25 April 2007

Anzac Day and true romance

Today is Anzac Day in Australia which commemorates the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp at Gallipoli in WW1. We have a public holiday and there are lots of commemorations across the country. It's become a big holiday of national identity, not without some controversy over the years. During the Vietnam war years and into the 80s and 90s, many people felt Anzac Day celebrated a type of hyper masculine glorification of war.

I think this resulted in a lot of reflection of the meaning of Anzac Day, so while it can still be a day of hard drinking and hard playing by a lot of blokes who've been in war, there is a bigger emphasis on mourning the dead and the cost of war. In some ways it's more of a day where we are reminded of how terrible war is. Our political masters don't ever seem to get the message.

There is a wonderful statue of a digger (a colloquial name for an Australian soldier) at the western end of Anzac Bridge in Sydney. I like it because it's sad and reflective not triumphal.

Last night on The 7.30 Report, there was a great story about Australian War Brides going to live in America after WW2. They're going to be honored with a reception at the Australian Embassy in Washington today. If you click on the link you can watch the interview with two of the brides who are now approaching ninety.

And here is a recipe for Anzac Biscuits (cookies for you in the US).

Traditional Anzac biscuits were baked by anxious wives and mothers during World War I, packed in food parcels, and sent to the Australian soldiers in the trenches. They don't have any eggs in them so they kept well. I love them. I think it's the golden syrup (or treacle).

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
125g (4oz) butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup (or treacle)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 300F (150C)

Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together.
Melt syrup and butter together.
Mix soda with boiling water and add to melted butter and syrup.
Add to dry ingredients.
Place 1 tablespoonfuls of mixture on greased tray (allow room for spreading).
Bake for 20 minutes.
Loosen while warm, cool on trays.
(makes about 35)

Hope you enjoy them!


At 26 April 2007 at 2:53 am , Blogger Mia Romano said...

What an interesting story. The cookies sound wonderful. I will have to try and make some. Thanks for sharing!ro

At 26 April 2007 at 1:46 pm , Blogger Shelli Stevens said...

I love learning about history in other places. And what a cool recipe!

At 20 December 2008 at 4:18 pm , Blogger Ruth said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.




Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home