My nine-year-old daughter, gazing at her brother as he devoured a mound of juicy dill pickles, asked “Mom, who made the first pickle?” This is another question of no immediate importance to which I could not nor cared to answer at the time. But it did get me thinking about the history of many of the foods we eat.
I admit, I am a history nerd and casual baker with a passion for odd facts. I’ve spent many snowy afternoons engrossed in television documentaries detailing the history of the Twinkie, Coke, or any number of food items. (Now, I can relate to Colonel Sanders playing around with spices in his mother’s kitchen, aka secret recipe, but no ordinary human concocts the factory method to make chocolate like Milton Hershey by experimenting with a few cocoa beans.) In honor of all those long hours toiled in the kitchen by cooks of lore, I’ve decided to add a bit of history to this edition of Princeton Found recipe corner.
I lived as an ex-patriot in Australia for almost seven years. On April 25th they celebrate Australian New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day. It commemorates the soldiers who fought and died in World War I at Gallipoli, the European part of Turkey It also serves as a day of national remembrance and reflection of the repercussions of war, much like the American Memorial Day.
Out of concern for the nutritional well-being of the soldiers, their mothers, wife’s and sisters created the Anzac Biscuit (cookie). This recipe is packed with oats and flour which do not spoil easily, making the biscuits easy to ship overseas and store. This was an attractive feature back in 1917 considering the lack of proper refrigeration. Please note, Anzac biscuits are traditionally hard and crunchy.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Bake Time: 20 min.
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
1) Mix flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a bowl
2) In a saucepan, melt the butter then add the water and syrup
3) Add the baking soda to the liquid mixture
4) Combine the liquid mixture with the dry ingredients
5) Make small balls with the biscuit dough and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Biscuits will become hard when cool.