ANZAC DAY....25TH APRIL....100 YEARS SINCE THE LANDINGS AT GALLIPOLI COVE
Imagine what life would be like if, from this day forth, the world experienced something the world has never had. Often I wonder what it would be like if, from this day forth, the best thing the world has never had became ours to enjoy; ours to appreciate for ever more.....
The best thing the world has never had?
On 25th April we not only honour the Anzacs who fought in the First World War at Gallipoli, but also those who faced combat on the battlefields of the Western Front in Belgium and France; and those who battled in the Middle East.
On Anzac Day we also commemorate all our men and women of the Armed Forces, past and present who have served and are serving in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping missions overseas.
25th April is an important day. However, it’s also important for us to every day remember and show respect to our brave Defence Force personnel who put their lives on the line to protect and conserve the freedom we experience in Australia; to preserve our National heritage. I hope - as much as you do, I imagine - the freedom we enjoy in our wonderful country is not tenuous; that the sacrifices made by many haven’t been, and will never be in vain.
100 years have passed since the dawn landing on the beach beneath the rugged ridges of the Gallipoli Peninsula; difficult, unfriendly terrain fiercely protected by the Ottoman Army.
More than 20,000 brave Aussies, New Zealanders and some from other countries went ashore, not knowing what horrors lay ahead. They were met with heavy fire before their feet had time to touch the sand beneath the foreign water.
The first Australian officer to fall that fateful morning was Captain William Annear from the 11th Battalion, Subiaco, Western Australia. 620 Aussies died the first day; 57 from the 11th Battalion. The rest of the four infantry battalions of the 3rd Brigade, First Australian Division were not left unscathed. The hostile barrage didn’t abate; nor did the iron will, the resolve of our Diggers.
From a population of less than five million, during the First World War 62,000 Aussies were killed; 156,000 suffered injuries.
Alex Campbell, the final surviving Aussie who participated in the Gallipoli Campaign passed away 16th May, 2002, aged 103.
There’s no debate. We must never forget the 416, 809 men who enlisted in the First World War; nor those in the years that have followed. Our Diggers past and present deserve our respect.
Our brave men and women of the Armed Forces are heroes, not martyrs.
They don’t operate from evil, hate, greed or prejudice. They don’t trivialize life. They are the epitome of freedom, justice, compassion, decency, courage, determination and spirit.
Aussie men and women of our Defence Force, past, present and future - imagine how it would feel never having the need to use the word “future” again in reference to our Diggers - put their lives at risk, day after day; year after year. Their reward should be they’re able to return to their loved ones, unharmed, physically and mentally.
If we, one and all, put our heads together and imagined a world filled with humans who would rather create than destruct; who’d rather dream than destroy; who chose love over hate; who made kindness their priority, not callous cruelty…a world filled with respect rather than disrespect; rich with liberty rather than oppression… maybe…just maybe…IMAGINE.....
Anzac Day is a solemn, emotional day, but it can't go by without our iconic Anzac biscuits. I'm including recipes here because they are popular in Australia and New Zealand. Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC...established in World War 1). During the First World War the biscuits were sent to the soldiers who were abroad by their wives, mothers, family members. The biscuits kept well because the ingredients didn't spoil easily. They are a tradition...many discussions are held whether Anzac biscuits should be chewy, crunchy or crisp...
Traditional Anzac Biscuits: Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Combine 1c plain flour, 1c rolled oats, 1c desiccated coconut, 1/2c firmly packed brown sugar and 1/4c caster sugar (combined) in a large bowl. In a small saucepan put 125g butter, 2tbs golden syrup and 2tbs water; place over medium heat until butter melts and the mixture is smooth; stir in 1/2tsp bicarb soda. Add to dry ingredients; stir until well combined. Roll level tablespoonfuls of the oat mixture into balls and place, about 5cm apart, on the prepared trays. Flatten until about 1cm thick. Bake, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 15 minutes or until light golden. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
HINTS - Make Anzac biscuits your way;
Soft and chewy: Omit the brown sugar and increase the caster sugar to 155g (3/4 cup).
Dark and crunchy: Omit caster sugar. Increase the brown sugar to 155g (3/4 cup, firmly packed). Bake for 18 minutes.
Thin and crispy: Omit the caster sugar. Increase the brown sugar to 200g (1 cup).
Reduce the flour to 115g (3/4 cup).
Gluten-Sugar-Free Anzacs: Combine 1c almond meal, 1c flaked almonds, 1c desiccated coconut and 1tsp Xantham Gum. Combine 1/4c rice malt syrup and 1/4c butter in pot; heat gently; mix in 1/2tsp bicarb and 1tbs water; pour into malt/butter; mix until it starts to froth; pour into dry ingredients; mix to combine. Roll into balls; place on lined baking tray; flatten a bit; bake in 120C oven, 30mins until golden.
Organic Anzacs: Combine sifted organic 1c wholemeal or spelt plain flour, 1c organic rolled oats, 1/2c organic coconut sugar, 1/2c organic desiccated coconut and 2tbs Chia seeds. In a bowl, combine 125g organic coconut oil (liquid form) and 1 or 2tbs rice bran syrup. Dissolve 1/2tsp bicarb in 2tbs boiling water; add to oil mix; stir into dry mix; if too crumbly, add 1tbs water; roll into balls; place on lined baking tray; flatten a bit. Bake in 175C oven, 12-15mins until golden.
Anzac Cheesecake: Process 250g Anzac biscuits until fine crumbs; add 125g melted butter; process until combined; press into base of greased, base-lined round spring-form pan; chill 30mins. Beat 500g cream cheese, 200g sour cream, 1c caster sugar, 1/2c desiccated coconut and 1tbs golden syrup until smooth; add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating until all are incorporated; pour onto biscuit base; bake 1hr in 160C oven; then turn off oven. With door slightly ajar, cool in oven; then chill 3hrs or overnight. Macadamia praline: Heat 1c sugar and 1c water over med-heat until bubbly and golden; don’t stir. When golden, add 100g chopped macadamia nuts; spread over tray; when cool break into pieces. Top cake with the praline; drizzle with a little golden syrup; serve.