When the weather got warm in OR I looked forward to going to the Farmers’ Markets near my apartment. I’d often breeze in after work and have a look-see to scope out what might be good for dinner. I often stopped by a bake stand run by an Australian lady who made lamingtons and Anzac biscuits among many other treats. She’d recognize me since I’d be carrying my little shopping basket and wearing one of the sun hats I kept in the car.
I tried many baked goods from her pastry case, but the Anzac biscuits were my favorite and I’ve remembered them until now. They are like a sweet version of the Scottish oat cakes from my favorite cookbook that M made for me right before I flew to MD. They were on my mind since New Zealand popped up in my countries list recently and so of course I started thinking about Anzacs again and was so pleased to find an easy, flourless recipe from Australia’s The Healthy Chef. (The recipe is linked. The only substitution I made was to use coconut oil instead of macadamia or olive oil. I also pressed this into a tin to make bars. PS – seriously, this recipe is so simple. If I can do this, so can you. And I love the shortbread texture!)
“ANZAC” really stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, who fought in WWI. The biscuit folklore indicates that wives sent these cookies to their deployed husbands since the ingredients kept well and withstood transportation. I just think they’re yummy, and wanted to share them with you in honor of my hardcore friends who are learning how to live without being able to walk. Since we reside in different states and getting to the post office is rarely feasible for me, however, this is act of cookie sharing is a virtual one, and I will take responsibility for consuming them in real life. I should probably have waited to post this since it’s ANZAC day on April 25, but I couldn’t help myself.
One more thing – WWI was referred to as “The Great War” or “The War to End all Wars.” And then WWII happened. So when I think of my non-walking friends, and also of people like me who have been given some cataclysmic circumstances I think of WWI and how it was truly awful, and then another worldwide conflict arose. I think this pattern is representative of life – yes, getting sick was cataclysmic for me. But what happened two years ago was not the end, nor is a car accident or any other sort of medical event the “end” for a survivor. There is a lifetime of fallout to be dealt with. The encouraging cards, visits, etc. might bolster you up early in your recovery, but pretty soon you’ll find yourself wondering how you’re going to go grocery shopping in a wheelchair for the first time, or you get yourself stuck in the bathroom at home (because that’s a small room) and you feel terribly alone.
I don’t have anything very pithy and comforting to say at this point. I just wanted to tell you that although I don’t have to sit in a wheelchair anymore I remember what it feels like, and I’m rooting for you every day that you sit in yours.