Anzac Biscuits and a Day of Remembrance

23 Apr

IMG_0519 anzac biacuits25 April is Anzac Day. It is a day when Aussies and Kiwis remember those who have served, and still are serving, in wars around the world. The dawn service starts an hour before sunrise – it is eerie and moving to stand in the quiet darkness, candles glowing in the chilly morning, with so many strangers who have all gathered for the same reason. Everyone is hushed and solemn, grateful for and proud of the efforts and sacrifices made by all those men and women who have served since WWI. The Last Post played by a lone bugler and the 2 minutes silence that follow are a fitting start to a day on which We Will Remember Them.

The Anzac biscuit is an Australian icon. The story goes that those at home sent Anzac biscuits to soldiers from Australia and New Zealand during WWI. The biscuits had no eggs or milk so they kept well; they were a quick source of energy and apparently travelled all those kilometers pretty much unscathed. The only equipment required to make them is a large bowl and some keen hands to mix and ball. The non-traditionalists can add raisins, chocolate, nuts, whatever really. I like mine a bit on the soft side and unadorned.

I saw this poem in Gallipoli when I was there in 2006:

Those heroes that shed their blood

And lost their lives.

You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.

Therefore rest in peace.

There is no difference between the Johnnies

And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side

Here in this country of ours.

You, the mothers,

Who sent their sons from far away countries

Wipe away your tears,

Your sons are now lying in our bosom

And are in peace

After having lost their lives on this land they have

Become our sons as well.

I will think of it and remember gratefully on 25 April this year.

IMG_0507 anzac biscuits

Ingredients

1 cup plain flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup desiccated coconut

1½ cups rolled oats

Pinch of salt

125g butter, cubed (about 6 rounded tbsps)

90g golden syrup (about 6 dessertspoons)

1/3 cup boiling water

½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare a baking tray by covering with baking paper.

Place flour, sugar, coconut, rolled oats and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine.

Place butter, syrup and water in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until butter is melted.

Add soda to the butter mixture and stir until mixture froths.

Pour butter mixture into dry ingredients and mix well.

Ball teaspoons of mixture and flatten slightly on the tray making sure there is room for the biscuits to spread.

If there is more biscuit mix than can be cooked on one tray, allow the tray to cool before loading with the next batch (or use a different tray) to limit biscuit spreading.

Cook for 10 – 15mins, depending on how soft or crunchy you like your Anzacs.

Best enjoyed with a cold glass of milk.

Makes 25 – 30 biscuits.

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