Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lest We Forget

The photo above is of my Grandpa. He was in the Australian Army and saw active service in Vietnam. Tomorrow is ANZAC day, tomorrow is about him, it's about his father who fought in The Great War, it's about his brother who died fighting in the Second World War. Tomorrow is a day about remembering and being thankful for all that our diggers, both past and present, have done for us both on the shores at Gallipoli, on the beaches of Southern France, in Korea, Vietnam and now in the Middle East in the service of their country. Remembering their skill, courage, self-sacrifice, teamwork, spirit and will to serve and fight for us.

Below is the ANZAC requiem, first penned by Charles Bean, official WWI historian after that conflict. It has since been adapted to include past and current conflicts.

Rising Sun Badge (As worn 1904-1949)
ANZAC Requiem

On this day above all days we recall those who served in war and who did not return to receive the grateful thanks of the nation.

We remember those who still sleep where they were left - amid the holly scrub in the valleys and on the ridges of Gallipoli - on the rocky and terraced hills of Palestine - and in the lovely cemeteries of France.

We remember those who lie asleep in ground beneath the shimmering haze of the Libyan desert - at Bardia, Dema, Tobruk - and amid the mountain passes and olive groves of Greece and Crete, and the rugged, snow-capped hills of Lebanon and Syria.

We remember those who lie buried in the rank jungle of Malaya and Burma - in New Guinea - and in the distant isles of the Pacific.

We remember those who lie buried amid loving friends in our Motherland and in our own far North. We remember those who lie in unknown resting places in almost every land, and those gallant men whose grave is the unending sea.

Especially do we remember those who died as prisoners of war remote from their homeland, and from the comforting presence of their kith and kin.

We think of those of our women's services who gave their lives in our own and foreign lands and at sea, and of those who proved to be, in much more than name, the sisters of our fighting men.

We recall, too, the staunch friends who fought beside our men on the first ANZAC Day - men of New Zealand who helped create the name of ANZAC.

We recall all those who gave their lives in the Royal Navy, the British Army, the Royal Air Force, the Merchant Service and in British Commonwealth and Allied Forces, and we think of those British men and women who fell, when, for the second time in history, their nation and its kindred stood alone against the overwhelming might of an oppressor; we think of every man and woman who in those crucial hours died so that the lights of freedom and humanity might continue to shine.

We think of those gallant men who died in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and in peacekeeping and peace enforcing commitments assisting to defend the Commonwealth, and other countries of the Free World, against a common enemy.

May these all rest proudly in the knowledge of their achievement, and may we and our successors in that heritage prove worthy of their sacrifice.

Charles E. W. Bean

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 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Sour Cream Icing

So, just when I thought things were settling down again I was proven wrong! I am no longer going to make promises about posting soon because it seems that just causes a wave of events in my life that are not conducive to blog writing. The past few weeks have been hard for me an my family, we've had three consecutive deaths to come to terms with in the last four weeks and it has been difficult and I've not really had the will to do any blogging at all.

This cake recipe is one of my mum's favourites and so I made it for her using the last of the lemons we had left from the old house. It's delicious and moist and light and oh so lemony, the perfect cake really. It's a winner.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mascarpone Vanilla Ice Cream

So it is coming into summer here down under. It is 28 today and aside from some truly appalling weather yesterday and Friday it has been pretty nice for the past few weeks. I even got to wear shorts on Thursday ‘cause it was 30 degrees. I love spring; it’s the gateway to summer and all the fun that comes with it. Because of this I decided this was the perfect recipe to haul out of my draft bin to edit up and give to you all to tie you over until I complete my experiment this afternoon (it’s a secret). I actually made this a while ago but never had time to edit any of the photos or put the post together but now is the perfect time, cause summer is the season of Ice-cream.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apologies and Updates

Okay, so it's quite obvious that I’ve been gone a while. A long while. And I could give you a multitude of boring excuses I’m sure that none of you want to read about, so I’ll just give you this. Uni and life has been kicking my butt. In fact it kicked my butt right into a world of study, sleep, eat, study, go to uni, eat, sleep, study; repeat. It was fun. Not.

