This blog has moved to http://jenny-marie.co.uk!
Google is a wonderful thing, my Mofo friends. Following today’s prompt, I found a tremendous little tool that uses Google Maps to show you the (precise) polar opposite of any point on the map. If I navigate to my very residence, it turns out that right below me is naught but the Tasman Sea (close-to-but-not-in the South Pacific Ocean). As I zoom slowly out from that salty wet spot, I expect to find myself in Australia, but the nearest dry land is actually New Zealand.
All I know about New Zealand I learned from Crowded House and Flight of the Conchords**, but I wanted to go a little beyond chocolate cake. It turns out (unsurprisingly) that lamb and seafood feature heavily in a lot of traditional dishes, particularly traditional Māori dishes that are often cooked on a hāngi. Obviously there ain’t no lamb or seafood in this house, and all I have at my disposal is the very modern electric cooker and hob in my kitchen, so I’m going for a New Zealand boil-up with dumplings.
When I saw the first recipes for this dish it brought to mind a Dutch stamppot, made for me occasionally by my then-boyfriend’s Mum when we lived in the Netherlands. Ideally it should contain a special variety of sweet potato (kūmara) but I had to make do with what was on sale at the grocer’s down the road.
The dumplings are a little different from what we Brits are used to, with not a box of suet in sight. Nevertheless the spirit of a warm, soft and doughy ball of squishy delight sitting in a warm and hearty stew remains just the same.
Any boil-up recipe calls for lots of meat; usually fatty meats which I am guessing is because there is chuff all by way of seasoning in most recipes I found. Huh? I used some Quorn chick’n chunks and added salt, pepper and rosemary.
Folks, even the dumplings couldn’t save a bowl of boiled veg and chick’n pieces. This was not the greatest, but I guess it was healthy at least? Thank dog I balanced that out with some M&S crisps and sweets I guess. Why didn’t I just go for the chocolate cake?
** Okay, also special mention for Lorde who is ❤