Archive | April 2013

More of Anzac Day

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After the Dawn Service we walked the short distance to Southgate to have some breakfast before catching the train home. A lot of cafes were closed because it was a public holiday but we decided to eat at Rive Gauche. We enjoyed our breakfast overlooking the Yarra. On the way to Flinders St Station I noticed the Yarra was calm and glassy and the reflections were magnificient. I’ve realised that reflections are probably my favourite photos to take.

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I used the bridge to frame the MCG.

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There were a few hot air balloons floating through the sky. It was a perfect morning for them to be about.

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Anzac Day

The Shrine of Remembrance was called “the cathedral of the Anzac Spirit”.

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Last Thursday I attended my first Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

“The Dawn Service is a major part of the tradition of ANZAC Day and harks back to the military practice of ‘standing to’ at dawn. Each dawn and dusk, the most favourable times for attack, soldiers were called to ‘stand to’ and manned their posts in full kit, ready to repulse enemy attacks or launch their own.” Taken from http://www.vic.gov.au/event/2013/04/anzac-day-dawn-service.html.

Originally Anzac Day was a commemoration of the landing of Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. It’s a day of great patriotism amongst Australians, arguably more so than Australia Day. Nowadays, as well as commemorating that day, it is also a day of reflection for all who have given service or their lives for our countries. Whereas Australia Day in January commemorates the day the English arrived in (some say invaded) Australia, Anzac Day is all about a coming of age. It is not about celebrating the win of a battle, but about the loss of lives because the battle at Gallipoli was disastrous as far as loss goes.

This year my Mum and I were among anywhere between 45,000 and 50,000 people who turned out to the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. It was something I’d wanted to see for myself for a long time. It started with the Preamble at 5.45am. Unfortunately I don’t know who was giving the speech but he spoke about Gallipoli, sharing some of the history of the day and battle. He then moved on to share some of the experiences of some of the soldiers. I know the facts of the day but it was great to hear some of the detail you don’t often read about in the history books.

Once the service started at 6am there were a number of speakers who told different stories. As there are no more living Gallipoli soldiers some of the focus was on Afghanistan. It was great to get an insight into what is happening over there.

There was some concern about 10-20 years ago that the Service and Anzac Day itself would become less and less relevant. There are no more survivors of WW1 and the numbers of veterans from WW2 are declining. Since then the people have rallied and the numbers are increasing. Children of veterans are now marching and proudly wearing their medals, albeit on the right side of their chest. Only soldiers who have earned their own medals should wear them over their heart.

As I mentioned before there were around 50,000 people at the Shrine along with thousands at the other capital cities. Melbournians have a reputation for turning out to any sporting event but I realised that’s it not just sports that we go to.

ANZAC Biscuits

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Tomorrow is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand. ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corp. On April 25, 1915 the ANZACs entered World War 1 at Gallipoli. It’s a national public holiday in both countries; a time to reflect on how those brave diggers fought for peace. Dawn services are held throughout both countries to mark the time the soldiers landed at Gallipoli.

The humble biscuit made from rolled oats, plain flour, brown sugar, coconut, butter, golden syrup, water and baking soda is synonyomous with the ANZAC soldiers for whom they were made during World War 1. The true origin is often debated but, as always with anything that relates to both Australia and New Zealand, both countries believe they invented them. We Aussies consider it our national biscuit along with Tim Tams.

The story I like is that Aussie women made the biscuits to send to the soldiers in Europe. The ingredients mentioned above are long lasting and won’t go off on a long journey. They had to still be edible after a two month ship passage to the war fields.

The other thing about ANZAC biscuits that divides the nation is whether they should be hard or chewy. Personally I prefer mine chewy but it wouldn’t surprise me if the original recipe and travelling time meant they were hard. To make them more chewy you just need to add more golden syrup.

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In a mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup of plain flour, 2/3 cup brown sugar and 2/3 cup dessicated coconut.

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If you cook with golden syrup you know it’s quite thick and can be hard to extract from the bottle. To liquify it I place the bottle in a cup of boiling water to soften it. It’s much easier to pour out then.

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On your stove, melt 125g butter, add 2 tbs golden syrup and 2 tbs water.

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Add 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). The liquid will froth up.

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Mix the dry and wet mixtures together.

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Using your hands, make small balls of the biscuit mix. It’s best to keep them quite small because they expand. The ones in the picture below were only about one inch in diameter. Press the balls gently with the heel of your hand to flatten them slightly.

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The last thing you need to do is make yourself a cup of your favourite hot drink, sit down and enjoy them.

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Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains

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New Zealand is known as the Land of the Long White Cloud but I think it should be known more for it’s mountains. Here are a sample of some of the mountains we passed along the way.

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This photo shows how tall the mountains are. The ship is a large cruise ship but it is dwarfed by the mountains at Milford Sound.

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The world’s steepest street. When the streets were planned many years ago, there was no regard given to the mountains surrounding this part of Dunedin. So there are many steep streets in the area.

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Yum Cha time again

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Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know how much I look forward to my bi-annual Yum Cha lunch. This time we decided to revisit one we’d been to before and really enjoyed. We have a policy of not revisiting because there are so many restaurants in Melbourne. However we weren’t happy with the prices we have been paying at inner-city restaurants so broke the rule. I don’t think I will do that again. I was disappointed in the service and food.

The restaurant was Shark Fin at Keysborough. The original Shark Fin is located in Chinatown in Melbourne’s CBD and is one of Melbourne’s most popular Chinese restaurants. This time the Keysborough one disappointed us right from the start with the service. The plates, cups and cutlery were dirty so we asked for them to be exchanged. That wasn’t a popular request. We were seated in the corner which was fine but when the ladies came around with their trolleys they went around the corner and served the next table with their backs to us. We had to get their attention and ask them what food they were offering.

The food was quite nice but there wasn’t a great selection which really surprised me. Below is a photo of all the food we ate. We certainly ate enough food and the best part is that the whole meal only cost us $23 each. Eating in the city was getting very expensive.

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Positano

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Yesterday I celebrated my 10th anniversary as a Creative Memories Consultant by going to one of my favourite restaurants in Hallam, Vic. My Mum and one of my friends joined me.

Positano is great Italian restaurant but they don’t just serve pizza and pasta. The atmosphere is warm and friendly but they also have a nice outdoor area to sit in during Summer. Although it’s near where my parents live they have never eaten there, believing they wouldn’t like it. My Mum had lamb shanks and loved it. I had the Chicken and Vegetable Pie which was a stew enclosed in the very yummy pastry. My friend had Veal Scallopini.

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The desserts look pretty big in these pictures but in reality they were much larger. Mum had half the Lemon Meringue Pie and I was only able to eat half of my Warm Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream. Luckily Mum was able to take half of the pie home.

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