Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lest we forget. . .

Happy Anzac Day!

Australia took a holiday on Monday to remember the Anzacs. Anzac stands for Australia/New Zealand Army Corps.

Not knowing much about the Anzacs, I checked a book out from the library. I didn't know. I didn't know that Australia had such a part in the first and second world war. I didn't know Australia went to Vietnam. I didn't know that Australia is still fighting today in Afghanistan and other areas of the world that need extra security.

I think war stinks. I understand why we have war, but it is a complete waste of human life and natural resources. If leaders would stop being corrupt and people would be kind and tolerant of each other, war wouldn't be necessary. But it is. I pray for peace, but I also pray for the safety of the men and women who are fighting for peace, no matter what country they are from.

As a mother, it hurts to see the pictures of men lying on battle fields. I know some of them had wives and children, but they all have a mother.

I was profoundly impressed with the respect and honor that Australia shows its veterans. We went to an Anzac Day concert at one of our favourite places, the South Bank. It was beautiful. The Queensland Symphony played, prayers were said and hymns were sung, along with a standing ovation renditions of "Advance Australia Fair", and "Waltzing Matilda", and the pipes were playing - the Queensland Police Pipes and Drums. What is it about bag pipes? I can't get enough.

During part of the concert they showed pictures of families being reunited with their loved ones. Those pictures really touched me. I've been there. My father is a Gulf War veteran. I remember the day in December that he left. We drove to Salt Lake City where we stood in line all day to get our military ID's updated. We went to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and they sang "I'll be home for Christmas." It was a live recording, so we had to try not to sob as our family cried through the song. Even more vividly, I remember the day he came home. It was an explosion of hugs, people holding signs, singing patriotic songs, and happy crying. Fathers were holding babies they had never seen. We came home and our neighbors had decorated our house in yellow ribbons. I saw that same expression of joy and sacrifice on the families in the photos at the concert.

Thank you for your sacrifice, and also thank you to Australia for showing the respect to your veterans that they deserve.

Here's an Australian classic and a new family favorite:

Anzac Biscuits

125 g butter, chopped (1 cube)
2 Tbsp golden syrup (Americans, look in an import store, or try 1 T molasses and 1 T corn syrup.)
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda (baking soda)
2 Tbsp boiling water
90 g rolled oats (1 C)
150 g caster sugar (1 C white sugar)
65 g coconut (3/4 C)
1 C flour

In a pan, stir butter and syrup until butter is melted. Then add the soda and water. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix. Bake at 150 C (325 F) for 20 min or until lightly browned. My oven burns everything (really, it's not my fault!), and I like things chewy rather than crunchy, so I only cook them for 10 min. They have a great chewy texture and a wonderful carmel flavour. Even my children, who don't like coconut, love these cookies. Don't forget the flour (I did the first time I made them - actually, my recipe left it out - honestly, it wasn't my fault!)


Kendra said...

Juli, you almost made me cry. And I'm gonna try those cookies. I've never bought coconut in my life, but I guess there's a first time for everything. Take care!

Emily said...

Juli, you DID make me cry. I have never heard the story of the day your Dad came home. Now I need some of those cookies. miss you.

Kimberly said...

Do you remember that when dad came home they showed our family greeting him on the news? I will never forget it either. And we went to a parade in Boise that was seriously the hottest day ever.

The cookies sound good--now just figure out how many points they are for all of us WW people...

Juli said...

Butter, sugar, and coconut - I don't even want to know how many points they are. I make them very very small though. That way you get more surface area for the crunchy/chewy edges. Yeah, I'm a texture girl.

beck said...

I just remember that I was really grouchy and refused to get my military i.d. But that was kind of my attitude back then.

Juli said...

The worst thing about getting our ID's was that they mixed up all of our SS numbers and put the expiration date as the day before we got them, so we had to do it again anyway. Do you remember the coloring books they gave the little kids - how to deal with your parent going to war, or something like that. I thought it was weird that they had a coloring book about it. Makes sense though. I don't remember you being grumpy, Beck, but I do remember sitting in the car in the parking lot up at Fort Douglas and watching the sun set over the mountains. It was the prettiest one I've ever seen. Mountains make good sun sets, even when you're sad.

Spencer P. said...

I remember some girl singing "did you ever know that you're my hero?" That song is kind of funny.

Tanaramasaurus said...

just wanted to tell you i miss you and that i still have my "temple hanger" in my closet right in front :) thank you for always being such a great example to me.