Category Archives: General

Anzac Biscuits ~ Family Recipe Friday

I love Anzac biscuits.  Apparently they were made for the Australian and New Zealand troops overseas in WW1 because they kept really well, containing no milk or egg.

A friend posted a link to the New Zealand Women’s Weekly recipe earlier this week, so I thought I’d have a go and see how they turned out.  Well, they tasted yummy, but were nothing like the Anzac biscuits of my childhood. They were also nothing like the picture on the NZWW’s website.  (I am intrigued as to how they managed to make theirs so perfect and circular…)

I knew I had to consult an expert.  My mum is the one who taught me how to bake, and would let me loose in her kitchen on Saturday mornings.  Sometimes there were several of us kids in there, creating foodie magic chaos.  Occasionally, things didn’t work out quite like we expected, like the chocolate fudge that never set and had to become chocolate sauce for ice-cream.

Mum and I discussed the NZWW recipe.  “Too many rolled oats”, she reckoned.  And she passed on the recipe she got from her mum, my Nanna, who I figure is more of an authority than the NZ Women’s Weekly in this case, as she was alive when the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli.

Nanna’s Anzac Biscuits

1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut
1 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons cold water (I used hot water)
1 tablespoon golden syrup
4 oz (113g) butter

Mix flour, sugar, oats and coconut in a bowl. Dissolve baking soda in water. Melt golden syrup and butter. Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix well. Form into balls and place on greased tray, allowing some room for the biscuits to spread while baking. Bake about 15 minutes in 180C oven till brown. Cool on tray for a few minutes, then place on wire rack to finish cooling.

Anzac biscuits - recipe from my Nanna, Jean McGonnell

Anzac biscuits – recipe from my Nanna, Jean McGonnell

These turned out lovely!

My mum also suggested Alison Holst’s recipe which is similar, and good if you want a slightly less buttery tasting biscuit.

So, what is the real history surrounding the Anzac biscuit?  Fiona Rae in the New Zealand Listener has delved into the magazine’s archives and shares (the awesome) Lois Daish’s investigations into this humble Antipodean treat, along with three more recipes to try.

Let me know if you have a fab recipe you want to share!

Family Recipe Friday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

 

What, June already? ~ (Very Un) Sorting Saturday

I don’t seem to be doing very well on blog posting lately!  I’d love to say that it’s because I’ve been concentrating on my IHGS assignment work, but that’d be a big fat lie.  There has been some family history research going on though, however not much filing and recording.

Most of the research I’ve been doing has involved travelling.  Back in April I managed a quick whizz around some villages in Staffordshire where my Tunnecliff(e) ancestor George may be from.  I had some helpful information from Tunnecliff descendents in Australia, and I’m hoping I can eventually prove a link to this particular Tunnecliff family.

Last week I was up in Scotland, chasing up my Burke and Philp ancestors, in Perth and Fife respectively.  With three kids in tow, it was a whistlestop tour of a few key places, but I did manage 30 minutes research at the A.K. Bell Library in Perth, poring over burial registers and valuation rolls.  I could have spent days in there!

A confession:  my record-keeping is C-R-A-P-O-L-A.  Things I thought I’d entered into Reunion are nowhere to be found.  Yup, still stuck somewhere in one of the fifty gazillion notebooks I write everything into.  *sigh*  I really notice how bad things are when trying to gather together info for a research trip, or attempting to answer an email from a distant relative (I will be in touch soon, I promise, once I’ve sorted out my notes!)

On a more positive (sorting) note, I’ve just cleaned out my RSS feed reader and drastically cut my blog subscriptions down to about thirty blogs – in the hope I’ll actually get to read all of them.  I think that’s about the only “housekeeping” I’ve done lately!

 

Anything but Filing ~ Sorting Saturday

I had planned to tackle some filing today, but I seemed to have found a myriad of things to do instead!

I’ve just installed a WordPress plugin called Organise Series, so that it’s easier for my readers to follow a series of posts that I write on a particular topic. My Brosnahan posts are ideal candidates for a series, so I went ahead and set it up, but the series links box that is added to each post needs a bit of work, appearance- and placement-wise, so have turned the feature off for now. If you’re interestd in adding this plugin to your blog, check out Moultrie Creek’s article, which is where I got the idea from.

This week I need to spend some time preparing for WDYTYA? Live. I have two ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions, where I get to spend 20 minutes with an expert who will hopefully tell me all the answers what steps to take next in my research. The two areas I want help with are tracking down my Burke ancestors in Mayo, and finding the regiment and movements of a military ancestor. I want to collect together all the information and research I’ve done so far and type up a summary for each question.

I also want to choose a couple of photos to copy and take along to be dated – Jayne Shrimpton will again be attendance, though I found you need to get in early, or be prepared for a long queue! I’m hoping this year there will be an efficient system in place, perhaps even more ‘photo detectives’ available. (Must check out the guide and website to get the details before Friday.)

I’d like to follow up a little more on my Brosnahans, plus tackle some of my neglected IHGS assignments. I’ll get a chance to see my tutor at WDYTYA, so better do some work before I go!

