Tomorrow is Australia Day, which commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788, and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern part of Australia (which was known then as New Holland). Like Thanksgiving, it's a national holiday with uncomfortable genocide-of-native-peoples associations, so the day is unofficially also known as Invasion Day, or more recently, Survival Day (as the Aboriginal people managed to survive the best attempts of the British to wipe out their culture). Cheerful stuff.
In true Aussie fashion I will be celebrating the day by going to the beach, although not in anything quite as glamorous as these lovely outfits from 1950. Dibs on the black swimsuit with the spotted tangerine bow and matching skirt by Desses. Which one would you like?
I'm also going to make some Lamingtons. New Zealand has decided that the pavlova really originated there, but I'm sure lamingtons are originally Australia. For you Northern Hemisphere people, lamingtons are large cubes of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate icing, and then rolled in dessicated coconut.
(Photo randomly found on Flickr, by Cindy Lai)
Lamingtons were named after Lord Lamington, who was governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. He apparently hated them, and referred to them as "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".
I am going to try the CWA (Country Women's Association) recipe found on Chowtown. I've never made them before, so I can't vouch for it, but the CWA is the last bastion of traditional Australian cooking, so I think it's probably ok.