This month’s book selection was The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan. It was an incredible story. It was about Australians in a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway. It was brutal and moving. There were times I had to shut the book and walk away. But it kept me wanting to read more.
We had our get together at Christine’s house. A beautiful yard (with chickens!). The dinner was amazing. All things I have never had before. Keeping with the setting of the book she started off with Sushi. There were a few different kinds. My favorite was a roll that had cooked lobster in the center. Nice and spicy!
We thought that was dinner but then she brought out the main course! Chicken Meatballs in a spicy Teriyaki Sauce. Real spicy! Cucumbers in Rice Wine Vinegar and Sesame Seeds. And stir-fried mixed vegetables. Oh and there was rice! And Sake too!
For dessert, oh I did not take a photo, grrrrr, Christine served a type of strawberry shortcake. It was so light and not overly sweet.
I brought over Anzac Biscuits. I wanted to make an Australian cookie so I went to Google and found this recipe – Anzac Biscuits. The story of the cookies is best described from the site where I found the recipe, Toriavery.com.
On 25 April 1915 the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula. It was the start of a campaign that lasted eight months and resulted in some 25,000 Australian casualties, including 8,700 who were killed or died of wounds or disease. The men who served on the Gallipoli Peninsula created a legend, adding the word ‘Anzac’ to the vocabulary and creating the notion of the Anzac spirit. In 1916, the first anniversary of the landing was observed in Australia, New Zealand and England and by troops in Egypt. That year, 25 April was officially named ‘Anzac Day’ by the Acting Prime Minister, George Pearce.
The history behind the biscuits is really interesting. In the early 1900’s during World War I, these biscuits were sent to the front lines of battle to nourish Australian soldiers. They are made of simple ingredients that don’t spoil easily, which made them a practical choice for shipping to battle zones. They are also eggless, which was helpful because of war rationing– eggs were more difficult to come by than other ingredients. Most importantly they were yummy, and provided soldiers with a taste of home on the front lines.
The recipe called for Golden Syrup. As it was 10pm the night before the book club meeting I was stuck. I went to the Food 52 Hotline and asked if anyone knew of a substitute. I got an answer that said to use 1/2 honey and 1/2 corn syrup. These cookies were really, really good. So good that they may be part of this year’s Christmas tray.
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