image courtesy of Narciso Jaramillo

How the Kangaroo got its name.

When European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals they asked a native Australian (aborigine) what they were called. He replied "kangaroo" meaning "I don't understand" your question. The explorers thought this was the animal's name. And that's how the kangaroo got its name.

Six White Boomers
made famous by Rolf Harris

Early on one Christmas Day, a Joey Kanga-roo
Was far from home and lost in a great big zoo
Mummy, where's my mummy, they've taken her a-way
We'll help you find your mummy son, hop on the sleigh

Up beside the bag of toys, little Joey hopped
But they had'nt gone far when Santa stopped
Un-harnessed all the reindeer and Joey wondered why
Then he heard a far off booming in the sky

Six white boomers, snow white boomers
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun
Six white boomers, snow white boomers
.. On his Aus-tra-lian run

Pretty soon old Santa began to feel the heat
Took his fur-lined boots off to cool his feet
Into one popped Joey, feeling quite OK
While those old man kangaroos kept pulling on the sleigh

Joey said to Santa, Santa, what about the toys
Aren't you giving some to these girls and boys
They've all got their presents son, we were here last night
This trip is an extra trip, Joey's special flight

Soon the sleigh was flashing past, right over Marble Bar
Slow down there, cried Santa, it can't be far
Come up on my lap son, and have a look around
There she is, that's mummy, bounding up and down

Well that's the bestest Christmas treat that Joey ever had
Curled up in mother's pouch all snug and glad
The last they saw was Santa headed northward from the sun
The only year the boomers worked a double run

(Harrison - Brown) Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd / EMI (P) 1965
Arr. Johnnie Spence - Produced by George Martin

More about Boomers n.1. A large male kangaroo. 2. Australian & N.Z. Informal. Anything large, succesful and exciting.

A male kangaroo is called a boomer.

A female is called a flyer. A baby is called a joey.

A Kangaroo is a marsupial mammal. It is a macropod which means "big foot". There are over 40 different types (species) of Kangaroo. The smaller ones are usually called Wallabies. The largest is the Red Kangaroo. It stands taller than a man and can weigh 85 kgs. It is the largest marsupial in the world.

The Kangaroo moves by hopping on its powerful hind legs. It uses its thick long tail to balance its body while hopping. A kangaroo can hop at up to 60kmh (40mph). It can also leap over obstacles up to 3m (10ft) high. Because of the unusual shape of its legs and its bulky tail a kangaroo can't walk or move backwards very easily.

Kangaroos need very little water to survive and can go months without drinking water. The kangaroo usually rests in the shade during the day and comes out to eat in the late afternoon and night when its much cooler. It eats mostly grass.

A kangaroo carries its baby in its pouch. The baby is born really tiny and crawls into its mother's pouch. The baby lives in its mother's pouch till its quite large. Even when its quite large it still drinks milk from a teat in its mother's pouch. It sometimes jumps into its mother's pouch head first when frightened.

The kangaroo fights by attacking its opponent with its front paws (which have sharp claws) or by kicking them with its powerful hind legs.

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Six White Boomers

When visitors come during these lazy, hazy, wind down summer days, I like to be able to produce some home made goodies to feast upon. Here are six favourite Australian 'boomers' that can be use for the Aus-tra-lian run.

Six Boomers

White Christmas

1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups Rice bubbles
1 cup Icing sugar
1 cup milk powder
185 grams sultanas
185 grams diced dried apricots
60 grams chopped red glace cherries
250grams white vegetable shortening

Mix all ingredients (excluding Shortening) in large bowl Carefully melt shortening on stove top (or in microwave) Pour shortening into mix and stir until combined. Press mixture into paper lined tray (about 1'/ 2.5 cm high) or spoon into paper cups Refrigerate until set Cut into squares if made in tray.

Rocky Road

100g pink/white marshmallows
1.5 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup peanuts
4 tblspns cocoa
250g melted Copha
3/4 pkt cherries

Chop marshmallows and cherries roughly, add rest of dry ingredients, pour on warm melted Copha, put in shallow dish, refrigerate until set.
Cut into squares.

Chocolate Fruit Clusters

1pkt copha
2 cups of sultanas
2 cups of raisins
1 cup of peanuts
1 and a half cups of icing sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa

Melt copha. Mix all the ingredients together. Pour on copha and mix well. Put into patty pans or in spoonfuls on greased tray. Refrigerate until set.

Melt 'n Shortbread

250 gram butter
half cup icing sugar
half cup corn flour
quarter cup sugar
half teaspoon vanilla
2 and one third cup of plain flour

Melt butter over low heat. Allow to cool slightly. Sift icing sugar and cornflour into bowl. Add sugar. Add butter and vanilla. Beat mixture until thick and creamy. Add sifted flour and mix well. Press into lamington tin. Mark into fingers. Prick decoratively with a fork. Bake in moderate oven over 30 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar. Cool in tin.

Iced Christmas Cake

1kg of mixed fruit.
half a cup of brandy

2 cups of brown sugar
half a teaspoon nutmeg
half a teaspoon cinnamon
half a teaspoon ground ginger
half a teaspoon salt
half a teaspoon of cinnamon
half a teaspoon of carb soda
8 oz of butter
half a cup of milk
3 eggs

half a teaspoon of vanilla
half a teaspoon of lemon essence
3 cups of plain flour

Combine mixed fruit, sugar and brandy in bowl and stand for 2 hours or overnight. Put milk with butter in a saucepan and heat until the butter is melted. Add this to the fruit mixture, then beaten eggs, essence, flour and spices. Combine thoroughly. Put the mixture in a paper lined tin. Put tin inside a large casserole dish and bake at 300 for one hour and 275 for three to four hours.

When icing this cake I buy pre-prepared almond and royal icing mixture. Brush cake with egg. Roll out almond icing and cover cake. When set, roll out royal icing and cover. Pin tartan ribbon around the edges and place artificial poinsettia on the cake. This simple decoration never fails to look beautiful.

Mince Tarts

Buy a jar of Robertsons Fruit Mince and plenty of shortcrust pastry. Roll out pastry and cut into small rounds using a glass as a cutter. Place rounds in patty cake shaped tins. Fill with mince and top with a round of pastry. Cook for fifteen minutes or until pastry is golden. Dust with icing sugar before serving.


1. Sort out your tins and containers and have a cook up. Do it all in one hit and look with wonder at your full pantry.
2. Make plenty so that you can package up some food as a gift. Everyone I know loves home made biscuits and cake.

Associated Links

Licking the Dish
Make a Gingerbread House