15 June 2014

Anzac Biscuits - yesterday and today.

I very rarely make non-medal related posts but I feel that this is one occasion where readers will understand this indulgence. 
A very dear friend of mine recently deployed, for OPSEC purposes I'll call her MJ. When I have deployed, a care package from home has been very welcome and often eased major discomfort or feelings of isolation. To make MJ's life a little more bearable I'm putting together a care package for her. Any Australian soldier will know that Tim Tams are worth more than gold particularly when dealing with the US forces so a few packets will be included. To give MJ a more personal taste of home I've also baked some Anzac Biscuits is add to the parcel.
Even though Anzac Biscuits are now most often seen around Anzac Day I tend to bake them all through the year. While I know the history behind these biscuits I thought I would share it with readers. The text below is taken from the Anzac Day web site:

During World War 1, the wives, mothers and girlfriends of the Australian soldiers were concerned for the nutritional value of the food being supplied to their men. Here was a problem. Any food they sent to the fighting men had to be carried in the ships of the Merchant Navy. Most of these were lucky to maintain a speed of ten knots (18.5 kilometers per hour). Most had no refrigerated facilities, so any food sent had to be able to remain edible after periods in excess of two months. A body of women came up with the answer - a biscuit with all the nutritional value possible. The basis was a Scottish recipe using rolled oats. These oats were used extensively in Scotland, especially for a heavy porridge that helped counteract the extremely cold climate.
The ingredients they used were: rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or treacle, bi-carbonate of soda and boiling water. All these items did not readily spoil. At first the biscuits were called Soldiers’ Biscuits, but after the landing on Gallipoli, they were renamed ANZAC Biscuits.
As the war drew on, many groups like the CWA (Country Women’s Association), church groups, schools and other women’s organisations devoted a great deal of time to the making of ANZAC biscuits. To ensure that the biscuits remained crisp, they were packed in used tins, such as Billy Tea tins.
ANZAC biscuits are still made today. They can also be purchased from supermarkets and specialty biscuit shops. Around ANZAC Day, these biscuits are also often used by veterans’ organisations to raise funds for the care and welfare of aged war veterans.

So for my friend MJ, I'm continuing this well established tradition for Australian soldiers. Tomorrow there will be a parcel in the post for you.


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