Anzac day

For many of my insidious generation, dwindling here down the end of the alphabet, sometimes Anzac day can fail to resonate.

It’s a welcome day off, hot on the heels of Easter. It’s a day when the dingier pubs are full of people, jostling to flip coins for potential gain.

Back in the day it was about school assemblies and the first trumpet player trying not to crack the first notes in the last post.

One of the most classic symbols of it this day of national remembrance is the Anzac biscuit, earnest and sweet; made these days in bulk by Woolworths and positioned perfectly in the week before for impulse purchases.

Way back when the biccies were created specifically from ingredient s that wouldn’t spoil and could last the trip in merchant ships from Australia to the western front.

The point of Anzac day is reflect on the sacrifices others have made for our freedoms.

Which kind of gets you thinking. I’m not quite sure what I’d do if war dared to take my dad and the Hungry One. Carrying the heavy things up from the car would certainly present and obstacle. There are a few advanced functions in excel that are still beyond me. More than anything, I need their calm certainty and senses of spacial perception. As the Hungry One sometimes says as I struggle to fit things back into their cases “it’s tough being you in this world sometimes, isn’t it?”
Well, without him it might be.

So Anzac cookies for me this year were a homage to two pretty important men in my life.

This year it’s about taking an old recipe and tweaking it for their special tastes. I’m not sure if this is sacrilegious, but I think the spirit in which I’ve done it is ok.

For the Hungry One, it means putting R2D2 to work. A strong shot of espresso is added, along with another half a cup of oats go into the mix.

For Dad, who’s always lamented the loss of real ginger nuts from supermarkets its two a tablespoon of ground ginger and half a tablespoon of allspice.

When they come out of the oven they’re crunchy but chewy, spicy but sweet.
So… Dad? I guess this is an invitation around for a cup of tea….I’ve got some biscuits here with your name on them. But quick- the Hungry One just found out they go pretty well with his morning macchiato.

Tori’s tweaked Anzac biccies.

1 ½ cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp treacle
2 tbsp boiling water
1 1/2 tsp bicarb soda.
125 g butter
1 shot (30 ml) of espresso
1 tbsp of ground ginger
½ tbsp allspice.

Preheat oven to 180.
Melt the butter and the treacle in a saucepan. Add the shot of espresso. Add the bicarb and watch it foam.
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Fold in the butter/ coffee/ treacle/ bicarb.
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Put little blobs on it. Leave about four fingers width between them, because they’ll spread.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Shorter if you like them chewy, longer if you like them crunchy.
Cool for about 5 minutes on oven trays.

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  2. To find the grave of my grandfather at Hill 60 at Gallipoli was the object of a weekend visit from Istanbul.We had booked through a tour operator there but a few days from departure from Sydney,I contacted them top confirm they would take us to Hill 60 and they said they do not go to that part of the peninsular on their tours.I cancelled right away and, luckily,in that weekend's newspaper's travel section was a letter from a person who had booked with directly in Istanbul so I emailed them and was told they could take us to Hill 60 at no extra cost.A coffee break half way after 2 1/2 hours allowed us to stretch our legs. On the final part of the 5 hour journey,a tape was played outlining the history of the Dardenelles-Gallipoli campaign in 1915. Upon arrival at the Maydos waterside restaurant we were given lunch on the terrace wirth a wonderful view across the Dardenelles then we were off to the Brighton Beach site (one beach south of Anzac Cove and we were shown large maps of the area nd our guide explained the topography and battles shown on the map and the sites we would be visiting that afternoon.After the rather complete and highly interesting afternoon tour which included a visit to the local museum, we were taken back to restaurant and boarded a cruiser for the short crossing of the Dardenelles to Cannakale.. This in itself was a bonus as one could view the Gallipoli peninsular and grasp the view which eluded so many in rthe 1915 campaign when only a few Australian soldiers reached the peaks and saw the Dardenelles which we were now crossing,only to be beaten back by the Turks under the leadership of Attaturk later reforming President of Turkey.Included in the tour was a Sunday morning tour of Troy- that most elusive and explored city which Homer wrote about some 1200 years BC with Helen, the beauty being kidnapped by Paris and the resulting Trojan War which saw Troy VI destroyed only to be rebuilt at least 5 more times! There is a wooden horse there now but the original is said to have been a seige engine. driver and a guide to go north to Hill 60 to find my grandfather's grave. Through some wheat fields and onto a low knoll and here we were- the first persons to ever visit his grave, front row extreme right hand end.Only 44 graves, some 930 all buried in common grave, the action was made up of left-overs from various regiments,Aussies,New Zealanders ,British in this, the last main battle of the campaign.They were all wiped out in 2 days. An Australian flag, some gum leaves and a red poppy we left on the grave stone- it is a lonely place,sad and gut wrenching when one sees the absolute wastage in human lives-Back to Istanbul on the coach with memories and a feeling that we had, at least fulfilled one of life's ambitions!

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