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Here we come Australia


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No, I am not really taking my class on an field trip to Australia. :biggrin: Our next stop as we travel in Social Studies is Australia. We are also studying the Ocean in science, so there are a ton of food lessons in my student's future.

But back to Australia.

I have done some research and found this site, and this site and this one too.

I am going to get Vegemite, but what do you eat it on? And why do you think this tastes good?

I am also going to try and convince my coworker to make a Pavlova because I am a horrible baker. Don't know if she'll do it though.

Finally, I'll get some macadamia nuts to represent the outback. We are going to Hawaii next so it will be a nice tie.

What else am I missing? What else is good? How can I get back in their good graces after I make them try Vegemite :wink:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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hillvalley, I'm hoping some "real" Australians reply to you too (I'm an American who has been living here for 10 years) but thought I'd give you a reply with my 2 cents worth.

For Vegemite (by the way, I think it's rather nasty tasting but then again peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are revolting to many people who grew up in Oz) I think it's an acquired taste and since many people get it here from childhood they love its salty savoury taste. Primarily people eat it on buttered toast and here's the trick IT MUST BE SPREAD VERY VERY THINLY so that you can barely see the layer of Vegemite!

Pavlova is suprisingly easy but Anzac Biscuits are even easier. They're really simple oatmeal cookies. Let me know if you want a recipe. That would make you popular again after the fun of Vegemite.

Lamingtons would be a HUGE hit but they're much fiddlier to make. They're yellow cake, cut into rectangles and iced all over with chocolate frosting and the rolled into coconut.

If you want more savoury stuff damper's easy to make since it's a quick bread, really. You can throw some cheese in it or herbs or other spices if you want to jazz it up a bit. Or just let them top it with butter.

Hope that helps.

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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I was going to suggest the lamingtons - but say they were easy! You could buy a sponge ready made and then cut it up and dip in the chocolate icing and coconut.

Then it occured to me that maybe your sponge in america is completely different to ours here in Australia.

I second arbuclo's advice to spread the vegemite VERY thinly on the toast. I used to hate it as a kid unless it had sugar sprinkled on it. Another way to eat it here is on biscuits called Vita Wheats (made by Arnotts) which are very hard savoury wheat biscuits with lots of holes in them. By putting heaps of butter and a tiny scrape of vegemite and then pressing two biscuits together buttery/vegemite like "worms" came out of the holes (and went all over your fingers) - we used to love having "wormy biscuits" after school.

The kids would love violet crumble if you could get it. A chocolate bar that is honeycomb in the middle and coated in chocolate.

Anzac biscuits are really easy to make and the kids would love them (also really easy to manage as not crumbly etc and moderately healthy with the oats)

Let us know how it goes!

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I agree with the Anzac cookies.

You could spread Vegemite and butter on Carr's Water Crackers. My mom used to do that with Marmite (English Vegemite) and I loved it when I was a kid. Bascially any bread or cracker with butter will work, and just one more time because it is so important SPREAD IT THIN!!!!

BBQ'd shrimp perhaps? I know it sounds stereotypical but every BBQ I've been to here has had them.

Let us know how it goes.

Dan

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Tim Tams should be a hit and redeem you afdter putting anyone through vegemite. When I first went there I found it odd that they put beetroot on burgers.. bizarre.

As for BBq; don't just stop at shrip; octopus and calamari were quite common too.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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These ideas are great!!! Keep them coming.

We will definately make the lamingtons. Should I use yellow cake, sponge cake or angel food cake?

As for the shrimp, we are going to do a whole seafood lesson. I am going to get a whole fish, shrimp with the heads on, squid and clams and oysters, which I will shuck in front of them. Nothing like grossing your kids out by eating live animals :wink:

I am also going to try the Anzac cookies. Recipes would be great.

What about school lunches? Do kids bring sandwiches and the like?

Right now we are watching a movie about Australia and they are loving it. It helps that they can understand the native language :smile:

When I do the Australian feast I will post pics and how it went.

Thanks for all of your help.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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sponge cake is traditional with lamingtons (but again there might be a difference in an american and an australian sponge cake).

This site might interest you - the anzac biscuit recipie is similar to mine and there are other recipies including lamingtons that you might like to look at. Also other australian things that might give you ideas

site

Please do post pictures and let us know how it went. :smile:

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The Vita Wheat idea is great and the 'worms' certainly add a certain novelty value. Apart from that buttered toast with a thin spread of vegemite is the way to go. Kids do take sandwiches for school lunches - perhaps you could try a vegemite and cheese sandwich on soft white bread - very yummy.

Definitely go with the sponge cake for the lamingtons. If you really want to get advanced you can spread jam between layers of sponge.

Good Luck!

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Hillvalley where are you living? I am in the States and there are areas where you may be able to get some of the foods mentioned. (Tim Tams, Vita Wheats etc) I would make the Anzacs - for the syrup try to find the British Lyles or and find a darker golden sugar cane syrup (available in the south), and if you can find a bakers, get some dessicated coconut, the sweetened stuff over here is not the best but at a pinch will be ok..(they will be very sweet bikkies - cookies) warn the kids that the cookies are crunchy and not soft - thats always a shock to Americans hahaha. Lamingtons would be best with the packet white cake mix, not angel food.

I think they would enjoy the damper as someone suggested. A sandwich made with vegemite won;t taste very nice with supermarket bread as the American bread is sweet and the two (bread and vegemite) are very much at odds. I would also as someone suggested try a dry cracker such as Carr's or go to the Mexican section of the supermarket and get their saladasa's which are nice and dry, and suitable for butter and Vegemite (thats been my main meal of Vegemite living here.

