It’s that time of year again when I bake Anzac Biscuits for my students, who then bravely bite into the crispy, crunchy (sometimes bullet-hard) delights . I’ve often thought how lucky I have been that nobody required dental work afterwards.

Mostly I think what I cook and bake is OK, although if the recipe isn’t luscious then neither will the final result be. Welsh cakes are a point in question. The poor old Welsh never had much in the way of money, or yummy ingredents, and Welsh cakes are basically currants (yuk) in a meagre dough. I made them once for all my VHS students, who again manfully munched through thm, drily.

“We’d have been very glad of these during the War,” said Erika B. helpfully.

Here’s a more modern and delicious recipe:

Talking of wars, that’s where Anzac Day comes from.

‘ANZAC’ stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.  On the 25 of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. These men became known as ‘Anzacs’.

The tragic story of Gallipoli:

During World War One, the friends and families of soldiers sent food to the men. Due to the time delays in getting food items to the front lines, they had to send food that would remain edible, without refrigeration, for long periods of time: the Anzac biscuit!

Those Anzac soldiers – including my step-grandfather Wilf – also took part in WW2, mostly in Asia. Many of them – including my step-grandfather Wilf – were taken prisoner and kept under the cruellest conditions by the Japanese. Some of them were taken to North Borneo. At the end of the war, Australian prisoners there were marched across Borneo; all of them died except six who escaped with the help of local people.

I found out quite recently that Wilf had been a POW in Changi Prison camp, and had been involved in clearing land for the very first runways of Changi Airport – a place which holds such deliriously happy memories for me, connected as it is with my trips to the Borneos.

How strange. How interesting.

The Cabin Fever Part

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