Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Anzac Biscuits

Day 11 of immobility. I am not getting used to it! The recipes in my laptop are organized and arranged into categories and subcategories, I have deleted all junk e-mails since 2004 (why was I keeping these things?), other e-mails have been sorted and saved (in files) or deleted. I feel incredibly organized. So why am I so frustrated about this down-time? Because I can’t move! Crutches are evil. I am not a very coordinated person, and these things are not easily maneuverable. I want to walk up the stairs on my feet. I want to go outside into this sunny, yet cold, day and run. I love Christmas, and the tree in the living room is beautiful, but I want it and the other decorations to be packed up and back in the attic. As Jack says, it will be Christmas until March.

Cooking with my husband is a continuing adventure. He is so much better at it than I had anticipated, but it takes so long. And there are a few reasons why which I simply cannot break him of. First, measuring. I’ve told him that, unless we’re baking, exact measurements aren’t really necessary. Still, I ask him to pour 1½ cups of water into the glass measuring cup and, 2 minutes later, he is still at it. Dribbling water in from a spoon and staring at the red line at eye-level until the water level is precisely at the mark. Spoonfuls of spices are carefully leveled off. Measuring cups of sugar are exactly to the top rim. I realize that he is still a beginner at this, but he isn’t paying attention when I say that this kind of preciseness is not necessary when making meatloaf!

When we were kids my brother loved Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, as we all did. He is now a good cook but this was the only thing he made for the longest time. I remember being in the kitchen once, he was about 14 years old, and watched as he would measure exactly 4 cups of water into the saucepot in which to cook the macaroni. I told him that he just had to fill the pot about 2/3 full since it wasn’t necessary to have the exact amount of water in there; the macaroni just needed to be able to cook in enough water so they could dance around as they boiled. He looked at me and said “then why don’t they tell you that? The directions say 4 cups of water for a reason, and that’s what I’m doing.” He wasn’t about to screw up his lunch just because his older sister told him to use the wrong amount of water!

Back to the present.

Yesterday, Jack cleaned the house very nicely and my friend Jenni arrived with food. Lots of food! Turkey meatballs, turkey chili, African chicken, frozen multigrain waffles, frozen challah French toast—all things which she made for us. We will have the chicken tonight over whole wheat couscous. I can hardly thank her enough. Yes, Jack and I are doing well enough in the kitchen on our own, but it takes so long to put together meals (with exact measurements!) and these wonderful food-gifts are so appreciated. She also picked up a couple of Trader Joe’s quick bread/ muffin mixes for convenient baking. How can I thank her enough???

My friends are so very good. :) Four days after I broke my leg, I received a box of comforting Godiva hot chocolate mixes from Jan, a friend who lives in California. I have been drinking this stuff steadily since I need the calcium in the milk to repair and strengthen my bones…

And then, after Jenni left, I opened a large box from my parents which arrived earlier that afternoon. Anzac biscuits, peanut butter chocolate brownies, cranberry-orange scones, granola, chocolate, coffee, a puzzle, magazines, and a pair of nice stretchy wide-leg pants to fit over this aircast I am forced to wear. And a beautiful card which my niece Arianna made and enclosed.

I am so lucky! Yes, I’m in pain (still! when does it stop???) and I have to get upstairs by pulling myself backward up the steps on my butt and I can’t run and I can’t do most of the things which I enjoy but to have such wonderful parents and great friends just takes my breath away.

Okay, I’m not going to be posting a new recipe today, but I am going to share this Cooking Light recipe for Anzac Biscuits, which is the one which Mom used and I have made several times. It’s is Australian in origin, and “biscuits” in Australia are “cookies” to us here in the States. Chewy with oats, moist with coconut (Mom also added mini-semisweet chips and chopped walnuts), these are perfect with ice cold (calcium rich) milk and they are also great to mail because they are not delicate and will travel well.


1 cup regular oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup stick margarine or butter, melted
2 tablespoons golden cane syrup (such as Lyle's) or light-colored corn syrup
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 325°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Add water, margarine, and syrup; stir well. Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 12 minutes or until almost set. Remove from oven; let stand 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Note: We found these cookies were much better when made with golden cane syrup. Cane syrup is thicker and sweeter than corn syrup and can be found in supermarkets, in cans, next to the jellies and syrups or in stores specializing in Caribbean and Creole cookery.

Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

CALORIES 98 (27% from fat); FAT 2.9g (sat 1g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 1.2g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 11mg; SODIUM 59mg; FIBER 0.6g; IRON 0.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 17.3g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 1998

By the way, the above nutritional informatioin indicates "serving size: 1 cookie".

Yeah, right. :)