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Temperance, Lockdown and supporting our hospitality industry.

New Zealanders have long had a strange relationship with drinking. Lately we’ve seen stories wondering why alcohol was essential, and others warning to mind one’s own business. I noticed my own drinking patterns increasing during Level 4, and typically bought several bottles of wine at a shop. One one occasion I joked to the checkout operator that I was saving another three incidental shopping trips, before having a moment of clarity that probably everyone said that. On asking her tired response confirmed it: my joke was not new and we’re drinking more in lockdown.

Recipes for and jokes about #quarantini, the sight of bare shelves and the stories above reminded me of a brilliant blog I read in Atlas Obscura years ago, where the writer, as the title says “Tried a Medieval Diet, and I Didn’t Even Get That Drunk“. We think of medieval people as rolling around drunk, given their dislike of water, but as Sarah says, “I never managed to drink quite the volume of wine that medieval people are reputed to, but I’m now convinced that most people were not drunk-drunk, just pleasantly buzzed. Considering the percentage of America’s population that’s regularly taking some mood-enhancing drug, we shouldn’t judge medieval people too harshly

Suddenly bare supermarket shelves, taken shortly after Jacinda Arden’s announcement of the Alert levels on 21 March, 2020.

In New Zealand, our heavy drinking is often attributed to the infamous 6o’clock swill, when opening hours was restricted to a 6pm close. Unsurprisingly, beer-loving people (men) crowded into pubs to drink as much as they could between the end of work and the closing of the pubs. From 1918 to 1967, people chugged back as much and as fast as they could.

Planning for a celebration of century of temperance was underwway in 1932.
Source: Papers Past

At the same time, the Temperance movement was gaining traction in New Zealand. in 1932 Temperance societies in Auckland started planning for a centenary celebration, whilst the 6-o’clock swill raged on and housewives were sneaking ‘drinko’ into their husbands food or drink to try curb the drinking. The adverts are rather quaint, and a little ethically dubious.

An advert for ‘Drinko’ in the Lyttleton Times, January, 1920.

Other adverts include alcohol alternatives, such as Kola-nip, which looks to be a tonic/ sparkling drink that was also available in Australia:

Advert for Kola-Nip, Wanganui Herald 1 January 1918.

I am far from a wowser, and my first proper job out of university was with Hospitality New Zealand, so my professional roots are a little more towards individual responsibility than for a complete ban on alcohol (hello, South Africa). But I can’t help but wonder if we’ve risked the livelihoods of an enormous number of people during level 3 and 4, and if maybe (maybe) Australia did it better. I reached out to my former boss and (former) CEO of Hospitality New Zealand Bruce Roberston, asking what he thought, and it was dire: businesses were in trouble and he expected 30 to 40% of businesses to fail in the next 6 months.

It’s a scary time in more ways than one, but if we want to see our economy pull through, here’s my advice: Head out for dinner. Stick to the three S’s. Be kind. We’re all scared and bewildered, and maybe our Medieval ancestors had something right: a bit of a drink eases anxiety, and watered down wine (really) is delicious and less harmful than straight.

Kia kaha NZ.

What the heck is a peck?

Peter Piper picked a peck of peppers

How many peppers did Peter Piper pick?

So goes the old tongue twister. But have you ever asked what the heck is a peck?

It’s not the strike of a bird or a quick kiss, but a measure whose meaning has become extinct as language and measurement systems have evolved. Historically, a peck was a measure of dry goods, “particularly as a measure of oats for horses“. It stems from Anglo-Norman French and came into Middle English, from around 1350. We have scattered historic measurements that don’t match up with our modern understanding throughout English: gills, drams, and bushels are just some of them. And it turns out that history has a really entertaining system of measurements and weights.

I found a table of conversions for weight, length and measures in my copy of Modern Domestic Cookery (1880) inherited through my Nana from my great-Grandmother. The ever-precise Victorians had a complex system of measurements that I feel – for entertainment’s sake – should be fully reproduced and interpreted here:

Measure of Weight

Avoirdupois weight

27 1⁄3 1⁄2* Grains1 = 1 Dram (dr.)

