Archive | April, 2013

Lest We Forget – A Very Unaustralian Anzac Post

24 Apr

I vacillated on whether to post this today. Or at all, but I’ve needed to say this publicly for a whole year, so here goes. Exactly one year ago, on Anzac Day 2012, I was involved in a Facebook debate with a man I’ve never met, a friend of an old friend of mine. The conversation is repeated below, with my friend’s name changed to “Rob’s mate” and his friend’s name changed to “Digger”. Both men served in the Australian Army Reserve. It’s a Facebook discussion, so please lower your expectations when it comes to intellectual rigour and/or punctuation.

Uluru - a big, incredible sacred rock in the middle of the de

Rob’s mate (status): What ever you do today please spare a moment to remember those service men and women who died for us, those that served and those that are still serving today. These people are not the ones that start wars, just are prepared to give themselves for others. Lest We Forget.

Rob: I will, but I will also spare a moment to remember the servicefolk who died for “the other side”. Some of us, many of us, descend from ancestors who would have fought against ‘us’. Let this holiday not become (or remain) an excuse for mindless patriotic fervour, but an honouring of ALL who have died in the meaningless (or meaningful, if you must) slaughter. Bless the troops. ALL the troops, on all sides.

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Cassata – Italian ice-cream cake

14 Apr

My family was not big on desserts. Even at the big annual feasts like Easter, Christmas, or New Year, dessert would usually be a small bowl of (home) tinned peaches with a scoop of ice-cream – or perhaps a trifle brought by one of the Anglo-Australian in-laws.

To my mind (or perhaps it’s to my sweet tooth), there are certain occasions that call for something more elaborate, more celebratory. It comes, no doubt, from the Anglo-Australian influence. This Easter (just two weeks ago), I decided to add something to the gnocchi and rabbit (rabbit recipe forthcoming) that have become a bit of a tradition in our home. I remembered, during my three months in Italy as a ten year old, that I became a little obsessed with individual serves of an Italian ice-cream cake called cassata that the local shop sold. Every few years my thoughts will return to cassata, and I’ll vaguely wonder where I might get one before being distracted by my life. This year, I decided to make one. The results were remarkably good, so I’m sharing the recipe.

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