Magic Down Under Episode on HFVS (05/17/08)



Magic Down Under Episode
with Sienna & Persephone

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA
Saturday mornings from 9-10am

05/17/08 PLAYLIST

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  • Steve Weeks – “Look, Look!” [Alphabet Songs Vol. II: Ivan Idea]
  • Ellis Paul – “Wabi-Sabi” [Dragonfly Races]
  • Twink – “Mr. Magic” [The Broken Record]
  • The Beatles – “Magical Mystery Tour” [1967-1970 Disc 1]
  • Nat King Cole Trio – “Kee-Mo Ky-Mo (The Magic Song” [Nicky’s Jazz For Kids]
  • The Sippy Cups – “Magic Toast” [Electric Storyland]
  • The Harmonica Pocket – “Spiders in My Breakfast” [Ladybug One]
  • SHOW ID: Harmonica Pocket (
  • Matt Nathanson – “Starfish and Coffee” [For the Kids Too]
  • STORY TIME: Steve Weeks (
  • Mem Fox – “Possum Magic” [Possum Magic]
  • Steve Weeks – “Kiki Kangaroo” [Alphabet Songs Vol II: Ivan Idea]
  • Justin Roberts – “Koala Bear Diner” [Meltdown!]
  • Joe McDermott – “Baby Kangaroo” [Everywhere You Go]
  • SHOW ID: Princess Katie & Racer Steve (
  • Princess Katie & Racer Steve – “Hot Shot!” [Fast & Feisty]
  • The Sippy Cups – “Little House of Jello” [Electric Storyland]

We checked out Mem Fox’s web site to see what information she might have on the Australian culinary highlights mentioned in her story, Possum Magic. This is what she had to offer:

“I chose pumpkin scones in Brisbane (for those of you reading this outside Australia, Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland) because at that time the wife of the premier of Queensland was Flo Bjelke-Petersen, nationally famous for her pumpkin scones— it was an in-joke for the parents who read the book to their children. The other foods were chosen for their alliterative qualities and because they were typically Australian. The recipes for ANZAC biscuits, lamingtons and pavlovas can be found below.

Now for the recipes:



  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 and a half cups of sugar (8 oz)
  • 3 cups of self-raising flour (12 oz)
  • 4 eggs

Beat together the butter, sugar and eggs. Add milk, then add the flour and beat well. Bake in a large square cake tin for 45-50 mins at ‘cake temperature’ (gas 180C or 350F; electric 180-200C or 350-400F). When completely cold, cut into 3 inch squares, cover with icing (frosting) and dip in fine coconut. (In the USA grind or vitamise coarse coconut till its in smaller, finer pieces, if you can be bothered. Otherwise the coarse coconut will do although it won’t be truly authentic.)

Icing: (Frosting)
Sift 1 kilo (2lbs) of icing sugar with 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Work in 250 grams (1/4 lb) of butter then slowly add half a cup of hot water to make it rather thin. Add half a teaspn. of vanilla. Place basin containing icing over a bowl of hot water to keep icing sort of runny. With a skewer, hold each piece of cake and ice it all over and then toss it in coconut spread on greaseproof paper. Labour intensive but worth it!

Anzac Biscuits

(These biscuits, ie.cookies, were originally made for soldiers in the Australian and New Zealand Allied Corps—ANZAC—in World War I)


  • 2 measuring cups rolled oats
  • Half a cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour (8 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (looks like baking powder, but isn’t)
  • Half a teaspoon of baking soda
  • Half a cup of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup (NOT honey)
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Dissolve baking soda in the water. Mix dry ingredients. Add syrup, then water. Roll out and cut biscuits roughly 3 inches round. Bake in oven for 20 minutes at 180 Centigrade (350 Fahrenheit.)

Pavlova (A meringue dessert)


  • Whites of four large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 500 grams (8 oz) castor sugar (very fine sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Half teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 level dessert spoon (in the USA one and a half dessert spns) cornflour

Beat whites of eggs with salt vigourously for six minutes gradually adding, as you beat, the castor sugar, vinegar and vanilla. Mixture should be stiff and able to stand in peaks. Then sift in the cornflour. Lightly wet the pavlova plate (round crockery baking plate, about 10-12 inches across) and spoon mixture on to it to make a circular mound. Gas oven: Bake for 10 mins at 200 Centigrade (400 Fahrenheit) then at Centigrade (Fahrenheit 200) for 60 mins. Electric oven: pre-heat to 200 Centigrade (400 Fahrenheit) then set at 100 Centigrade (250 Farenheit) and bake undisturbed for one and a half hours.

Long before the pavlova is in the oven make up one packet of red jelly (jello) and allow to set in fridge. When set, cut it roughly. When pavlova has baked and has cooled down completely spread top with jelly, then top that with fresh chopped strawberries or freshly cut peaches, or slices of banana and kiwi fruit. Top that with whipped cream. A dessert from heaven. (You can leave out the jelly if you wish but I always have jelly.)

Check out Mem Fox’s website at where she shares the story behind her stories, recipes, favorite books and much more.

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