16 Drams 2 = 1 ounce (oz.) = 437 1⁄3 grains

16 ounces = 1 pound (lb.) = 7000 grains3

28 pounds = 1 Quarter (qr.) [= 12.7 kilos]

4 Quarters = 1 Hundredweight (cwt.) = 112 lbs [= 50kg]

20 cwt. = 1 ton = 2240lb” [= 1016kg]

You can see my conversions into metric in the square brackets as I struggled to make sense of just what the pounds meant in my understanding. And while saying that 28 pounds is 12.7 kilos is all well and good, it doesn’t really explain much. But to solve the mystery of what a peck is, we need to get a little more murky: as a peck isn’t even a measurement of weight, but a measure of capacity. So:

“4 Gills = 1 Pint = 3423 cubic inches nearly

2 Pints = 1 Quart = 691⁄3 “

4 Quarts = 1 Gallon = 2771⁄4 “

2 Gallons = 1 Peck = 5541⁄2 “

4 Pecks = 1 Bushel = 22181⁄5

8 Bushels = 1 Quarter = 101⁄4 cubic feet nearly

5 Quarters4 = 1 Load = 511⁄3 “

Modern Domestic Cookery, 1880 cookbook, peck, peter piper,

Modern Domestic Cookery’s ‘Domestic Ready Reckoner’: all the conversions you could want, including what a peck is.

So at last, we have an understanding of what a peck is. But rather than being able to say that a peck is approximately x kilos, we’re still left with a rather vague notion of how big it is. Essentially, it’s 2 gallons’ worth of peppers. A gallon (for those who – like me – live outside of the US) – is 3.78 litres. And as luck should have it, I have a butt-load of jalapeño peppers from an unseasonably warm summer that I can measure.

I have a 4L capacity pot, and by filling it with 3.78L of water and marking it, I got my gallon’s measure. And the answer to the great question?

PeckPeppers0318

One pepper, two pepper, three pepper, four. Five pepper, six pepper, seven pepper… more!

Around 204. As I was picking, packing and triple counting, it was obvious that peppers are variable in size and shape, and that your mode of packing will determine how many you can fit in: you’ll probably never get the same number in any one peck. Which is why the complete answer to the tongue twister of ‘how many peppers?’ will probably always be a partial mystery.

Funnily enough, this mystery is probably the answer to why we abandoned such measurement systems as well. Who needs pecks and bushels when you’ve got much more sensible systems, like metric?

Jalapeño peppers, pickled peppers, Jalapeño

We pickled the peppers in a solution of vinegar, honey and bourbon, spiced with coriander and mustard seeds, with bay leaves.

* I have a friend who recalls the tongue twister as Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, which implies to me that he went into a shop a picked up a peck-sized jar of peppers, rather than picking them off a bush. I’d be interested to hear what other versions people know.

1. Yes, you read that right, 27, one-third and a half grains. I’ll let your mind boggle over that level of precision for a moment.

2. Clearly, this is not the same as a dram of whiskey.

3. Pity the poor soul who decided to count the number of grains in a pound.

4. Yes, five ‘quarters’ equals a whole load. What you learned in school is nothing.

Soufflé to Victory

Soufflé. They have a reputation of being tricky, but I’ve always wanted to make one. So when Eaten Magazine issued the Cooking for Victory Challenge, and I decided there was no time like lockdown time to tackle the beast. That, and we have a HUGE patch of silverbeet and spinach in the garden that needed eating. Cooking for Victory and its WWII predecessor Dig for Victory just collided in my kitchen.

Spinach Souffle, from the Victory Cook Book, 1943.

The resultof my first attempt was undoubtedly a soufflop.

Lessons I learned:

  • Two egg whites doesn’t beat up enough to fill my pie dish
  • Don’t bang your stick blender against a pot on the stovetop while your souffle is in the oven
  • The dish was actually rocking and rolling around in the water bath’d boiling water, which would have destroyed the air bubbles in the soufflé
  • Mise-en-place is essential

Not one to give up, I made soufflé the next day for lunch, in a smaller dish, and with some wooden cutlery underneath the bowl in the waterbath to reduce rocking while cooking. I got an airy soufflé that still didn’t rise above the dishes lip, but was a very tasty lunch:

Spinach Soufflé, round two

As my faithful little electric beater was whisking up the eggs for my second attempt, I couldn’t help but think that this would have been hell without an electric beater. Hand-powered beaters and mixers were invented and patented in the 1850s by several individuals, and the first powered mixer was invented in 1885, with Sunbeam and KitchenAid coming to the party in the 1910s. Appliances in domestic households were not common until the 1920s in America, and as late as 1935 in Britain 1/3 of new homes were wired for lighting only, leading to “octopus wiring” in the kitchen as people sought to power their new appliances (‘Dawn of the Electronic Age’, pages 230 on). Given that the Victory Cook Book was published in 1943, it’s probable that some American housewives had an electric mixer, but for those without, making a souffle would have been plain awful, if not completely off the menu.

