Wednesday 26 January 2011

Australia Day Poffertjes and Cars

Today is Australia Day so we headed into Kings Domain, a park on the fringe of the city, and joined in some of the fun. A nice excuse for a day out. There was a vintage car display and everywhere we looked seemed to be yet more old cars. Around the cars were lots of activities. However E had one aim when we arrived. Coffee and morning tea.

We shared a plate of poffertjes. These are mini-pancakes from the Netherlands that seem to be served at all events where there is a cluster of food vans. We haven't had them for ages. Normally I would have lemon juice or maple syrup on them but we had just sugar and butter so Sylvia could have some. It was Sylvia's first taste and she ate a few. She was fascinated by the toothpicks in them that are for those who don't want to get their fingers dirty.

I was fascinated by the poffertjes stall which is trying to get away from tacky greasy fast food van. It aims to look like an historic structure rather than a caravan that is here today and gone tomorrow. I also noticed some green cast iron decoration on the coffee stall. Curious!

You might say that Dutch pancakes are not particularly Australia for our national day. I ate from Dutch, Italian, American and Indian cuisines today. You can't get more Australian that that. If I had seen the scones first I might have had those instead of poffertjes but I had no desire for anything from the yabby stall. We ate pizza for lunch but it was forgettable apart from that Sylvia enjoyed the margherita.

We enjoyed viewing the cars. Some seemed out of the history books and other just seemed to jump out of our personal history. There were lots of activities but we didn't have time for any. I did enjoy looking around as we pushed the stroller along the paths. Everywhere was something interesting - baby animals, alpacas, tai chi, table tennis, boules, trampoline, kiddie soccer, bird house making, boomerang decoration, enjoyed just wandering around and watching rather than We also enjoyed seeing the baby animals, the alpacas, hari krishnas dancing, the parade and a fire brigade display to name a few.

We even saw some of the parade with all sorts of nationalities and communities represented, including jedi warriors! I love the above photo because it looks like the Chinese dragon is driving the vintage car. It is good to see so many cultures embraced in on Australia Day.

However most of all on this day, we must remember the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia whose invasion and colonisation began 222 years ago. I heard Oodgeroo Noonuccal (formerly known as Kath Walker)'s poem "Civilisation" on the radio this morning. It spoke eloquently to me about how those already living in Australia saw the Europeans who came on 26 January 1988. If I could find it on the web I would share a few lines. In lieu of this, I will leave you with the opening stanza of her poem "No More Boomerang". I must seek out her poetry and encourage you to do likewise.

"No more boomerang
No more spear;
Now all civilised —
Colour bar and beer..."


  1. Poffertjes are the epitome of festival food in my mind :) They're always available at events here in Canberra!

    Thank you for the poetry, too. I do love finding interesting, evocative poetry, so I'll definitely look more of hers up!

  2. Let me be the first "onliner" to wish you a Happy Australia Day, Johanna.

    Oh, what I wouldn't do for a few rays of sunshine. It just started to snow, again.

    It sounds like you and your family had a wonderful day. Thank you so much for sharing...

  3. So true, Australian cuisine is all about eating all sorts of food. I love poffertjes and even considered buying one of those pans! :)

    BTW I'm making a comment and your black cat with green eyes is staring at it :P

  4. Happy Survival Day, Johanna. I've been thinking about the invasion and all it entails today too. Thanks for giving it a mention.

  5. I am so impressed by the van! So much more elegant than the vans you normally see at events!

  6. Sounds like you had a great Australia Day. I spent mine with family in Qld.

  7. Who needs vintage cars when you can have a morning tea like that!!! Yum ;0)

  8. Thanks Hannah - yes it isn't a festival with the poffertjes! Enjoy the poetry

    Thanks Louise - I can assure you that a few rays of sunshine can be lovely but 40 C of them is really too much - we have a hot week ahead and I don't look forward to it

    Thanks Lorraine - I have considered buying the pans too but hey with them so easy to buy I think I need to save my kitchen space!

    Thanks Yaz - hard to know how to mention it but it is nice to have the day bring people together

    Thanks Lisa - I was amused at the van - shows what a fixture they are that they want to look like ye olde poffertjes van rather than a clapped out old caravan

    Thanks Cakelaw - australia day in queensland must be an odd one this year - hope you had a good one

    thanks Chele - we couldn't really look at cars til morning tea was under our belt - literally!!!


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