“Choking on an emu, Holl? Spit it out ’cause there’s no way to swallow it.”
She nodded again, then shook her head, then looked at him from almost kissing close.
She’d told him not to have thoughts about being with her, but he’d had those since they’d been a pack of about twenty kids who went into the bush, as the deep Outback was called. Mostly aboriginal kids from families that still kept some of the old skills of tracking and survival. Any chance they had would find them headed out into the Barkly Tablelands with little more than a knife, a canteen, and a swag roll of a blanket.
Holly and Stevie had been the only white kids other than himself.
And now that he thought about it, he remembered how he’d become a member of the gang at just twelve years old—following his first major crush…Holly Harper.
Six months later, Stevie and then Holly were dead and buried just a week apart.
Or so he’d thought.
“What did happen to you?”
Holly shook her head. Not like she was refusing to answer, more like a bluey cattle dog trying to shake off the flies after a hard day.
NOTE: “Bush Tucker” is edible plants and animals that grow in the Australian Outback. But not having wide access to bush ingredients in our corner of New England, we went and looked at what was available and what genus/species equivalents might that led to. Macadamia nuts are indigenous to Australia (not Hawaii), kiwifruit comes from “just over the water a bit” in New Zealand (outside of the US, Kiwis are the birds or a nickname for New Zealanders, not the fruit), and coconut goes back so far in Australia they have found fossilized coconuts. So, this delicious quick bread is “bush tucker” adjacent.
Active time: 15 minutes / Baking: 25-30 minutes / Total: <1 hour plus 1 hour cooling
Makes 1 loaf
The Dry Ingredients (sifted or whisked together in a bowl)
- 1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour (can substitute 1/4 c. of that total soy flour and wheat germ for more toothsomeness)
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. shredded coconut, sweetened (add 2 tsp. powdered sugar if unsweetened coconut)
- 1/2 c. macadamia nuts coarsely chopped
The Wet Ingredients (combine in a second bowl)
- 1 c. kiwifruit puree – 2-4 kiwifruit based on size (peel and puree in food processor or a plunge blender)
- 1 lg. egg
- 1/2 c. coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Thinly sliced 1-2 kiwifruit
- Preheat oven to 380° F. Do this early. You want to go straight into the oven the moment you’re done mixing the bread.
- Grease loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. Lay a 9” wide strip of parchment paper sideways so it hangs out over the long sides. Leave enough for this to be a lifting handle. Grease the parchment paper.
- AFTER the oven is up to temperature: Whisk the wet ingredients to combine and emulsify. (Just a little froth is a good sign.)
- Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Pour into the loaf pan.
- Top with slightly overlapping kiwifruit. The bread will rise just enough to spread them out and make it all pretty.
- Bake 45-50 minutes (5 minutes past when a poked-in cake tester or skewer comes out clean, or until an instant read thermometer reads 200-205°F).
- Cool for 10 minutes. Then lift out with the parchment paper sling.
- Cool completely, then go wild. Toasted with butter is awesome, by the way. A schmear of peanut butter works too. Vegemite would overpower it, but Marmite (spread very thin) might go a treat.