Friday, 25 April 2008

ANZAC biscuits

Because it's ANZAC day and you have to. It is your patriotic duty to eat biscuits, possibly with a nice cuppa tea. Also, to drink a lot of beer. I missed that bit, but the bloke did his part on that score.

ANZAC day is a funny thing. When I was at uni, it wasn't much celebrated, and the political crowd saw it as glorifying war. We occasionally protested, even. But it has changed over the decades, and seems to have been eagerly adopted by backpacking youth. Gallipoli would have been packed this morning. I'm in a small way quite pleased about this. As a nation, we have chosen to have a war memorial date that is not commemorating a victory, rah rah yay for us. The poor bastards who got dumped on that beach suffered actual bloody disaster; it was a catastrophic incompetent fuckup. This seems a much more suitable way to think about war.

Anyway, I grabbed my recipe from the War Memorial. It's pretty simple, here it is almost as they publish it, with a little metrification. For any stray American readers, these are sort of kind of a bit like oatmeal cookies. Historically they could be sent in the post, by ship, from Australia to Europe, and still remain edible.

* 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar, rolled oats, and dessicated coconut
* 125g butter
* 1 tbls golden syrup
* 2 tbls boiling water
* 1 tsp bicarbonate soda (add a little more water if mixture is too dry)

1. Grease biscuit tray and pre-heat oven to 180°C.
2. Combine dry ingredients.
3. Melt together butter and golden syrup. Combine water and bicarbonate soda, and add to butter mixture.
4. Mix butter mixture and dry ingredients.
5. Drop teaspoons of mixture onto tray, allowing room for spreading.
6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on tray for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Recipes taken from Robin McLachlan, Anthea Bundock, Marie Wood, Discovering Gallipoli: research guide (Bathurst, NSW: Times Past Productions for the Australian War Memorial, 1990)

Notes: Be careful when mixing the carb soda into the sugar & butter; it foams up a lot. I use silicon or baking paper sheets to avoid greasing the biscuit tray. Also, I tried adding some cinnamon myrtle this time, but it doesn't seem to have had a noticeable effect. It's really mild compared to the punch of lemon myrtle - perhaps next year I'll do lemon anzacs.

PS: Oranges are yummy. I bought a bag. Did you see? A cut up orange is nice to have on the plate along with your ANZAC bickie.

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