Spirit of Anzac

It's important with intercontinental marriages to educate your spouse on your native culture. So I explained to Gareth that tomorrow is Anzac Day, when Australians and Kiwis honour the bravery and sacrifice of those who served us in war. It's an important day, one of reflection and rememberance. And watching the news for the annual How Many WWI Diggers Have We Got Left Now report.

I decided to make some Anzac biscuits. I think I made my first batch when I was 6; in our house if you were old enough to walk you were old enough to cook, clean and herd animals. I've never been confident with Anzacs, especially after we made them in Year Seven Home Science. My batch huddled like angry little dog turds, but my friend Joanna's were the most uniformly round specimens the world had ever seen. The teacher gave her 10 out of 10 and I just gawked at them, marvelling in their perfection and seething with jealousy. How did she do that? Had she used a compass?

Today's batch were a bloody disaster. I should have realised that cramming sixteen on one tray was too ambitious. I peeked into the oven after ten minutes to see they were advancing faster than the Germans in WWII. It ended up blurring into one giant mutant biscuit, clinging steadfast to the tray. So I hacked away with a big knife and told Gareth how the ladies would bake these for the troops. They'd travel well and last for months thanks to the lack of eggs.

They're not pretty but nothing I cook ever is. But Gareth was quite happy to eat them, saying they were a good example of what could happen to a tin of Anzac biscuits if shot by the enemy. Behold the biscuit shrapnel!


About Shauna Reid

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23 thoughts on “Spirit of Anzac

  1. not to be immodest or anything, but i make the best anzac biscuits in the whole world. In our house, i can’t keep up with the ratio of cooking each batch to eating warm, just-gooey-on-the-inside-sweet-sweet biscuits.

    except this year i decided not to make things like biscuits because of my (uh, blacklistfriendlyword) joint pain that old people usually get, it’s usually not worth the pain, though I may have to dose up on the painkillers and venture forth to the supermarket for ingredients – now that i’ve seen your effort i’m suddenly craving them!

  2. oh i sooooooo want one of those right now. i do love ’em.
    it doesn’t matter how it looks – its how they taste.
    btw nice attempt with the biccies on the blue plate … very vogue entertaining darling!

  3. If you grabbed a copy of the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday you could endulge in one for free, but we know you like to do things the hard way πŸ˜‰

    Lovely roman papalish touch with the koala bear!

  4. Why don’t we have any traditions like this in the UK, with accompanying biscuits?

    Do you have to be Australian/from New Zealand, at least by marriage, to get a biscuit, or can anyone have one?

  5. the first thought that popped into my mind as i read Gareths comment on the cookies .. the man is clearly a diamond in the rough πŸ™‚

    but the cookies look very-very-very tasty .. probably ‘cos they resemble what we here in estonia call “kaape kakk” .. the part of the cake that is deemed “unpresentable to high-class visitors” .. and don’t get me wrong .. they taste beyond divine .. actually .. they are to die for .. a lot better than the cake itself ever could .. πŸ™‚

    thanks alot .. it is 12.04 and .. ‘cos of YOU .. i am hungryer than i have ever been in my life πŸ˜‰

  6. Oh my goodness, that’s the funniest thing ever. Love me some Anzac bickies. Can someone help a girl out and post their favourite recipe for them? mine never seem to work out either. Of course, doesn’t help that I’m crap at cooking, really…

  7. Hey! I made chocolate chip cookies this weekend, myself. Not for any noble or sentimental reason, just because I wanted ONE freaking cookie, but it needed to be a good one. No Chips Ahoy for me, thanks. My husband was the happy recipient of the rest. In fact, he packed them up to take to work this morning.

    Besides, we all know it’s not how it looks that matters, it’s how it tastes. =)

  8. Shauna, You made me look good! Here is in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA – Someone brought in some hard as a rock crunchy cookies (i.e., “biscuits” outside of the U.S.) that were absolutely delicious. As I was having my second one, our project manager came by and said his wife had made them because it was Memorial Day (he’s Australian). So I said “Oh, these are Anzac biscuits!” and he was surprised I knew it. Turns out I knew more than he did — no eggs!

  9. Fantastic. I love a good Anzac biscuit but god knows how many years it’s been since I’ve sunk my teeth into one. Would you be kind enough to email me the recipe?

  10. i can’t remember which site i got the recipe from (i downloaded it 2 years ago) but this one here is the same except it has less bicarb soda than the one i had. which would be better coz it might stop the freakishly fast growth πŸ™‚

  11. Hey, I used to live near Anzac, in northern Alberta, Canada…. They always rana story about Anzac day every year…

  12. I’m usually pretty good at baking, but I did have one disaster with ANZAC biscuits the time I forgot to put in the bicarb soda. Obvioussy the biscuits didn’t increase in size AT ALL and they were very sorry looking things. Still tasted good though.

    Then there was the time I forgot to put the cocoa in the chocolate cake… you’d think I’d notice that the mix was white not brown…

  13. I tried calling my mom “The Mothership” the other day .. and she was offended b/c she thought I was calling her a large woman.

  14. I made my anzac biscuits a couple of days early, and I think they were all consumed by the time the day actually came around. But the looked EXACTLY THE SAME as yours!!! And I only had 13 on the tray! All spread out, one huge rectangular anzac biscuit. Thank god I remembered to put down the baking paper or else they still would be stuck to the tray.

    I think maybe the dough just doesn’t have enough structural integrity to maintain its shape and form. They are determined to spread out to fill the tray:) Even if you only put two little mounds of dough on the tray, they would still spread out over the whole area…

  15. You have cured me from liking biscuits. A really funny blog. You could give Marion Keyes that Irish chick lit author a real run for her money.

  16. Man, you could give Marion Keyes that Irish chick lit author a run for her money you are such a good writer.

  17. I remember getting Anzac biscuits when I went to Austrailia and New Zealand. It was a with a Student Ambassador program, and since I was in fifth grade and everything, with my family back home, I bought some to take back home.

    They were more like Anzac pebbles by the time I got back.

    So they had to eat the Vegemite.

    Love the way your blog looks. It’s incredibly clean. I’m quite jealous.

  18. Yey for Anzac Biscuits. It’s one of the few sane parts of the tradition. I’m sure you could live for years on just Anzac Biscuits. I wonder if there are Vietnam Biscuits? Will we ever have Iraq Biscuits? Shame John Howard Biscuits?

    My girlfriend said, ‘How about We Saved the Franklin Biscuits’.

    I know what you mean about the battle in the Home Science kitchen. It’s murderous. I once had to explain to a furious Home Science teacher why there was a frozen pigeon waiting for disection in the Home Science freezer.

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