BBQs, swimming, beaches, yard games, oh the joys of summer! Going from one month of winter back in the States to full-on summertime here has been no issue with me. Australian summers are full of fun, just like they are back home. It’s true that Australians love their land and all that comes with being an Aussie. Let’s discover the fun of some Australian goodies and traditions: Australia Day!
Australia Day (or just Straya Day to locals) is a national holiday celebrated the 26th of January. It’s the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788 (from australiaday.org). Aussies from all over get together with friends and family, similarly to how we Americans do on the 4th of July. There are BBQs galore, yard games, fireworks, and all around good times.
Caleb and I got together with some church friends for a fun day at Victoria Point.
Now back to the food. We, of course, had a barby going to grill up some burgers and snags–> (sausages/hot dog type items). Kev, our host, was not too thrilled with his new grill however, so some of them had to be cooked inside, NBD. **Side note: Aussies love beets. Yep, pickled beets, which they call beetroot. They put them on burgers and sammies in the place of pickles. If you asked for pickles here, they probably wouldn’t know what you mean. Just eat the beets.
Caleb and I finally stopped avoiding Vegemite and gave it a try! In case you don’t really know what it is, Vegemite is a brown spread made out of yeast extract, onion, salt, and usually a mix of B and other vitamins. I’d heard it described as tasting like salty metal. It also comes in what looks like a peanut butter jar, but please don’t let that fool you. We had little pieces of toast with butter and a thin layer of Vegemite on top, what harm could be done?
I’ll tell you what; slather on any more than a thin layer and you’ll be stunned, gagging, and choking, and…you get the picture. It’s strong stuff! Caleb clearly enjoyed it too…
But back to the butter that I mentioned; I’ve found that Aussies butter bread no matter the use for it. At the BBQ there were some little slices of white bread buttered up and then topped with large colored sprinkles. They called it fairy bread. IDK, I didn’t have any, but Caleb did and he thinks it was nice. They’re even expected to butter up buns for burgers! Ham n’ cheese sandwich? Yep, butter it first. When Kammy (Kev’s wife) asked if it was okay to forego buttering the burger buns to save time, Jade (another American) and I looked at each other and sort of chuckled. We told her we would NOT be offended in the slightest if the buns didn’t get buttered.
Another cool highlight of the day was getting to experience a little game of cricket. I decided to watch the game, but Caleb got right in there and did a really good job! Cricket is seemingly similar to American baseball, but there are some twists. Instead of a pitcher, there is a bowler. Instead of running bases, the batter and a designated runner dash straight lines back and forth to score runs. If you’d like to see some footage of Caleb playing, click here. If you’re more interested in understanding the game click here.
We sure have had some good times in our first month here in Australia. We’re thankful for the handful of friends we have made and their openness and friendliness toward us. The moment you set foot in the country, you can sense that about Aussies, we definitely have so far. We didn’t get to the riverbank in Brisbane that night for fireworks, but I’m sure they were fantastic. If you’re ever here for an Australia day, make sure to put them on your list! We love keeping family traditions, and making new ones as our own little newlywed unit.
Take a moment to think beyond the snow and the cold: What are some of your favorite summer time family traditions? Let me know below in the comments section!
P.S. I’ve had people wondering so I’ll just put it out there: No, the toilets don’t flush in the opposite direction. Um, they actually don’t really swirl at all! I’m not posting any videos so if you’re super curious just come visit and check it out on your own time :)))