Monday, December 15, 2008

Aussie Christmas Lollies.

“Lollies” are to Australian kids what “Candy” is in the USA and “Sweets” are in Britain. The word seems to be derived from “lollipop”, but why in Australia it became the word for all sorts of small confectionery is a mystery (to me, at any rate.) “Lolly” is also slang for money – but that doesn’t appear to explain the transition to sweeties, does it?. “Lolly” also used to be an old English dialect word for the tongue, which maybe fits a bit better with the idea of a lollipop (a candy on a stick). Finally, “lolly” is also, according to the OED the word for “soft ice, or congealed snow floating in the water when it first begins to freeze”- which explains Ice-lollies perhaps (which, perversely, are “ice-blocks” in Aus).

Enough of this struggle with English as she is interpreted through the ex-colonies! On to today’s story, which begins, as all good stories do, with “Once Upon a Time. …”

Once upon a time a certain “Polly Parrot” ran the children’s pages in The Argus (a Melbourne newspaper). The “Fun Children” who sent in good ideas for publication were awarded Parrot Cards – a reward which I am quite sure delighted them to a degree that would be incomprehensible to the modern child. As Christmas approached in 1931, cards were awarded for recipes for “Christmas Lollies.” Here are the parrot-card winning entries for the edition of Saturday 12 December 1931.

LOLLIES for CHRISTMAS.
Most Fun Children enjoy making home-made sweets during the school holidays.
It would be very jolly to make some for Christmas. If they are placed in attractive little boxes they make charming Christmas presents. Polly Parrot is sure that you will like the following recipes, which she recommends:-

Fruit Nougat
For this recipe you will need some dates, dried figs,raisins, and Maraschino cherriesand two cups of melted sugar. Chop the dates, figs, raisins, and cherries into smallpieces, and arrange in alternate layers in a shallow buttered pan. Melt two cups ofsugar over a quick fire, watching closely that it does not turn yellow. Pour it overthe fruits evenly and slowly, using only enough to blend. Before the mixture isquite cold, cut it into small bars.
(A Parrot Card for Frances Hope Bertuch, Bonnie View, Harcourt North.

Turkish Delight.
Soak one ounce of powdered gelatine in three-quarters of a cup of cold water for two hours. Put 2 lb. of sugar into a saucepan with three-quarters of a cup of water, bring to the boil, and add the soaked gelatine, a little citric acid, and a few drops of vanilla essence. Simmer for 20 minutes, skim well, and then pour on a damp dish.
Leave for 24 hours, then cut into squares and roll in castor sugar. For colouring use cochineal.
(A Parrot Card for Edna Hoskin, Primrose street. Violet Town)

Cocoanut Dainties.
Here is some cooking which a small child could do. The ingredients needed are:-
Four table-spoonfuls of sugar, 8 tablespoonfuls of desiccated cocoanut, and thewhites of two eggs. Beat the whites of the eggs to a froth, add the sugar, and beatwell again. Then stir in in the cocoanut.
Drop teaspoonfuls of this mixture on to a greased slide, and bake about 10 or 15minutes in a moderate oven.
(A Parrot Card is awarded to Jean Douglas, Coast Road, Mirboo [?] North, Gippsland.)

These recipes have been added to the Vintage Christmas Recipes archive.

Quotation for the Day …

There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.
Erma Bombeck (I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression)

4 comments:

virtualredhead said...

Sounds yummy!

Here's a festive Christmas cocktail to aid in your merriment.

Toffeeapple said...

Those were the days! Could you see a child nowadays being allowed to 'melt sugar on the fire'?

I've just found your blog, what a treat it is to read.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Toffeeapple - that was my first though too! I think we have gone too far in over-protecting children - there are some schools now where children are not allowed to do cartwheels etc in case they hurt themselves!

SometimesKate said...

Children over here are not supposed to be in their own back yards unattended, even with a fenced in yard. It boggles my mind, all the things I blithely did as a child that would be viewed as shocking and horrifying now.

Sadly, none of those candies are appealing to me. I've tried turkish delight and my first thought was "Edmund asked for =this=? Yuck!" I fear I am very much a chocolate and caramel sort of person.