Feeling true-blue

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Australia Day.

To be perfectly honest, I have very mixed feelings about Australia Day.  I love my adopted country, consider myself an Aussie and a public holiday to celebrate being ‘Strayan ? Sweeet!

But, Australia Day commemorates the landing of the First Fleet, which led to massacres of the First People here – Indigenous Australians. To them, Australia Day is not a day for celebration, it is Invasion Day, a sombre day for reflection. Feels rather insensitive to have barbecues and picnics and cavort in the sun while others reflect on a dark day in their history. Their history should be our history, IS our history. Hardly surprising then, that there have been calls to move Australia Day to a more neutral date.

In case you’re wondering, “Eh? Which crazy political blog have I accidentally surfed over to?”,  rest assured I don’t intend to start proselytising. However, as this is a personal space to share my thoughts and feelings - consider them shared.

I guess I’m feeling this way because of the way a small number of Aussies choose to celebrate. Getting blind drunk, then bashing or threatening to bash anyone who they consider “un-Australian” (read : darker skinned or funny looking). These yobbos drape themselves in the Australian flag, declaring their patriotism.  Sorry mate, you’re mistaking xenophonia for national pride. And pray tell me, how is wearing the flag as a cape, or worse, up your bum-crack as a “true-blue” bikini, show any respect for what that flag symbolises? Do you not realise that blood has been spilt to defend this precious emblem?

But just in case you’re starting to freak out - don’t worry. The majority of people I know are wonderful, tolerant, intelligent people. Ordinary people who try and make a difference, no matter how small. I will celebrate this Australia Day by hanging out with the folks I love, and we will celebrate the mateship, the spirit of “a fair-go” and the larrikinism that sets Aussies apart from everyone else.

So Happy Australia Day to you, spread a little love to the person next to you. C’mon hippies, we can do this together ☺

Here are some lamingtons to sweeten the deal. The “Life’s much better if we all get along” Lamington. The “It tastes much better with chocolate” Lamington.

Marbled Lamingtons

1 quantity of your favourite marbled butter cake
(I used a Margaret Fulton marble cake recipe)
(Lamington can either be made using sponge cake or butter cake)
Dessicated coconut to cover
(Optional: rainbow choc-bits, or sprinkles)

Chocolate “sauce” for dipping the lamingtons
(I’m going to admit to something highly un-Australian here, I don’t usually like lamingtons. They promise so much : a chocolate coating, smothered in coconut, then cake on the inside. It should all work together so beautifully, but I’m invariably disappointed that the coating just isn’t chocolate enough. The traditional coating is made from icing sugar, cocoa powder, sometimes butter and water, so I decided to amp it up by using real chocolate, and more butter. Butter is good).

145g dark chocolate (the kind you’d be happy to eat)
80g butter (I used salted butter to get a sweet/salty contrast)
3 tbsp (or to taste) icing sugar

Melt butter, icing sugar and chocolate together in the microwave or in a bain-marie (stir to make sure the sugar has dissolved). Let sit for a minute or two before using, so it’s not too runny. If  mixture starts to set, gently reheat.

Cut the marble cake into squares and dip into the chocolate sauce. The easiest way that I found was to put the sauce into a deep bowl, then use a skewer to pick up a cake square and dip into the chocolate. Tap the skewer along the edge of the bowl to get rid of drips.

Roll the chocolate square in coconut and leave to set on a wire rack set over a baking  tray to catch the drips.

MC Junior hates coconut so I made a few happy rainbow ones for her. The chunkier chocolate bits don’t stay on as well as the coconut and have a tendency to slide off.  Refrigerating the chocolate covered square for a couple of minutes seems to help.


Trissa said...

I didn't even realize why it was called Australia Day - now am not sure I want to celebrate it anymore... pretty sad. But anyway, your lamingtons are there to make it all better! :)

3 hungry tummies said...

yeah I feel the same about celebrating the "invasion day" This is a really good take on the lamington though :)

Juliana said...

Thanks for the history...I am learning so much :-)
Anyway, your lamington looks yummie, in spite of the sad history facts behind Australia Day...

shaz said...

Thanks Trissa, 3 tummies and Juliana - I didn't realise the significance until a few years back either. Was quite an eye-opener. I prefer to have a small family and friends catch-up day now, it's still good to appreciate being Aussie. My two cents worth :)