Today is ANZAC Day.
Although ANZAC stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corps, it has become a word in its own right and has even become a biscuit.
ANZAC Day is held on the 25th April and commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops in Gallipoli in 1915.
Today, my daughter and I did what Australians have been doing on ANZAC Day ever since the the First World War…we baked ANZAC Biscuits together.
I have been baking ANZAC Biscuits on ANZAC Day since I was a little girl and I still remember my wonder when we mixed the bi-carb of soda and water together and it all frothed up. It was like magic. Wow!
When my son was smaller, we made ANZAC Biscuits together. For some reason he used to call oats “notes” and so these became “Note Biscuits”, which sounded incredibly cute. It still makes me chuckle.
Today, I made the ANZACs with my 7 year old daughter. Where we’d usually make them for morning tea and eat them while watching the march on TV, today we made them at dinner time and had them for dessert. I had spent much of today researching family members’ war time service and had some truly amazing discoveries which pretty much kept me occupied for the day. That will be a separate post.
When you read about me baking ANZAC Biscuits with my daughter, it sounds like one of those really sicky-sweet mother-daughter moments you’d expect to see on something like the Brady Bunch.
That wasn’t our mother-daughter moment.
We were making the ANZAC Biscuits while I was cooking dinner which really was setting us up to fail. I don’t multi-task well and really struggle to do two things at once. Miss was also a bit tired and fidgety. She struggles to follow instructions at the best of times and as we’ve already established, this wasn’t the best of times. We were cooking under pressure.
Miss doesn’t understand the need for recipes and has actually made half-decent cakes or “mixtures” completely from scratch. While that might work for her, it makes for some stressful moments when it comes to cooking something specific together.
By now, you can probably already sense the storm clouds were brewing. There wasn’t a huge storm. Nothing like the clash of the Titans but our cooking experience certainly wasn’t going according to plan and I was becoming a little grumpy.
The recipe says that making ANZAC Biscuits is easy but I’d forgotten to take my usual handful of tablets this morning and was starting to keel over. My brain was foggy and yes, I’ll blame the tablets but I stuck the butter in the microwave without thinking and remembering this needs to go in a saucepan and be melted properly on a hotplate. You also need to have the dry ingredients in the bowl first.
In other words, you need to stick to the recipe. Follow the recipe step-by-step.
Pretty Simple Simon, isn’t it? Only, I’m no Simple Simon.
My daughter is spirited.
We did everything backwards.
The ANZAC BIscuits weren’t the best ones I’ve ever made but we did it. We paid our respects to our fallen heroes and I am also even more mindful of those who returned back home and in the words of Veteran and actor Bud Tingle “they were never quite the same”.
So today, we honoured ANZAC Day. Perhaps, you would like to join us in a biscuit and a cuppa!
Lest we forget!
This recipe comes from the Australian Women’s Weekly.
Makes approx 40 biscuits
125g butter, chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons golden syrup
¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon water
1 cup (90g) rolled oats
1 cup (90g) desiccated coconut
1 cup (150g) plain flour
¾ cup (165g) brown sugar
Preheat oven to 160°C or 140°C fan-forced.
Combine all dry ingredients except bi-carb soda in a large mixing bowl.
Combine butter and syrup in a small saucepan. Heat gently until butter and syrup melt.
Combine bicarbonate of soda and water in a small bowl and stir into butter mixture.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour over warm butter mixture and stir well to combine.
Roll rounded teaspoons of mixture into balls. Place about 4 cm apart on baking paper lined baking trays and flatten slightly. You can also be a bit more decadent and make a few large biscuits if you so desire.
Bake in preheated oven 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes on baking trays; transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.