We all know how significant food is in terms of survival and the pleasure of celebrating a great event like a birthday. But did you know that not everybody in the world celebrates their birthday with a cake? Jane sent me a wonderful post showing the different ways birthdays are celebrated around the world where the birthday cake is not the central piece on the celebration table. Follow the link to 8 Unexpected Ways of Celebrating Birthdays. You will be relieved to know that Fairy Bread is there as is the Swedish Princess Cake!

And DownHere near Antarctica (which not very evident at the moment as the temperature once more soars towards the ceiling) we love OUR NATIONAL DESSERT AND NOT NEW ZEALAND's AS THEY CLAIM: The Almighty Pavlova. I already have several orders to produce some for Christmas parties!! Only DownHere (or in New Zealand as they probably did come up with the idea first but we like to stir up our cousins Across the Ditch) would we have a national dish named after a Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. As one of my adopted children is Russian I think it is appropriate to dedicate this blog to her and her wonderful heritage. And so I have allowed O of Rosanna have the Advent Spot for today.

(Credit: Wikipedia)

I am horrified to just find out that the Oxford English Dictionary may have settled a long-running argument between Australia and New Zealand over who invented the pavlova especially as Anna Pavlova visited both countries. In its relaunched online edition, the OED says the first recorded pavlova recipe appeared in New Zealand in 1927. This was in a book called Davis Dainty Dishes, published by the Davis Gelatine company, and it was a multi-coloured jelly dish. But New Zealanders claim the meringue version also originated there, with recipes for it appearing in publications in 1928 and 1929. Dr Helen Leach from New Zealand's University of Otago is something of a pavlova expert. "I can find at least 21 pavlova recipes in New Zealand cookbooks by 1940, which was the year the first Australian ones appeared," the author of The Pavlova Story told the Daily Telegraph. I for one are not convinced. probably one of the OED Editors is from New Zealand.

(Credit: bluethumb)

Advent 12 December

Today our Advent Surprise is from O,S&E of Rosanna who have some very cute creatures minding their tree.