Dear Delia,

When I was twenty five years younger than I am today my friends would rave about your recipes. Unfortunately I am one of those people who like to discover things for themselves. I ignored their solicitations and denied their attention.

I wonder why, just at the time I needed a recipe, your easy entertaining recipe 3, Thick Lemon Tart appeared. This looseleaf recipe was published by you magazine in association with Sainsbury’s Magazine. The photo of you is credited to Peter Knab 1993. This recipe card survived the move from England to Australia in 1998, preserved between the pages of my Desserts And Puddings, Good Housekeeping Step-By-Step Cookery book.


The reason for needing the recipe was to make something with frozen limes harvested last year from a potted tree in our garden. I am happy to let you know that even though my oven doesn’t have temperatures marked, size 1 eggs are not available anymore and I was using key limes instead of lemons the resulting tart was delicious.

Today I’m making your Roasted Pumpkin Soup from Deliah online. I was so impressed to find that you have an online cookery school that I felt the need to recognise your philanthropic approach and introduce myself as a late blooming fan.



Thick Lemon Tart

Crossed buns

There are periods of time around mid-morning when my mind seems to switch into standby mode. Maybe it’s to do with my blood sugar level. On this particular day I was experiencing a foggy head coupled with a difficulty to process words spoken to me.

Thoughts of a vanilla slice filled my mind as we drove to a local cake shop in Dulwich Hill. Heading past the savouries, I gazed longingly at the crisp, golden pastries, fruit tarts, croissants and brightly iced sponge squares.

A stout, pale skinned lady with red hair advised us that sour cherry was today’s special filling. After selecting one slice of tart and one of strudel the shop assistant enquired “any xing alse?” Noticing a lonely savoury egg tart on a cake stand atop the counter I pointed to it and requested the flan. The archetypal dinner lady purred “iz keeesh!”, “yes we’ll take that too” I replied. “Any xing alse?” she asked.

Spotting hot cross buns packaged in boxes of six my mind wandered to the early nineties, this matronly figure reminded of Iris with whom I briefly worked. “Hot cross buns please, two”, “better if buy six” she said, “yes two boxes please”. “any xing alse?”, “no, thank you”. I didn’t catch the next question as Iris look-a-like gestured in the direction of the coffee machine. I turned to my partner, “coffee?”, he thought this was very funny as I was being offered a carrier bag. Iris with the Eastern European sounding accent asked “vair you from?” ” I don’t know today, I’m all over the place”, I exclaimed with a laugh as I grabbed the purchases and beat a hasty retreat from the shop.