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The Home Plate - Life and Lamb

G’Day USA

(Only in Australia) Permanent link

Every January, Aussies celebrate Australia Day, our version of July 4th, though it celebrates the anniversary of first European settlement on the continent, not our independence as a nation. It happens January 26th, and an explosion of fireworks, picnics and BBQs will ensue. One key difference – down under, we prefer lamb to American hot dogs. All are welcome to join in the celebration – in fact in many cities there will be “G’Day USA” festivities to mark the occasion. And you can always throw some Aussie Lamb on the grill to celebrate yourself! Try this recipe if you need some inspiration. Grilled Australian herb and wattle seed crusted lamb lollies with caramelized pumpkin

Be sure to upload your lamb photos to our Facebook page and tag our Pinterest page. We'd love to see your Australia Day moments.

Merry Chrissy!

(Only in Australia) Permanent link

In Australia, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas when the thermometer’s rising, school’s ending and the beach is beckoning. Indeed, with December 25th in the middle of Southern Hemisphere summer, Christmas feels different than in America. However, no matter where you roast your lamb, the spirit’s still the same. Nonetheless, if you’re in Australia and inclined to celebrate like a local, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind…

For instance, the holiday’s “Chrissy”—you send Chrissy cards and buy Chrissy prezzies. Don’t hang a skinny red stocking above the fireplace; do hang a good-size pillowcase at the end of your bed (just hope you don’t get coal!) As for Santa, he’s more of a red-shorts and flip-flops guy, with a surfer ‘tude—which works, as you’ll probably be at the beach (if you’re not at a backyard BBQ). For dinner—actually, lunch—look for classic roast lamb and plum pudding, plus fresh seafood and seasonal produce. Of course, every table needs Crackers, festive paper-wrapped cardboard tubes with jokes, paper hats or goodies inside. (Tip: to open them, grab a partner, pull the string and wait for the pop). Then it’s time for Chrissy pudding (and for one eater, the discovery of the lucky silver coin). Finally, no Christmas season is complete without a carol or two. Head to your town’s Carols by Candlelight singalong, or get your song on at home. Choose from solemn favorites like “Silent Night,” or, if you prefer, Jingle Bells: 

Dashing through the bush, in a rusty Holden Ute,     

Kicking up the dust, esky in the boot,   

Kelpie by my side, singing Christmas songs,   

It's summer time and I am in my singlet, shorts and thongs Oh!   

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,   

Christmas in Australia on a scorching summer's day, Oh!   

Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,     

Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.     

 

Legend:    

Holden – locally manufactured GM vehicle  

Ute – Pick up  

Esky – Cooler  

Kelpie – An Australian dog breed

Thongs – Flip Flops    

Only in Australia... Aussie Burgers

(Recipes, Only in Australia) Permanent link

A summer BBQ is never complete without an Aussie Burger.
Here are the 10 essentials you need for your perfect burger, Aussie style: The-Great-Aussie-Burger

  1. Ground lamb
  2. Grilled pineapple
  3. Pickled beets
  4. Fried egg
  5. Grilled onions
  6. Cheese
  7. Lettuce
  8. Tomato
  9. Toasty buns
  10. Last but not least…Bacon!

Check out our take on this classic.

Servings

2

Marinate

30 minutes

Cook

15 minutes

Ingredients

12 ounces ground Australian lamb
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices cheddar cheese

To Serve

2 hamburger buns, split and toasted butter
2 lettuce leaves
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices pickled beets
Pineapple, thinly sliced
Tomato ketchup
4 bacon strips
2 eggs

Method

Place the lamb, garlic, onion in a large bowl.
Season with salt and pepper and mix together.
Using clean hands, massage the burger mix until combined.
Shape the mixture into two patties, place on a plate, cover and refrigerate up to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Heat oil in a large, non-stick fry pan over medium heat.
Cook the patties for 3 minutes on each side or until almost cooked through.
Transfer to a baking sheet and top each patty with a slice of cheese.
Place in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts.

While cheese is melting, cook bacon and eggs in fry pan.

Assembly

Spread the hamburger bun base with butter then layer lettuce, tomato, beets, lamb patty, pineapple, tomato ketchup, bacon and egg.
Cover with bun tops and serve.

 

Footy Fun

(Only in Australia) Permanent link

 Summer is a quiet time for American football. Down Under, though, the “footy” season’s well underway—although “footy” could mean three different things, depending on who you ask! The action’s happening in three codes: the AFL–The Australian Football League, or “Aussie Rules” football; The Australian Rugby Union; and The Australian Rugby League. The latter two codes also field international teams, The Wallabies and The Kangaroos.

Wondering what’s what? For starters, American football and Aussie Rules football are quite different. With its focus on kicking the ball into a goal, many Americans would say that Aussie Rules bears a closer resemblance to soccer (though you wouldn’t want to call it that to an Aussie!). On the other hand, while they’re not exactly the same, tackle-heavy rugby can be likened to American football—though any rugger would surely remind you of two missing uniform parts: shoulder pads and helmets. 

Differences among the three codes include pitch (field) shapes—oval for AFL; rectangle for rugby, and passing methods—football: any direction from the hand; rugby: backwards only. Then there’s the number of players on a team (18 for AFL, 15 for Union and 13 for League) and scoring methods (through the posts for football; touching down for rugby). And so on! 

Fans tend to swear allegiance along geographic lines. Aussie Rules draws mostly from the Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. Rugby League and Rugby Union loyalists are concentrated in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland. As you might imagine, rivalries are fierce. However, there’s one game day tradition on which everyone can agree: meat and beer. Grilled Australian Lamb chops are a tailgating must, and during the game it’s all about what you can hold while you watch. Meat pies, sausage rolls and chili are standard fare. 

Anzac Day

(Only in Australia) Permanent link
April 25th, or Anzac Day, is an Australian national holiday, commemorating military veterans. Originally celebrated to honor the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) fighting in the Battle of Gallipoli (in Turkey) during World War I, it today pays tribute to all of the country’s servicemen. As you’d imagine, there are plenty of heartfelt memorials and ceremonies. Then, in true Aussie fashion, fellow citizens gather round to raise frosty pints of Carlton Draught lager or Victoria Bitter and enjoy a smorgasbord of patriotic fare. Naturally, lamb is a part of the fun, with lamb pies and hearty roast lamb (Australia’s national dish) a plenty for Anzac Day lunches and dinners. As any Aussie can testify, saving room for dessert is a must.