The children in Australia take their lunches to school and usually a sandwich, piece of fruit, and a drink,. Though when my kids were young, they often had cold chicken and salad, Pita bread filled with goodies, and cheese with crackers, They also have a school canteen or Tuckshop where they can order a lunch. usually its a meat pie, a Pastie, Sausage roll or sandwiches, they also can purchase an ice cream at lunch time. We dont have cooked lunches as they do in the States. Kids in Australia eat a lot less sugary foods for Breakfast such as dougnuts, (Though they like things like Fruit loops etc! hahaha)and we tend to not have maple syrup with our breakfasts. We eat pancakes and Waffles as a dessert or a treat rather than a breakfast food. Peanut butter is mainly used for sandwiches or on toast and not spread as thickly as over here, we also butter the bread first. Our peanut butter is not as sweet either, its more salty. We tend not to eat peanut butter candies. Our Lemonade is more like Sprite too, though we have many brands avaliable. Cinnamon is used a lot more over here in foods and Candies which is not used as much in Australia. We mainly use it in some cakes and in Asian cooking. The cheese in Australia is generally white, and we have Kraft foods but the cheeses are vastly different. The closest to Australian cheddar is those from Vermont area. The ham in Australia is usually salty not sweet., more like country style Virginian. Hopefully you may find some passionfruit for the kids to try, as its something they generally do not eat over here (though its expensive in most places, you may be lucky where you are) The closest you will find to Australian tastes in manufactured cookies would be if your supermarket has British foods, they have similar cookies to us.

This has been a rather long reply but, as I am living in the States, felt I would be able to help a bit with the contrasts. It should be a terrific class, and I am glad that there are people out there examining other countries! I will put some items below to help you with the baking etc

1 Tablespoon Australia = 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons USA

Icing sugar = Powdered sugar / confectioners sugar

Caster sugar = Superfine and put it in the blender to further grind it

Coconut = unsweetened bakers coconut or powdered coconut from asian stores

Syrup = Lyles Golden Syrup or dark or golden cane syrup

Cream = Heavy or whipping cream

Bi Carb Or bi carbonate soda = Baking soda

Copha = No food like it in USA have to get the actual Copha from Aussie on line store

Shortening = butter

Jelly = Jello

Jam = Jelly or Jam or preserves

Conflour = Cornstarch

Plain flour = All purpose flour

Self Raising flour SR = Self Rising flour

Let us know how you get on. I am sure there willbe many more helpful hints too. Good luck from and Aussie in Mississippi

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This is wonderful!!!!! Thank you so much for all of the info.

The big feast is going to be this Thursday (I think). It honestly has not gotten as much attention as I would have liked, but I am starting to move into full gear.

This is what I have planned so far:

Vegemite on Carrs

Passion Fruit

Anzac Biscuits

Lamingtons

We are going to make the Anzac Biscuits (Especially appropriate given the recent holiday) and Lamingtons. I figure that will make up for the Vegemite :wink:

Tomorrow I am going to stop by a local shop that has international products to see what else I can find. I would love to bring in some kangaroo, but can't find any.

By the way, my kids are walking around saying G'day mate! And for some reason, they have associated the Power Rangers with Australia. I have no idea why, but they think a certain Aussie firefighter (who recently blogged) is the red one!

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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By the way, my kids are walking around saying G'day mate! And for some reason, they have associated the Power Rangers with Australia. I have no idea why, but they think a certain Aussie firefighter (who recently blogged) is the red one!

Like I said in a previous email to you hillvalley at least they don't think I'm a teletubbie :biggrin:

Cheers

Tom

I want food and I want it now

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They all screamed when they heard that! No teletubbies in this classroom :smile:

Can anyone who is familiar with US foods give me a substitute for cane syrup?

Non food question: Do people really play with boomerangs?

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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They all screamed when they heard that! No teletubbies in this classroom :smile:

Can anyone who is familiar with US foods give me a substitute for cane syrup?

Non food question: Do people really play with boomerangs?

Corn syrup is a pretty good substitute for cane syrup.

As for boomerangs the answer is no ........ sorry to disappoint the kids

Cheers

Tom

I want food and I want it now

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I have tried the Corn syrup and not liked it. But found Cane syrup in many supermarkets. Not really like Golden Syrup but a good replacement. I would rather use honey instead of corn syrup/ The corn syrup gives the cookies a very sickly sweet taste.

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  • 4 weeks later...

First, my sincerest apologies for not posting back sooner, but I've been a little busy.

We did a small Australian feast, admittedly not up to my usual standards. Instead of tasting passion fruit, which I couldn't find, we made passion fruit popsicles. Unfortunately they did not freeze until the next day, which I had taken off. I hear they went over fine, but the kids haven't asked to make them. That's usually a sign that they did not love them.

Lamingtons, on the other hand, were huge. I bought an Angel food caked, got choocolate icing and flaked coconut. What's not to love? We ended up icing just one side of the cake due to time, but it still tasted delicious.

Thanks for all of your help. My kids walk around saying G'Day mate and singing "Waltzing Matilda" :smile:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thought I would mention that making Lamingtons may not have been explained to you correctly!! They are DIPPED into a very runny frosting, then rolled in coconut and left on racks to dry out. You can also use a packet of raspberry jelly ( gelatine) which is made according to instructions, and the sponge squares are dipped just as the jelly is beginning to set slightly.

For the chocolate ones, make up a mix of confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, a little vanilla and boiling water to a dippable consistency. You are after a mix that will adhere to sponge, but not thin enough that it is soaked right through the sponge on contact. Likewise with the jelly. :smile:

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