I’ve been visiting country bakeries. I’d say 20% of the reason I put my hand up for this job in Shepparton was because I wanted to buy baked goods from small country towns.
One of our favourites is the Nagambie Bakery. We’ve tried their apple cakes, carrot cakes, iced coffees, hot chocolates, foccacias and pizza bread, roast beef sandwiches, vanilla slices…
One day, Jamie recommended a particular sweet. It had a biscuit base, a lemon/vanilla cream cheese type-filling and a layer of red jelly.
“That’s a jelly slice, Joan,” Jamie said. “A great Australian treat. You’ve never had one? You should definitely try it, then.”
So we bought the jelly slice and it was, indeed, a treat.
That weekend when I got home from Shepparton, my mum and dad told me that Aunt Tuty was coming for dinner. Aunt Tuty grew up and studied in Indonesia. She came to Australia to do a Masters in Information Technology. She met a nice Australian bloke called Graham and they got married and bought a house in suburban Melbourne.
“Hello Joan,” Aunt Tuty said when she arrived. “How are you? When are you off overseas?” She was carrying a large white tray with a semi-transparent lid.
“What’s in there, Aunty?” I asked.
“I don’t know what it’s called,” she said. She placed it on the kitchen bench and lifted the lid. “Graham’s mother taught me how to make it. It’s very yummy and easy to make too.”
I looked inside to see an ordered array of cake squares with red jelly tops.
“I know what they are!” I cried. “Jelly slices! I had one the other day!”
“Jelly slices,” Aunt Tuty repeated. “Probably. I think Australians like them.”