A quick shout out to the Aussies in the world:
Happy Australia Day!
While the northern hemisphere languishes in cold and snow it’s hot down under. January 26th is Australia’s National Day.
The birth of the Australian nation began in 1788 with the first arrival of immigrants, a motley crew of convicts, sailed up to the shores of this rather large island. Though Aboriginal people had already been settled here for quite some time, it was the planting of the Union Jack and subsequent events that led to the country that Australia is today.
The ideal is to celebrate all that is great about Australia and plan to make Australia even better. Officially this happens in the form of much merry-making i.e. fireworks, ceremonies and much drink and barbecuing with loved ones.
Here’s the WWT triple F treatment of Aussie Aussie Aussie:
Get your serve on with some tennis. Mimic the tennis pros at the Australian Open Tennis Championships in Melbourne. Or if that’s too hot for you, try a cooling swim or surf at the many beaches in Australia. BEware! An encounter with sharks and box jelly fish may just ruin your vacation.
Though they may cause bush fires to spread more quickly, eucalyptus trees have great use in the world of aromatherapy. There are at least 5 different essential oils used for their aromatherapeutic properties with the most widely used being:
eucalyptus globulus (blue gum eucalyptus-respiratory infections, muscle aches/pains)
eucalyptus radiata (white gum eucalyptus-respiratory infections, acne)
eucalyptus citriodora (lemon eucalyptus-respiratory infections, insect repellent)
And of course Australian tea tree oil (melaleuca alternafolia) is the ultimate in any travellers’ aromatherapy kit. Its strong anti-fungal and antiseptic properties make it ideal for fungal infections and skin conditions i.e. athletes’ foot, vaginal infections, acne, lice, thrush, ringworm, parasites, gingivitis etc.
As a vegan (and part-time vegetarian) I won’t get into witchetty grubs and other fleshy things so here’s a few food items that are quintessentially Australian, have nutritional value and are vegetarian/vegan-friendly:
- macadamia nuts: Yes Americans, macadamia nuts are native to Australia, not Hawaii. Though this nut contains the highest amount of fat of any nut, it pairs well with both sweet and savoury dishes.
- vegemite: A spreadable salty goo made with yeast extract containing lots of B vitamins. Traditionally spread on toast, you can also use this as the ‘umami’ component of a vegetarian stew or soup. Goes nicely in a bun with vegetarian or vegan cheese too.
- savoury pies: Though known locally as meat pies, you can always vegetarianize with some tvp or tempeh and an assortment of vegetables. Why not use vegemite to make the ‘gravy’ and serve with a side of mushy peas-vegetable protein at its best!
I have not included pavlova here because I believe its origins are Kiwi (you’ll get your shout out next month New Zealanders!) Anzac biscuits are also shared with the Kiwis so stay tuned for more about that on ANZAC Day (April 25th).
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