It’s Australia Day here in Oz – and we started a little early, with the boys cooking traditional Aussie campfire food last night. Some snags* & veg, followed by my fave…. damper! Mmm-mmmm…
Which always prompts people from over the ocean to ask, ‘What is damper?’
Simple answer; Damper is a scone cooked over a fire.
But a damper is much more than that!
A damper is flour and water – with a pinch of salt – mixed to a moist dough, then cooked in or over open coals. Our family favourite has always been damper on a stick – where each person grabs a handful of dough, squeezes it out to something of a snake, then coils it around the tip of the stick, being careful to squeeze/seal it completely – including the end!
You then sit/squat around the fire, rotating your sticks, chatting, jiggling, avoiding the smoke, exclaiming over sudden burnt bits, picking out coals, rotating your sticks… and cooking your damper. (You’ll know it’s done when it’s smoking. Kidding! That will tell you, you haven’t turned it soon enough.) The cooked damper has a hollow sound when tapped, and as it cools a little, you wrap your hands around and gently twist it off the stick. The hole is then filled^ with (mmm-mmm…) golden syrup.
Relaxed, simple family fun – that, btw tastes divine. (If you don’t burn your damper, of course!)
And now, I have to dash, because this Australia Day will involve sand, salt, surf & sunscreen. Yep, we’re headed for the beach!
* slang for sausage
^ traditionally filled with golden syrup, which is delish, you can also vary it with chocolate & marshmallows, or even cheese, sausage, savoury mince…