>Fooding

>I keep wanting to blog about great food I’ve eaten lately. I know this isn’t much of a change from the usual. I just don’t want to blog about the farce that is RQF, justifying my existence professionally all the time, or how much I’m behind on various work fronts.

Wise colleagues who’ve been down the baby/work juggling trail keep telling me to chill out because the behindedness never changes. In some ways, to be either full-time or totally stay-at-home seems to be easier (I know, I know. Grass is always greener) – doing the part-time thing means that I don’t feel like I’m doing enough on either front. Now that we scored that ARC Discovery – and the funding/project begins in 2008 – my brain is full of pre-planning for the overseas fieldwork components that are involved. The thought of leaving E. behind for more than a day or so makes me melancholy. I’m such a tragic born-again parent, I tell you.

ANYway, let’s tear ourselves away from that rivetting navel-gazing and get back to the important stuff.

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For family birthday shin-digs (which are almost always at our house at the moment because of E.), we seem to have started a hankering for novelty cakes. S. and I thought we’d get into some practice for E. This is what we came up with for my sister’s birthday back in October:

We’d been having nostalgic conversations at various times about our addiction to Frogger, Space Invaders and Pac-Man. A space invader cake would’ve been…much space and less cake! That wasn’t going to work. Oh, the cake was a fudgy chocolate cake that was delish on the day it was made and 5 times more delish a day or so afterwards (unlike the Malaysian sujee cake that is shite on the day it’s baked [too hard and grainy] but meltingly fragrant a few days later).

The next family birthday is my brother’s in a couple of days’ time. We haven’t brainstormed the next creation yet, but if it works out, you’ll probably see it here soon.

Oooh, hang on. We just came back from a day’s fete-ing (we’ve become primary school fete tragics…) and found the birthday cake baked: coffee and hazelnut butter cake. Mmm. Be still my beating arteries…

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Just up the road from where we live is the fantastic Oasis Bakery + Cafe. It takes us about 10 mins to walk there and the place is technically in Murrumbeena. It even got listed in the 2007 Foodies’ Guide to Melbourne. I’ve loved this place from the first time I fought over the last pide in the basket. We found the place around Xmas last year. I was gleeful about the bins of nuts and glace fruit, parcels of so many types of grains and flours, freezers packed with take-away delights such as spinach and haloumi triangles or chicken and spinach pizzas, counters groaning (love that cliche, though it’s usually the customer who’s doing the groaning, in this case) with platters of baklava and pistachio swirls and Turkish Delight.

Though there are many things about this place that make regular visits a must, the thing I enjoy most is the labelling. Yes, the labelling. Of the goods. You must go there and find out for yourself why this is so. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be as much fun. (Er, also cos I was going to scan in one that I’d bought but, alas, the items I ended up with didn’t have the blurbs I’m talking about)

My last meal there was lunch with the family. I had the lamb/chicken plate and it was fab. A ‘plate,’ which sounded manageable enough, included:

  • 2 pocket breads to DIY,
  • a stack of fragrant, shaved meats,
  • excellently balanced and textured tabouli,
  • pickled cabbage,
  • onion, tomato, and
  • generous dollops of tahini and hummus.

And you wouldn’t think we’d eat anything after that, right? Well…the sweets looked so inviting and the counter had a special jar of new morsels: chocolate covered dates (which are to be recommended!). Luckily, we walked there and home. Luckily, we had E. in her stroller so we could fill the bottom level of it with take-away pastries and rounds of za’atar-covered bread. My mother, as is her wont, got a big tub of hazelnut meal. It’s a fact of life that anything made with hazelnut meal is delicious. Go forth and find the truth in this yourself.

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My mother and I recently ate at chillipadi in Melbourne Central. We’d heard from a range of people what a great little place it was and, being ever-vigilant about good sources of Malaysian food, we thought we’d try it out. Executive summary of our meal: OMG GREAT.

I do want to write more about this but not right now – I took a couple of good interior shots on my mobile and the bluetooth device on my PC is not playing with Vista (#%&@* Vista…), so no photos at the moment. When I sort out techy stuff, I’ll be back with more.

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