Tuesday, July 24, 2007

upper-end of the pasta dish spectrum

pasta dishes exist, at least in my books, on a spectrum of boring to wonderful.
this particular dish fell on the upper end of the scale.
i'm a big fan of non-creamy pasta dishes, which makes making pasta all the more of a pleasure because it is super-easy and very amenable to anything and everything that may exist in your fridge or pantry.

i roasted slices of pumpkin, parsnip and baby beets with 6 whole cloves of garlic (ie, in their skins) until brownish. for this, i coated them in olive oil + pepper + garlic powder. i usually tuck the garlic a little under the other bits & pieces, so that it doesn't burn (bitter - ugh) - they need to caramelise.

i sauteed red onion (cut it into wedges) and mushrooms (a variety of button, portobello and swiss) in a wok until juicy and delicious (you need to add some salt and a dash of water (not too much - the juiciness needs to be real not soggy!)). towards the end, i threw in half a cup of fresh peas for a minute or so. the mixture of juices and the softness of the pumpkin will coat the pasta well in the next step...

i alway prepare the pasta within the final timeframe before sitting down to eat. once it is drained (i used penne this time, but orecchiete or farfalle would be good too), i pop it into a big dish or pot, drizzle olive oil over it, and then throw in the other ingredients (make sure these ingredients are still hot or at least warm). give it a good mix and fold crumbled fetta through.

serve while hot-warm with a glass of red...

still no photos... from next week on!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

word of the week: rhubarbia.

freezing blustery melbourne day that it is, i've been inspired to blog about my latest delight. roasted rhubarb and raspberry stew.

rhubarb is the perfect winter fruit. well, vegetable. interestingly, they discovered that its leaves were poisonous after encouraging people to eat them during wartime because of food shortages and rationing. i read this the other day, but i'm sure that someone figured this out long before whichever world war it was. whatever the case, chop the leaves off unless you feel like a dose of the very nasty sounding corrosive and nephrotoxic acid -oxalic acid.

according to wikipedia - the world's most correct information source (of course), the word rhubarb used to be shouted randomly by acting extras, to create general crowd noise. so the word has evolved to mean "length of superfluous text in speaking or writing". to 'rube'. hmm, does that give me license for - rhubarbism? rhubarmentary? rhubarbia? i like the possibilities. "oh really, what rhubarbia". much more appetising than "what rubbish".

in some places in canada, it is also a street name for weed. the recipe that follows can be used for rhubarb pie/crumble/stew. i cant promise any mind-altering effects but its the perfect munchy for freezing weather.

2 bunches of chopped (2cm) rhubarb
1 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries
2 apples, peeled and eighthed (or 16th-ed if you feel particularly dextrous)

sprinkle some nutmeg (extra for hallucinogenic impact :);
generously scatter brown sugar (depending on your sweet tooth);
pour in some apple cider vinegar (around 1/4 C);
and add some knobs of butter if you want some extra indulgence.

roast in a dish (corningware or something) for 30-40 mins on 170 degrees... give a mix during the cooking time.

eat warm or cold; use as filling for crumble or cake; or my favourite- with vanilla icecream and crumbled halva... MM-HMMM. tangy.

apologies that there's no photo - it would make for a fabulous pic but my camera is sunning in the middle east at the moment.

a digression from digestion

So I thought this may be tangential, but it struck me that food and boys – well, they are not all that different. Easy to blame; love-to-hate-hate-to-love type relationship; vulnerable to emotional exploitation; etc. Basically I just wanted to share my thoughts on something that I feel I could write a whole Sex and the City episode about.

So what is it about a) me or b) them that manages to find me in this same situation time and time again? The situation where I have to initiate conversation, get things rolling, share of myself, fill in the awkward silences that develop as a direct function of my babble (or rhubarbia?, see below) vs their aloofness, etc. Except that this time, I knew that it wasn't option a. Here is the story…

I was informed by a certain well-meaning-someone that my email address had been passed on to a certain male-someone in a very faraway country. Sensible me assumed that perhaps this male-someone was coming to visit our shores and wanted to meet a sweet local with a deep appreciation of Melbourne’s lanes, cafes and gardens (ah the possibilities!). Yet I was promptly informed that he was staying put, I was staying put – and that perhaps the internet may be a nice way to bridge the many thousands of miles between us. Deep breath, not too happy about this but – I can be open-minded, I thought. After all that’s the way it happens in the states and Canada, or so I’d been told by a certain well-meaning-someone-else not too long ago. Besides the deed had been done, I’d merely been informed to expect an email.

