Happy Australia Day!

  

Happy Australia Day!

 

To celebrate Australia Day, we have an excerpt from Kate Young's The Little Library Cookbook...

 

Hush’s Feast

 
They ate Anzac biscuits in Adelaide,
mornay and Minties in Melbourne,
steak and salad in Sydney
and pumpkin scones in Brisbane.
Possum Magic, Mem Fox
 
When I was eight, I stood on my school stage in a leotard, white tights, a tail and furry ears. Our teachers had turned one of the best-loved picture books in Australia into a musical. It included, memorably, a piece called the ‘Tassie Devil Rap’, tonnes of kids dressed as lifeguards and more than a couple of hats with corks hanging from the brim. I played Hush, a young possum who wishes she was invisible. For her birthday, Grandma Poss makes it so, but cannot then reverse it. Grandma Poss thinks that the remedy lies in food, so they travel around Australia, eating, until Hush is visible once more (a lamington cake in Hobart finally does the trick).
 
It is a charming story, and full of things I love to eat – steak, pavlova, Vegemite and these three afternoon-tea favourites: Anzac biscuits, pumpkin scones and lamingtons. In the parties of my childhood, nestled alongside platters of sausage rolls and big bowls of tomato sauce, these three were staples.
 
If they are unfamiliar to you, please allow me to introduce you. Anzac biscuits, originally made for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs), last for many weeks, and were sent to soldiers fighting in the First and Second World Wars. The pumpkin scones in the book are eaten in Brisbane in honour of Flo Bjelke-Petersen (wife of ex-Queensland Premier Jo Bjelke Petersen), who shared her now-famous recipe for them in the 1980s. Lamingtons are my personal favourite, and classic lunchbox fodder: a dense sponge, rolled in rich chocolate icing and desiccated coconut. I was convinced they weren’t worth making myself (the shop-bought ones are great) until I made them for my friend Jess’s thirtieth birthday – a gift from one Australian to another, both many miles from home. They’re a joy to make and to eat.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We have two upcoming releases by Australian authors this year as well. 
First, Jenn J McLeod's sweeping novel A Place to Remember. This novel is set in Australia and brings to life in a beautiful story the rich echoes of the Australian outback. 
Secondly, The Concubine's Child by Carol Jones; a sweeping historical novel that moves between 1930s Malaysia and the present day.