An Australia Day Tradition…Mate!

Considered a public holiday (for most) in Australia, Australia Day commemorates the landing of the first fleet in 1788. The first official record of this day being an actual holiday didn’t occur until 1818 and the tradition has continued ever since!

Not all Australians perceive this as a day to celebrate, but without becoming too political I would like to acknowledge the indigenous people of this land – on this day. Thank you.

For most, however, it will be a day of tradition and overindulgence in many aspects – food mainly, followed closely by alcohol. Of late, the TV commercials have all been about lamb or beer! And yes – both will be on my table come lunch time tomorrow!

But there are so many other traditions, almost too many to mention…except one.

So, in honour of Australia Day, I decided that one of my tests this week should be the good old, humble lamington – an Australian tradition. Wikipedia states that the history of the lamington is that it was named after Lord Lamington who served as the Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. Named so, because one day, some unannounced guests arrived at the Governor’s Mansion and the chef was caught unprepared. He thought on his feet and dipped some day old cake into a chocolaty sugar mix and rolled it in coconut! The guests were delighted and asked for the recipe!

An Australian tradition - the humble lamington!

Quite ironically, Lord Lamington was believed to have hated the “sweetie” that had been named in his honour, referring to them as “those bloody poofy woolly biscuits”

Over a century later, the humble lamington can still be seen at almost every school fete across the country as well as in the local Country Women’s Association Cake Stalls!

But for me – the lamington could be  so much more! I decided to put on my thinking cap…and without too much fuss, came up with the red velvet lamington (perhaps a new Aussie tradition?) a concoction of red chocolate cake with a double chocolate dip before being rolled in coconut.

The Red Centre Lamington!

For tomorrow, my fellow Australians, I wish you peace, love and happiness, please take a moment to reflect on all the many wonderful things that make this such an amazing place to call home and how lucky we really are. Happy Australia Day!