G’day mate from Down Under!
We have not done a Take a Trip activity since Mardi Gras – to be fair, we have been doing our own trips – so I thought that we were overdue. Anya had picked Australia, somewhere I hope to actually go one day. As usual, Anya did the research and I provided the food. She did a great job on the flag and on finding some pictures for us, but I did help her with some of the facts. We knew that Australia has some cool wildlife, like kangaroos, koalas, emus, and kookaburras. But many dangerous species, like sharks and many kinds of venomous spiders, are also present in the country. Australia is the largest island in the world! It is divided into 6 states, each of these having their own Parliament. It gained its independence from England on January 1, 1901. Anya was excited that they speak English there, which was kind of funny. Lorelei wanted to know where you could find the Nemo fish there – god bless Finding Nemo, right?
The food should have been easy and for the most part, it was. I was disappointed that I could not find vegemite here, which is called for in a lot of Australian recipes. According to History of Vegemite®, “Vegemite is one of several yeast extract spreads sold in Australia. It is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract (a by-product of beer manufacture) and various vegetable and spice additives. It is very dark reddish-brown, almost black, in color, and one of the richest sources known of Vitamin B.” They sell 22.7 million jars of this every year in Australia! I also cheated a little with the fish and chips, using pre-battered fish and french fries. I was trying to save a little time and to appease my children! Our menu included: fish and chips, meat pie (pie with beef, bacon, tomato, onion, and all kinds of goodness in a pie shell), couscous, grilled shrimp, lamingtons (sponge cake coated in chocolate and coconut), and peaches and raspberries in cream. The kids ate the fish and chips, were not crazy about the meat pie or the couscous, and liked the lamingtons and the shrimp. I thought it as all yummy!
We did not pick another country tonight, but I think we can squeeze another one in before Andy gets back. Our lives are so busy and these are time-consuming, but it is still fun to escape a little to another world and to learn something new. Maybe I’ll pick the next one, seeing as I have to be able to find all the ingredients for stuff! Any suggestions for where we should study next? So long as it is not any country near Italy, since we will probably actually see and experience these places!
**Thank you to History of Vegemite® for the info! – http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/VegemiteHistory.htm