Wednesday, April 24, 2013
ANZAC biscuits for ANZAC Day
I adore the Anne of Green Gables books by LM Montgomery, and I also love the first miniseries based on the books starring Canadian actress Megan Follows. I didn't enjoy the second miniseries as much because of its departures from the books, although if I take it in its own right rather than comparing it to the books, it is rather good too. Until recently, I hadn't seen the third Anne miniseries, because I knew that it was not based on the books at all. However, I bought all three Anne miniseries as a boxed set and decided to start by watching miniseries three.
Miniseries three, entitled Anne: The Continuing Story, is set during World War I. Anne and Gilbert are all grown up and get married before Gilbert goes away to war to serve as a medic. When Anne's letters to Gilbert are returned unopened, Anne goes to war-torn Europe with the Red Cross to look for him. Although Anne: The Continuing Story is a separate piece of fiction in itself quite apart from the LM Montgomery books, I enjoyed it, although definitely not as much as the first Anne of Green Gables miniseries. The maturity of the relationship between Anne and Gilbert was a treat to watch, and the miniseries very effectively reminded the viewer of the horrors of World War I. As Megan Follows said in an interview about the miniseries, this was not a time of innocence.
Today is ANZAC Day in Australia, a public holiday to remember those who fought for our freedom. The original ANZACs landed at Anzac Cove in Turkey during World War I. Many of the ANZACs were very young, with some young men lying about their age so that they could enlist. I cannot imagine how those young men dealt with the horrors of war, losing their innocence so drastically and immediately. Just last year, the long lost images of a number of Australian soldiers in France were uncovered, and it is amazing to see those photos so many years later.
To celebrate ANZAC Day, I made ANZAC biscuits, which are a staple in many Aussie households. There are lots of different recipes for ANZAC biscuits, but all are along the lines of an oatmeal cookie made with golden syrup. This year, I made the ANZAC biscuit recipe from Day to Day Cookery by Downes, the school home economics cookery text that I loathed at the time. My school was very old fashioned, making all girls do home economics and all boys do manual arts in Year 8, and even more of an affront, making all girls (but not boys!) do Parent Craft in Year 9. I still find this extraordinary, even now - don't boys need to learn to cook and sew and Parent Craft too? And I would love to be more handy around the house.
The recipe for ANZAC biscuits is as follows:
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the rolled oats, coconut and sugar.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the syrup and water. Add the bicarbonate of soda and allow the mixture to foam, then pour it onto the dry ingredients and mix well. Place tablespoons of mixture onto a tray, spaced well to allow for spreading, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.