I recall during the Post-War and Depression eras my grandmother, mother and aunt used their precious rations of healthy ingredients to make batches of Anzac biscuits.
As they had done during WW1, the crisp, sweet biscuits were wrapped in paper, and carefully packed in tin boxes. These were carefully hand-sewn in sturdy scraps of canvas or calico, and marked carefully with indelible pencils with the name, rank & number of their menfolk in War Zones. We children, with watering mouths, were only allowed the broken bits and crumbs left over. When such parcels arrived from home, what joy and encouragement they brought 'our boys'. Along with hand-knitted socks, mittens and scarves, Anzac biscuits became a signal of hope in dark places.
I wrote this poem to honour the faithful women who served our country so well, keeping the home fires burning, machinery working, families cared for and farms producing. businesses.
Mothers of soldiers, their Grandmas and wives,
girlfriends – all fearing for their lives-
Our brave boys shipped to war far away .
Let’s send them some nourishing food today.
Planned with love.
Nutritional biscuits (Scot’s recipe)
tasty e’en after months at sea.
Home- cooked biscuits, a crispy crunch
to supplement dinner rations or lunch.
Prepared with love.
Take one cup each of finest flour,
Rolled porridge oats, so good to devour.
Add half a cup of sugar sweet.
These biscuits will be quite a treat.
Measured with love.
Drop baking soda – half a teaspoon
in boiling water; two tablespoons.
Add butter, a 7 tablespoon knob
And another of golden syrup, a glob-
dissolved with love.
Now pour this yellow liquid sweet
on dry ingredients, and then beat.
Stir well until the biscuit dough
is creamy smooth – it’s good to go.
Mixed with love.
Place spoons of mix on cold greased tray
Put in a hot stove without delay.
Cook well, ‘til flat and golden brown -
delicious treats to gobble down
Baked with love.
When cool, stack biscuits in a tin.
Pack them firm (rat-free) within.
Add a cheerful note and wrap your gift-
it’s sure to give our boys a lift.
Packed with love.
For months these tins are in the post
en route to men who need them most.
The perfect comfort we agree
to cheer our lads in Gallipoli
Sent with love.
By Rosemary Francis.