Our world has become so fast paced that no one noticed the shift in fundraising, so that now it is firmly in the realm of the corporate world. No longer are Mums in tuckshop involved. This is a great loss. Why can't we have both?

But gone are the classic confectioneries that every mother and her dog had their own secret family recipe passed down through two or three generations, so common here in Australia. Where are the chocolate crackles, and the lamington drives? These quintessential Aussie tucker, so important to the school, church and hospital economies.

Now, once a year - or is that six or seven times a year, we get offered over-priced chocolates that we can buy every day from the newsagents. Nothing special, just obligation to support a team, or an individual, or a dog or who knows what.

Bring me a fete, with mini ponies, a jumping castle, and a sausage sizzle. Pure of heart. It may not bring in as much money - but it's fun, and the whole community can get involved. Hell, even give me a trivia night with a sideline cake stall. Just make sure there's a spot to sell my nan's coconut ice.

(?? portions - enough for one child's quota of a cake stall)


Sift the icing sugar.

Mix in the coconut. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.

Melt the copha on a low heat until it is a clear liquid. Add it in the well of the coconut mixture. Stir well with a wooden spoon.

Divide the mixture in half, and add a few drops of food colouring to one half. Traditionally, the food colouring is pink - but you may have reasons to experiment here. It is also possible not to colour at all - or to colour all the mixture, but I strongly recommend pink on white if you have never made coconut ice before.

Press the white half of the mixture evenly into the base of a greased loaf tin (8x25cm/ 3x10"). Press the coloured mixture evenly over the white mixture. This will create a two-layer confectionery. For a special effect, sprinkle spare coconut over the coloured layer.

Set in the fridge. Remove from tin and cut into squares.

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