The intrigue set in. Naturally there was the mandatory google search of the spartan details that I had been provided with. There were more than five professors at this particular faculty that could have been his father – and that was my starting point. You see, I was given the really important information.

It wasn't long before the email arrived. It looked very spam-esque and I was micromillimetres from the delete button when I realized that it was in fact the anticipated email.

“Hi there; This is x from x I would be happy to hear from you. attached please find my photo. Looking fwd to hear from you. Regards (x)”

Ouch. Squirm. I mean, really. What is it with guys that have nothing more to say than… nothing (Can you hear my inner-Carrie?!). I decided that I wasn’t going to make excuses for anyone; and I certainly wasn’t going to blame myself. That was just lame. I would have preferred a business offer from a Nigerian banker. At least I would have cracked a smile. “attached please find my photo”?! I would have preferred a CV, at this rate.

When it comes to boys, I’ve been told that I’m close-minded and picky. When it comes to other things, I’ve often been told that I’m so open-minded my brains may fall out.

Well, this is one thing that I’m content to be close-minded about. For the sake of standards!

Pass me some chocolate!!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

policy change

given that goddess yumnyum's collaborative-second-half has settled a tropical island off the coast of australia, i have vetoed the fish-unfriendly clause of the original goddess yumnyum policy.

pursuant to these changes, goddess yumnyum is wholly uber-veg and now promotes a:

no-meat/no-fishies/free range egg/mindful/water-restriction-conscious policy

vegans, vegetarians and vegophiles welcome


  • goddess yumnyum wants your input.
    most creative name for this blog will win a batch of muffins.
    please google your idea first to make sure it hasn't been taken.

  • the goddess also wants a new look. if anyone knows of better blog hosts, or wants to privately host me, you know my number.

  • the goddess is building her little black book.
    email goddessyumnyum@yahoo.com.au to be included on the mailing list.
    wont be sending forwards or passing your information on to third parties, just lil updates on new stuff once in a while

  • the love potion is still being developed. i think it's something in the melbourne air. if anyone has foreign goods, let me know - olive skin, chocolate eyes - that kind of stuff.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Don't say you weren't warned...

to all of us vegetarians who love marshmallows, this article will be a sad reminder that generally speaking they're more often than not JUST NOT OK. a good example of the times when kosher certification is not just prohibitive, its just not protective either! fish gelatine. ugh. it makes me think of cold yo'ach (the gefilte fish juice).

and if anyone thought that the kosher vegemite fiasco was a farce, well apparently only the small jars are ok because they are the first batch made in the bonox-free vats.



what better than a steaming bowl of thick soup to get us through the melbourne cold...

Spiced sweet pumpkin soup

Vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped,
1 hot chilli, chopped
5cm piece ginger, chopped finely/grated
4 garlic cloves, crushed/sliced
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
6-8 curry leaves

Fry all this up together. Watch the projectile mustard seeds as they hit the hot oil, they'll pop themselves all over the stovepot and ricochet off you. Make sure the spices dont burn (you may need to start frying the onion and then add the spices a minute or two later.
2 butternut pumpkin halves, chopped (you can supplement or substitue with sw. potato)
3 roasted red capsicum, chopped (slip skins off and deseed)

Pop into the fried mix, close pot for 8 minutes on low heat.
Cover mixture with stock. Bring to boil, then simmer on low heat for 20 minutes (or until pumpkin softens). At the 10 minute mark, add 1-2 C of fresh sweetcorn.
Zjum zjum zjum with the handmixer. It should be nice and thick (coz that's the way soup should be). Eat with crusty bread...
**inspired by the millions of pumpkins in the world. special creations!