Savoury soufflé’s are made with richer and heavier ingredients, so don’t rise as high as their sweet counterparts. And while I avoided dusting my buttered dishes with parmesan or breadcrumbs for my first two tries (not included in the recipe…), apparently a bit of grit on the sides helps the soufflé to climb. And so, on to attempt three with ramekins, lemon juice in the egg white to further trap air, dusted edges, and lower expectations of a sky-scraping lift:

And guys, I exceeded my expectations completely. They might not have that classic smooth soufflé top but I like how rustic and muffin-like they look. I also added a hefty pinch of chilli flakes as well, because cheese = good, spinach = good, egg = good, and chilli = better. The serving portion for 3 is probably more reflective of the smaller serving sizes people used to eat, and of stretching what you had to feed as many as possible during the war. It fed us both very well as a light lunch, or as an entrée to a small dinner. It’s a great way to add to your meal with only a few ingredients, and it really is a very tasty meal too. And I’ll call that a souf-cess.

Risk it for the biscuit

For all that Anzac biscuits recipes share an ancestry, their variations are many. I discovered this over the weekend, as I tackled six different recipes and munched my way through seven different forms of Anzac biscuits. Five cups of oats. Seven tablespoons of Golden Syrup. Three cups of coconut. Walnuts. 800 grams of butter and a horrifying amount of sugar. Welcome to my weekend, where I literally risked it (my blood sugar levels) to figure out the biscuit.

I baked each of the recipes in my previous post, and thought I’d share my thoughts and experiences on each of these recipes, as well as the crowd favourites. Let’s get stuck in!

1915: the first known recipe with Anzac in the name
Anzac Cakes
Ingredients: One pound flour, 1/2 lb sugar, 6 oz Waitaki Butter, 1 teaspoonful baking powder, 1/2 lb fruit.”

This presented a challenge. With no method and no liquid, I had no idea how I was going to make it work. I ended up trying to rub the butter into the flour in the hope I could squeeze it into balls, but it formed such a fine crumb that the mix wouldn’t stick. I ended up adding 150ml of milk just to bind it, and shaped it into one big, flat cake, which was sliced into squares, and some little individual balls. Later, a friend commented that I ought to have tried creaming the butter and sugar first, before adding the flour. Genius.

Anzac Cakes, original Anzac biscuit

While not an Anzac Biscuit, these little rock cakes are very good.

Anzac Biscuit, Original Anzac Biscuit recipe, St Andrews Cookery Book 1919

The first Anzac Biscuit recipe, found by Emeritus Professor Helen Leach in the St Andrew’s Cookery Book, 1919.

Anzac Biscuit

You’d have to have fingers with no nerve endings, the patience of a saint, and a relaxed attitude towards perfection to make these biscuits.

I had imagined that these would spread and be easily rolled, like a brandy snap, but oh, was I wrong. The biscuits didn’t really spread as much as I imagined, and rolling was nigh on impossible: the biscuits would just break as you were three-quarters of the way through the first roll, probably because of the proportion of starch in them. Rolling them while hot burned your fingers, and at first were too squishy to even lift the edge. I gave up and served them flat and round. Their toffee-like flavour and chew factor was a hit, and were chosen as a quintessential Anzac biscuit by about one third of my testers. They were very enjoyable.

This was the first recipe to include coconut, which is the first lasting evolution of the biscuit since its introduction in 1919. I would bake these again, without the effort of rolling them.

SONY DSC

1968-1982 The Aunt Daisy Cookbook

“Anzac Biscuits

Melt 1/4lb butter with 1 tablespoon golden syrup. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water. Then add following: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup coconut, 1 cup wheatmeal, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 3/4 cup flour. Take small teaspoonfuls and roll into small balls, then place on cold oven sheet, leaving space between each. Cook 1/2 hour in slow oven.”

Let’s be honest: this recipe is an aberration to what an Anzac Biscuit is. Aunt Daisy was a beloved, trusted broadcaster who shared recipes, household hints and tidbits that she knew to work: so how this completely random recipe came to be included as an Anzac Biscuit is beyond me. The recipe contains no oats, but a mix of white and wholemeal flour. There’s coconut and the requisite chemical reaction between the baking soda, butter and golden syrup, which is usual, but there are also walnuts. As my friend’s daughter reacted when I said this – “Whaaaaaat?” this recipe is weird.

