With a week off I had a chance to catch up with a friend for lunch and as we sat on the grass in the park she told me about her disaster date over the weekend. She’s dipping her foot into the dating pool again after unfortunately entering the single world after a long relationship.
I’ve had many of these conversations this year – the mid-twenties seem to be filled with people coming out of long term relationships and then daring to go back out into the world of dating and eventual love once more. Or friends who are tired of the independence of single life. Or engagements and then eventual weddings.
I can feel myself being pulled into that too, especially after my recent health surprises and avoiding an untimely death. I keep thinking about wanting a relationship and this is not because I’m not happily single with everything that comes with that status.
It’s the expectations of what you are meant to be doing at a certain age that doesn’t seem to disappear no matter how far we are into the 21st Century. Somehow, people still seem to think its odd if your single at every family gathering or galavanting around the world instead of looking at buying a house. I’m just waiting for someone to remind me that “I’m not 21 anymore.”
Somehow, wanting someone to reassure me during all this health stress hasn’t gone unnoticed in my conscience. Just the notion that someone holds my hand while I get another test done is more comforting than the reality of doing it all on my own.
Being reminded that the dating pool isn’t all tepid stands as a good reminder that being single makes one just as lucky as being with an a great person. Anything less isn’t worth my time and so I would choose to go it alone any day.
The beauty of food is that a relationship status doesn’t matter and these bars pair perfectly no matter what your marital status is.
Gooseberry Lime Bars
Makes 16 slices
1 cup flour
1/3 cup confectioners/icing sugar
80g butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean, scraped
1 cup gooseberry, skinned and pureed
1 1/4 cups superfine/caster sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup flour
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F and line a square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl. Add the butter, vanilla bean and salt and combine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Pour into the baking tray and flatten with a fork into an even layer.
Place in the oven and bake until lightly golden for approximately 12 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool.
Place the pureed gooseberries and 1/2 cup of the sugar into a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
In a bowl, combine the lime juice, zest, sugar, flour and eggs and mix for approximately 1 minute. Add the cooled gooseberries to the mix and stir through until well combined.
Pour into the base and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden on top.
Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely.
Sift confectioner’s sugar on top and slice into squares.