Tomorrow I may do some filing.

Sorting Saturday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Genealogy Resolutions 2012

It’s that time of year for resolutions, and I’ve been inspired by other Geneabloggers – this is my list for 2012:

Organisation

  • Complete updating my records in Reunion
  • Plan a scanning schedule for my certificates

Writing

  • Post on this blog at least twice a week
  • Begin writing my maternal grandmother’s biography

Education

  • Complete assignments for IHGS Lectures 4 to 12
  • Complete TNA’s online paleaography and Latin courses

Research

  • Find the Burkes’ townland in Co. Mayo
  • Visit Scotland and take a looksee round where the Burkes and Philps lived
  • Continue research on Wright line

The tree that almost damaged my family tree ~ Wordless Wednesday

 

30 ton horse chestnut tree, blown down in storm, 3rd January 2012

30 ton horse chestnut tree, blown down in storm, 3rd January 2012

 

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Task list ~ Sorting Saturday

Well, we’re over halfway through December already and I haven’t even thought about a task list for the month!   So much for being more organised…

Anyway, a quick look at how I did on my November tasks:

  • outstanding emails    –  half done, need to finish the rest before Christmas
  • lecture 3 assignments   –   a miracle indeed, finished and submitted!!  Have even started on lecture 4 assignments
  • regular blogging (including finishing my West Yorkshire research trip series)    –   not done so well here, though completed my West Yorkshire posts
  • filing and inputting data for maternal side   –    ummm…
  • book tickets for WDYTYA? Live in February  –   yup indeedy, tickets bought and workshops booked.  Even have hotel booked, woohoo!

I also fitted in a day course at IHGS on The Parish and the Manor, and a day’s research up in Suffolk on the Wright side of my family.

The rest of this month will kinda be taken up with Christmas activities, but I’m also hoping to:

  • complete two lecture 4 assignments
  • undertake more Wright research up in Suffolk
  • do some prep work for my New Zealand trip in January
  • maybe some filing…?? ho ho ho

Sorting Saturday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Armistice Day ~ 11.11.11

Remembrance Day poppyAnthem for Doomed Youth
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

Wilfred Owen, 1917.

 

Original poppy image sourced from FreeFoto.com

November task list ~ Sorting Saturday

I am still behind in all my filing and sorting and such like, and not much, if any, progess has been made since September.

Happily though, my grandfather’s biography is finished.  Shrieks of joy and jubilation! Two weeks ago I finally submitted my Lecture 2 assignments for the course I’m doing with IHGS.  It’s taken me a year to do the first two lectures, and I have 22 more to go…. I think I may need to speed up a little.

I’m hoping a task list might help me get focussed over the next month.  There are six more weeks before the kids break up for Christmas, so I have to make the most of my kid-free time. These are my  priorities for November:

  • outstanding emails
  • lecture 3 assignments
  • regular blogging (including finishing my West Yorkshire research trip series)
  • filing and inputting data for maternal side
  • book tickets for WDYTYA? Live in February

Sorting Saturday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Now, where was I?

Finally managing to catch my breath after the summer break and getting my four-year-old daughter settled into school.  But not for long, as I seem to have a pile of genealogy tasks that need to be sorted ASAP!

First up is getting back to regular blogging again, especially finishing writing about my research trip over the summer.

Next is to complete my grandfather’s biography for my IHGS assignment and submit it.  (This possibly should be top priority… it’s been a year since I signed up for the course, and I am only up to Lecture 2.  Erk.)

I also have several outstanding emails to send to recently discovered cousins, some of whom found me through this blog, and one I found just by a random google at 2am one night. I love making connections with distant family members!

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been slowly working my way through tidying up my family binders – so far I’ve input into my genealogy program (Reunion) all the certificates and census information on my paternal side.  And I’ve made a start on my maternal side, though there’s a lot more census data there.  I’ve also left any New Zealand Electoral Roll data for now, and will do that family by family.  And then there’s all the stuff that I’ve collected digitally that needs to be sorted.  *sigh*

Of course, there’s the matter of a little rugby contest down in New Zealand that’s proving to be a mite distracting.

All Blacks

On the road

Here I am, wrapped up in a duvet in front of a gas fire, glass of Kiwi sauvignon blanc in hand, listening to the rain beating down on the caravan roof… yes, its the great British summer holiday.

Im typing this post on my shiny brand new birthday present – a portable Bluetooth keyboard for my iPhone. Loving it!! (Its a US style keyboard, so hopefully I wont ever have to type a pound sign while travelling.)

Just as we were leaving for our holiday, the postman arrived with a probate file Id requested from Archives New Zealand. Naturally I had to bring it with me, and its made fascinating reading.

Ive a stack of books that Ive brought with me to read – hopefully Ill get a chance to read most, if not all, of them. Currently on the go is Michael Fosters A Comedy of Errors or The Marriage Records of England and Wales 1837 – 1899.

If the weather is kind tomorrow, were off to Conwy Castle. In the meantime, Im hoping the iPhone WordPress app lets me post this

ETA: it seems all my apostrophes have disappeared… arrrrgh!!