The biscuits were the easiest to roll into balls, but we all agreed: these were not Anzac Biscuits. They didn’t look like them or taste like them: they felt like Anzac biscuits on a health bender. Sorry, Aunt Daisy.

Aunt Daisy, Aunt Daisy's Cookbook, Anzac Biscuits

Aunt Daisy’s Anzac Biscuits: the black sheep of the recipe

2018: New Zealand Women’s Weekly

“Anzac Biscuits

1 cup flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups rolled oats
125g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp boiling water

Heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan bake). Line two baking trays with nonstick baking paper. Place flour, caster sugar, coconut and oats in a bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre.

Place butter and golden syrup in a saucepan to melt, or microwave in a bowl to melt. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Add melted ingredients and dissolved baking soda to dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Roll spoonfuls into balls and press onto prepared baking trays, allowing space for biscuits to spread while cooking.

Bake for 15 minutes or until firm and golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool, and enjoy!”

Along with the 1919 Anzac Crispies, this modern recipe enjoyed strong popularity. My testers said they looked like Anzac Biscuits, with their physical shape, colour, and visible oats and coconut.

Like the Australian 1933 recipe, this version contains 2 cups of oats, but has more flour, butter, and golden syrup to hold them together and make shaping them easy. The flavour was better than the 1919 version for Anzac Crispies, possibly due to the chemical reaction between the syrup and baking soda to give them a more toffee-like flavour, and the inclusion of coconut to add some milky sweetness. Testers commented on how fat they were, and that they had a lovely chewiness to them.

Anzac Biscuit

2018 NZ Women’s Weekly Anzac Biscuits

If you wanted to bake an Anzac biscuit, I’d personally recommend either the 1919 recipe or the 2018 recipe: despite being 99 years apart, they share a strong kinship in flavour, appearance, and texture. I also wouldn’t raise an eyebrow if the 1937 Anzac rolls appeal: they’re also a good version.

There is a final note to the taste-off: I mentioned in the introduction that there were seven biscuits that we tried. I bought a packet for RSA Fundraising Anzac Biscuits from the supermarket, out of curiosity to compare homemade and commercial recipes. The RSA has also introduced a chocolate-drizzle and a cranberry version, which I suppose is to widen the appeal and offers an insight into the ongoing evolution of the biscuit. I myself sometimes include raisins in my Anzac Biscuits, so I am not the one to make any accusations about ‘sticking to traditions’ here.

The first comment about these biscuits was that they “smell like vanilla” – a brilliant observation from one of the children, and which was actually overpowering. The ingredients included margarine – all of the above recipes used butter – and while oats, golden syrup and coconut was listed, you could see that the ratio wasn’t as dense as homemade versions. The ingredient’s final inclusion – “flavour” – was the source of much hilarity and bemusement. And honestly: none of us liked the biscuits. Their flavour was wrong, being too sweet and perfumed, and the as was the texture was chewy but not oaty enough. They’d make an acceptable dunking-in-your-tea biscuit, but came last in the taste-off.

RSA Biscuit Reaction

“Huh?” – A genuine reaction to the RSA Anzac Biscuits.

To be fair, I imagine that there are very different considerations that go in to making biscuits for mass consumption. The biscuits would need to have along shelf life (unlike the homemade ones, which as I noted in my last post, would have been unlikely to last the long journey to The Front). There are likely cost considerations to be made as well, hence the margarine and mysterious ‘flavour’. Few of us wanted to finish the biscuit, and we didn’t want to buy them either. Saying that: do support your RSA, as they do wonderful work. Maybe just make a donation instead, especailly as all that donation will go the the RSA and not just a portion.

Which Biscuit?

Our final rating of the biscuits (excluding the 1915 recipe, which could not be included because it bore no similarity to the others) was as follows:

1st equal = 1937 Anzac Rolls and 2018 Anzac Biscuits

3rd = 1919 Anzac Crispies

4th = 1933 Anzac Biscuits

5th = 1968-1982 Anzac Biscuits

6th = RSA fundraising Biscuits

Depending on what you like in your Anzac Biscuit, your rating may be different. But in terms of historic authenticity, flavour, smell, texture, and appearance, I do think that the original and modern recipes are by far the best bets, but the Anzac rolls are a great crowd pleaser.