If you had asked me what was going on in my life besides Uni, I would have honestly been able to tell you nothing, except the occasional trip to see my horses. But now, aside from one more exam, Uni is over for the year. Yup, you read that right, I’m done for the year, well, aside from all that boring administrative stuff that has to be done and finding out my grades (Fingers crossed people!).

Thank-you to everyone who sent me messages concerned that I had suddenly disappeared to with no warning, I couldn’t reply to all of you but at least now you know that I am indeed alive and cooking.

There are some things to update you all on. The new house is well on its way to being completed and we should be moving back in by mid-December! I’m so excited, the kitchen is going to be awesome, and there will be so much light! The complete opposite of the dreary kitchen in the rental that is not at all conducive to cooking or photography. The only thing I’m not looking forward to is having to get used to a new oven, again! I can see many a failed cake in my future.

So this is just a quick update to let you all know I am here and working on a couple of new posts with recipes and other exciting (at least to me) things to come in the next week or so. Thank-you all for hanging in there while I’ve been gone, you’re all awesome and I’m so glad to be back!!! Bring on the summer!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Brandy Sponge Cake

So, last week I had my one and only exam for the semester. It went pretty well but the best bit is, I am now free for 6 whole weeks until semester two starts. In celebration of this wondrous event, and the fact that I managed to not bake this before my exam by way of procrastibaking, I made a cake. But not just any cake, a genuine Victorian Sponge Cake, with brandy! I actually made this cake last week, and fully intended to post this then, I have however been surprisingly busy this past week, and then this last weekend I went up to the snow for a bout of Cross Country Skiing at Lake Mountain. Fun times.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mrs Beeton

So, on Friday I was up in Ballarat for an interview at Sovereign Hill, a 19th century gold mining open air museum/ working town, for an interview to become a volunteer there. For those of you who don't know, Ballarat is a rural town around an hour and a half from Melbourne, and since we were up there already, we decided to spend the day at Sovereign Hill.

Sovereign Hill is amazing and there are so many things to see, do and experience about life in a gold mining town in the 1800s. My favourite thing though, I think, aside from the general awesomeness are all the shops along the main street that sell 1800s goods. So aside from the many traditional boiled lollies I got, and there were many, Acid Drops, Butterballs, Peanut Toffee, Raspberry Drops, Liquorice and a Toffee Apple (I was possibly slightly ill after consuming a great deal of sugar). I also go a hand forged steel pie dish and, best of all a copy of Mrs Beeton's Everyday Cookery and Housekeeping Book.

This book was first published in 1893 an has an amazing array, over 400 pages, of 19th century recipes. I am so damn excited. There are recipes for everything in there, from Boiled Calf's Head (a dish I probably will not try) to some seriously yummy looking recipes such as a genuine Victoria Sponge Cake, German Puffs, Jams and Jellies, Steamed and Boiled Puddings and various other traditional Victorian fare. It's amazing to read through and see recipes that I cook now, in their early or original form. I mean, I never thought one would cook Yorkshire Pudding for one and a half hours! Or that one would put 6 eggs and sherry in a pancake mix! In saying that though, I'll probably still try them out, although all the quantities are so huge! Every recipe is to feed 6 to 8 people and most of the time I'm only cooking for three or four, but then I suppose, how hard is it really to half a recipe?

I have an exam tomorrow and since I have been able to avoid doing any procrastibaking this time around, I am going to be making one of Mrs Isabella Beeton's Sponge Cake recipes as a reward after finishing this exam. Filling it with copious quantities of lemon curd, because we still have 100s more lemons than we know what to do with. Gonna have to break out the preserving jars soon. Then I'm going to get on the tredmill and run for 3 hours straight while thinking about all the other suet laden goodies I'm going to try over the Uni Holidays.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Grandma

This is my Grandma. It was her 88th Birthday on the 27th. She is gorgeous, spunky, witty, sharp as a tack, used to roll her brothers cigarettes, taught my Uncle how to roll a joint and let me eat dog food when I was 4. She makes the best Christmas pudding and is an all around awesome lady. I ♥ my Grandma.