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Australian Recipes: Two Classics

March 6, 2012

I love nougat and found a recipe for a Nougat Tart on a wonderful blog oldaussierecipes.com. This is a simple recipe calling for the use of short crust.  Take some time to go through this site because there are some lovely pieces of culinary history here.  I was particularly moved by the story about ANZAC biscuits and their place in the history of Australia and New Zealand during World Wars I and II.  Wartime cooking is of great interest to me.  It is always inspiring for me to see how cooks did so much with so very little during times of rationing and deprivation.

A few months ago I wrote a poem about rationing in England during World War II.  It’s called The Ration Book Holder.

 

Potatoes nudged from their allotment bed

Spurtle and pop in the bacon fat

Shielded from family use since last Sunday’s dinner

By my mum.

 

Seems a treat in war time

But we’ve always eaten this way Sundays

Mum refuses to change our routine

Fighting Hitler with each ordinary moment

She is.

 

1 week’s rations

4 ounces ham

1 egg

1 stone beef

1 ounce cheese

2 ounces butter

2 ounces loose tea

2 hours queued

3 bodies to feed

Happy to get it.

 

Our backyard bomb shelter roof

Feeds us and delights us

Planted with mint and parsley, daffodils and geraniums

By mum, who idles in sunlight

Shows no fear.

 

Each daybreak she enters the battle

Kettle murmuring on the hob

Letter on the table nearby

Laughing at a joke on the wireless

Unbreakable is she.

 

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