Happy baking, and do tell me if you attempt any of these recipes!
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The Anzac Biscuit

Australia and New Zealand celebrate our day of remembrance on April 25, Anzac Day. The day commemorates Australians and New Zealanders killed in war, and honours returned servicemen and women. And, like any worthy national day, Anzac day has its own name-sake food: the Anzac biscuit. These biscuits are beloved in both nations, and range from dense and chewy to crisp and crumbly. There are hundreds of recipes to be found: but they all have the same key ingredients: rolled oats, golden syrup, coconut and butter. So how did such a simple biscuit become so incredibly popular and so strongly associated with our day of remembrance?

There is an enduring myth that the biscuits were sent to loved ones on the front, but the truth is that few of what we know as Anzac biscuits were actually sent overseas. This isn’t for lack of love but logistics: the biscuits needed to keep well on a long joinery overseas, and their arrival at the Front whole and unharmed was unlikely: non-perishable foods, such as jam, was infinitely more likely to survive and provide that sweet taste of home. That’s not to say that no biscuits were sent at all: Nga Taonga (New Zealand’s Audiovisual Archive) hold an audio interview from 1965 with 100 year old Helena Marion Barnard, who baked tons of gingernut biscuits – literally – and popularised a particular recipe for the biscuits. She received the British Empire Medal for her efforts. On a less tasty note, there were biscuits known at times to the soldiers as Anzac biscuits, but they were hated hard-tack biscuits: a part of their rations and reputably tooth-breakingly hard. There are some reports men even ground them down to make porridge. Such a food isn’t going to make its way into the national cuisine.

Instead, Anzac biscuits were made and eaten in New Zealand and Australia, and often sold as a fundraiser at galas and fairs. The first published reference to what became an ‘Anzac biscuit’ can be found in the 8th edition of the St Andrew’s Cookery Book, published in Dunedin in 1919. The recipe for ‘Anzac Crispies’ was found by Otago University’s Professor Helen Leach, who I am indebted to for sharing her research and findings to help shape this post. However, it wasn’t the first instance of the name Anzac being linked to a food. That honour goes to the 1915 St. Andrew’s Cookery Book, 7th ed., which included a list of recipes advertising Waitaki Butter, and was the last of a list of five recipes. This was a ‘recipe’ for Anzac Cakes, and Professor Leach told me that “it looks as though it would have made a plain fruit cake, but since the title of the recipe says cakes plural we must assume the mixture was divided between muffin tins or simply spooned on to the baking tray. Without egg or other liquid it would have made a firm cake or cakes”. The Anzac Cakes recipe offers no method: just ingredients. The recipe (kindly transcribed for me by Professor Leach, and included below) bears no resemblance to the Anzac Crispies recipe that appeared in the following edition in 1919.

Professor Leach wisely pointed out that when the history of a recipe is being compared, it is important to take into consideration both the name and the ingredients to do a comprehensive cross-referencing of a food’s past. The 1915 recipe may have been the first known recipe to have Anzac in the name, but it is not an Anzac biscuit as Australians and New Zealanders would commonly accept as an Anzac Biscuit today. A similar situation occurs from The War Chest Cookery Book, published in Sydney, Australia in 1917: Anzac was in the name but had entirely the wrong ingredients: not an oat in sight. The 1919 Crispie recipe is the first biscuit-like name with the right combination of ingredients, and is followed with a published recipe for Anzac Biscuits in the Melbourne Argus, Australia in 1921.

This original 1919 recipe shows the evolution of the biscuit: being a mix of oats, flour, sugar, butter, treacle or golden syrup, and baking soda dissolved in boiling water. The recipe has evolved and today always includes coconut, and sometimes raisins. The RSA in New Zealand sell the biscuits as a fundraiser, and have introduced a chocolate drizzle and a cranberry version: no doubt tasty and continues the tradition of food evolving over the years.

As a fun digression (and another look into New Zealand English, our food culture and science) the baking soda and water that is added to the mix of melted golden syrup and butter produces a chemical reaction between the soda and acidic syrup, forming an unstable carbonic acid, which breaks down into carbon dioxide. The heat speeds up the reaction, and causes the mixture to increase in size, making it much easier to spread amongst the dry ingredients. The same reaction is used to make the sweet known as honeycomb toffee, known in New Zealand as hokey pokey. An early recipe for Hokey Pokey can be found in Wellington’s Evening Post from 1927, and the word has permeated our edible culture: Hokey Pokey is a popular kiwi ice-cream flavour, apparently having been in New Zealand’s freezers since the 40s. Hokey Pokey ice-cream has little nuggets of honeycomb toffee suspended in vanilla ice cream. The word Hokey Pokey actually already has strong links to ice cream, having been a slang term in parts of America and the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and ice cream street vendors were known as “hokey-pokey” men. The question is, what was named first: the toffee or the ice cream? My bet’s on the ice cream, which may have lended its name to the toffee as the flavour grew in popularity here in New Zealand.

But back to the biscuit in hand: Anzac biscuits as we know them have a sweet, toffee-like flavour, balanced by the starch of the oats and mellowed by the coconut. So let’s have a look at the recipes to see their evolution. I list here a range of recipes from the first suggestion of Anzac with a dish, to the first proper recipe progressing to modern.

I’ll be baking up a storm over this weekend and hosting a taste off of these recipes as I seek to get to know the biscuit, so come back on April 25 if you’d like to read about the time I made too many Anzac Biscuits. To tide you over, I provide the recipes below:

 

St Andrew’s Cookbook, Dunedin, New Zealand; 1915

“Anzac Cakes
Ingredients: One pound flour, 1/2 lb sugar, 6 oz Waitaki Butter, 1 teaspoonful baking powder, 1/2 lb fruit.”

St Andrew’s Cookbook, Dunedin, New Zealand; 1919

Anzac Biscuit, Original Anzac Biscuit recipe, St Andrews Cookery Book 1919

The first Anzac ‘Biscuit’ recipe, found by Emeritus Professor Helen Leach

 

1933 Calender Cook Book, Country Women’s Association, NSW, Australia

Anzac Biscuits

“2 cups rolled oats, ½ cup flour, 1 small cup sugar, ¼ cup butter, 1tablesp. golden syrup, 1teasp.carb.soda, 3tablesp.boiling water. Put rolled oats and flour into basin: melt butter and sugar together and mix well with flour and oats; dissolve syrup in water and stir in soda till it foams well, then add to other ingredients and mix well. Put in 1/2 teaspoon drops on a cold, well greased slide and bake in a very a very slow oven, as they burn very easily. It is necessary to put them fairly far apart on the slide as they spread.

– Miss Murray, Manildra Branch”

 

The Cookery Book of the N.Z. Women’s Institutes, Levin, New Zealand; 1937

Anzac Biscuit, old Anzac Biscuit recipe, 1930s recipes

An unusual iteration of the Anzac Biscuit from 1937, with the biscuits rolled into spiralled tubes.

 

The Aunt Daisy Cookbook, Auckland, New Zealand; 1982 (first published 1968)

Anzac Biscuits

Melt 1/4lb butter with 1 tablespoon golden syrup. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water. Then add following: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup coconut, 1 cup wheatmeal, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 3/4 cup flour. Take small teaspoonfuls and roll into small balls, then place on cold oven sheet, leaving space between each. Cook 1/2 hour in slow oven.”

 

New Zealand Women’s Weekly, digital, 2018

“1 cup flour
1 cupcaster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cupsrolled oats
125 gbutter
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp boiling water

Heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan bake). Line two baking trays with nonstick baking paper. Place flour, caster sugar, coconut and oats in a bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre.

Place butter and golden syrup in a saucepan to melt, or microwave in a bowl to melt. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Add melted ingredients and dissolved baking soda to dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Roll spoonfuls into balls and press onto prepared baking trays, allowing space for biscuits to spread while cooking.

Bake for 15 minutes or until firm and golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool, and enjoy!”

Want to know more? Great! Here’s some of what I read (and who I spoke to) to write this post:

Hokey Pokey, The Evening Post,. Papers past, accessed 17/4/18.

Leach, Helen. Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Otago University.

The Real ANZAC Biscuit Story, National Army Museum. Accessed 17/4/2018. https://www.armymuseum.co.nz/kiwis-at-war/did-you-know/the-anzac-biscuit/

Traditional recipe. Country Women’s Association Exeter Branch, http://www.exetercwa.org/past-events/anzacblog/115-traditional-recipe

Was the “real” Anzac biscuit … a ginger nut? Nga Taonga, reviewed 17/4/2018. https://ngataonga.org.nz/blog/nz-history/was-the-real-anzac-biscuit-a-gingernut/

General reading on Anzac Biscuits came from Allyson Gofton, jamieoliver.com, Fairfax media, Unibic, Auckland Council, and the old devil, wikipedia. Ice cream references from The National Library (search Hokey Pokey) and New Zealand Herald.