Tag Archives: ice blocks

The Last Hoorah


It’s 26 January and Australia Day, marking the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) in 1788. The ships had set sail from England 252 days previously carrying 1,000 convicts along with officers, crew, marines, and their families. A penal colony was set up and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the momentous occasion is a national holiday, a get-together with rellies and mates to celebrate in style. The Australian flag is everywhere you look: flying proudly outside homes and on cars, painted on faces, arms and legs, and emblazoned on towels and beach balls.DSC_8534

The young and young-at-heart kit themselves out in rashies, boardies, sunnies and thongs, and head en masse to the beach or park. Slabs are purchased from the local bottle-o and loaded into utes, the stubbies later deposited in Eskies full of ice to keep the amber nectar cool in the scorching heat. The hungry hoardes dive into plates laden with schoolies. Barbies are lit and steak and snags thrown on to cook, which are then wrapped in a slice of bread with a squirt of tomato sauce. Accompanied by a few slices of beetroot and some avo, perhaps. And a stubby in a stubby holder, of course.

And afterwards, time to indulge in Australia’s favourite dessert: the pav, topped with whipped cream and a rainbow of fresh fruit and berries. While the kids run around with ice blocks in the warmth of the sun. It is, after all, the last hoorah before schools, and many businesses, go back after the long summer break down under.DSC_8558

Glossary (just in case)
Amber nectar: beer (essential drinking)
Avo: avocado (obviously)
Barbies: barbecues (one of many words ending in -ies in Australian English)
Boardies: boardshorts (shorts made from quick-drying fabric – just perfect for the beach)
Bottle-o: bottle shop (in Australian English, abbreviated words often end in -o, when they don’t end in -ies, that is)
Eskies: an insulated cool box (Esky is a classic brand name)
Ice Blocks: ice lollies, if you’re a Brit
Mates: friends (did you really come unstuck on this one?)
Pav: pavlova (dessert made from meringue, topped with whipped cream and fruit – the question is: did it originate in Australia, or NZ?)
Rashies: rash vests (T-shirts made from quick-drying fabric, protecting the wearer from rashes and sunburn)
Rellies: relatives
Schoolies: school prawns (great on their own or on the barbie)
Slab: case of beer (24 stubbies)
Snags: sausages
Stubbies: squat bottles of beer (as opposed to traditional bottles, which are known as ‘long-necks’)
Stubby Holder: insulated sleeve for keeping beer cool
Sunnies: sunglasses
Thongs: flip-flops, rather than skimpy underwear
Tomato sauce: not ketchup
Ute: typically, a two-door passenger vehicle with a cargo tray in the rear

Tropical Lollies

Ice lollies, or ice blocks as they are typically known as round here, are the ultimate summer treat, but the shop-bought variety are often full of added sugar and nasties. So we are experimenting with making our own, and it couldn’t be easier.1-P1010449

Our current favourite is a tropical mix of banana, mango and coconut milk with a spoonful of honey to sweeten. I found the original recipe here when I desperately needed to use up some over-ripe fruit on a day when it was way too hot for baking (muffins are my usual handy standby). You simply peel and prepare the fruit, throw it in a blender with the coconut milk and honey to taste, pour into lolly moulds and pop in the freezer.

The mix easily fills our four moulds, and there is generally a little to spare – yummy as a mid-morning smoothie snack! Icklegen loves them; despite being ickle she has proved herself more than capable of eating a whole ice lolly in the afternoon, and then gone on to have a decent tea later. And, because they are dairy-free, Daddy Ickle can indulge on occasion as well.1-P1010446

For our latest batch, Ickle and I popped in a handful of fresh blueberries – it’s the season for these ‘wonder’ fruit over here, so make the most of them while they last. Yum. Don’t those lollies look good? And they taste even better, I can assure you! So, don’t delay any further and whip out that blender right now, people.

What is your favourite fruity mix for homemade ice lollies/blocks?