The importance of biscuits

A lot of my childhood memories come from sitting on the bar stool in Nana’s kitchen and jabbering away with her while she cooked (sometimes she’d even let me “help”).

There’s a million of these little snippets that I’d love to share with you, today’s little snippet is ANZAC biscuits (if you’re reading from America, these aren’t biscuits with gravy on them, which I truly do not understand the concept of, these are more like cookies, but you can’t call them cookies, you have to call them biscuits, because they’re from here, not there).  ANZAC biscuits are fairly simple to make (well, they are if you’re my Nana or Kristi Bryant), so I was allowed to help.

ANZAC biscuits… delicious little morsels.  A wonderful concoction of golden syrup (anyone who says to use molasses or honey is downright un-Australian), oats, sugar (yes, as well as golden syrup), butter, bicarb soda and sometimes coconut.  That’s about it really.  Tasty anddelicious.

ANZAC Biscuits

ANZAC Biscuits

I understand from some of my more domesticated facebook friends that the recipe can vary greatly to deliver chewy or crunchy, high fat or low-fat results (I tried to contribute to their discussion but was told to stick to shaking martinis – this will show them).  You can add other stuff if you want, like crushed up macadamias.  But I find all that a bit fancy, which misses the point (I know, wouldn’t you love me to get to it…. I got to work at 6am this morning and have had much more coffee than usual so sorry, I’m guessing the point’s still a while off, just quietly).

So that’s what’s in them.  If you are from Ostraya or Niw Zulland, you will know what ANZAC stands for… if you’re not, it stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.  The soldiers in these forces became known, during World War I, as ANZACs and it has stuck.

What do war heroes have to do with biscuits?  The folks back home used to make these and send them to their troops.  The ingredients didn’t go off on the long sea journey that it took them to get to them.  The name stuck.

I don’t claim to know much about New Zealand (other than laughing at their people when they talk at length about the size of their deck within earshot of tables full of very-interested young Australian men at bars – yeah, you know I’m talking to you EE), but in Australia, 25 April every year is one of our most important days – ANZAC Day (and yes, Mr J, we get another day off work for it, we’re mad for a day off work down here).

Biscuits and a day off.   It’s good stuff.  It is, indeed, how we roll here in Oz.

But it’s a bit more than biscuits and days off (and no, I’m not referring to the AFL game or the bbq’s).  It’s about remembering.  And honouring.  And taking some time to be downright humbled and grateful for these amazing people who went before us.

A brief (and disgracefully abridged) ANZ history lesson: 25 April marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.   On 25 April 1915, ANZACs landed on the beach in Gallipoli with the aim of capturing Constantinople (now Istanbul); a German ally.  The ANZACs were met with huge resistance and, what was to be a quick and bold campaign, became an eight month stalemate.  Both sides lost many lives and, for those who survived, the conditions of this battle were horrific.   The campaign had such an impact on the people at home that this day is the one that has endured as the day that we remember the sacrifice of all Australians in all Australian military operations (if you want more detail than that, you’ll have to talk to google or my Dad because there’s more to tell you about ANZAC Day than I can fit in this post).

The Ode is always read at remembrance services on ANZAC Day:

They shall grow not old,
As we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning –
We will remember them.
Lest we Forget.

I still get choked up whenever I hear this or read it.

In fact, I don’t remember a single time in my life when I haven’t had tears spring to my eyes and a lump rise in my throat, when I’ve heard or read the Ode.

It’s the fourth verse of a poem called For the fallen written by Laurence Binyon.    It is, in this humble blogger’s opinion, one of the most beautiful things ever written.

Because in every loss there is the hope that those who have gone before us will not grow old and tired as we do.  But that they will retain all the verve and light of their youth.

And that they will be remembered eternally.  And honoured eternally.

And that people who aren’t even born yet will feel how special they were.

5 Responses to “The importance of biscuits”
  1. Kx says:

    beautiful post Suz, I feel the same way about the Ode.

    (and ANZAC bikkies) x

  2. Katie says:

    I ALWAYS get choked up when i hear or read the Ode, such powerful words…
    Beautiful, touching post – love ANZAC’s (biscuits) too, and will most definitely have to get Kristi to make me some next time i see her!

  3. Mike Kogan says:

    Pleasure to follow your posts, I love this one already, looking forward to getting more:)!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 41 other followers

  • My Marathons for Maddie in 2011

    Run for the Kids: 17 April - 14.38km
    Mothers' Day Classic: 8 May - 4km
    Run Melbourne: 17 July – half marathon
    Sandy Point Half: 21 August - half marathon
    Sydney Running Festival: 18 September – half marathon
    Melbourne Marathon: 9 October – marathon

%d bloggers like this: