad!