How to Burn Meringue

I watched all 120 episodes of the Great British Baking Show, and have been trying my hand at some new baking, but often fall back on the old tried and true.  So when Penny and Jim, as well as John and Katrina were coming for dinner, I thought I’d better play it safe and make Pavlovas.

You know Pavlovas?  Just a fancy name for meringues filled with something like fruit compote and whipped cream.  When I made them for James and Julie in the spring I added a lovely crème patisserie, but this time I thought I’d better not fool around given I also had chicken Marbella and other things to make.

I’ve never had any problems making meringues, yet some instinct told me to make them the day prior, just in case.  Good thing as they came out of the oven mostly raw and sticky and so I had no choice but to throw them out and start again, which I did the morning of the dinner party.

They turned out beautifully, and as I needed counter space I decided to leave them in the oven until after dinner when I’d add the peach compote and whip.  The guests arrived and due to a recent shop-out at Costco with Elsa, I had a nice box of spring rolls which I thought would make a decent appetizer while we waited for the chicken.

I have an open kitchen dining living room so could chat with the assembled while going to the oven to preheat it for the spring rolls.  I sat down and about twenty minutes in, in mid-sentence I screamed Oh my God! and ran to the oven to remove the caramelized meringues.  Damn it!  That’s never happened to me before, so it was quite disturbing.

But you know how annoyingly loyal old friends are, and they insisted, no no, these are perfectly fine!  I had two bites and said no thanks, and Katrina has the good luck of being a Type2 diabetic so said she wasn’t able to eat that much sugar and just had the whipping cream off the top.

I went to Osoyoos to hang around with old friends Bernard and Michael who were visiting from Victoria.  On my way to mom’s I always stop at Luke’s first and drop stuff off for Jan as she adores things I buy for her like pickled herring or white chocolate with nuts.  At this time of year she adores getting all of the local produce and I had a lot of garlic, crab apples and plums to drop off.

She had about 40 tidy little baggies sitting on a cookie sheet on the counter with a pinkish substance inside, so I said what’s that, Jan, and she replied “Pork.”  She explained it has to go out into the sun and after several days it’s “sour” and then ready to eat.  She said “you want to try some, mom?”  I demurred as I don’t like the idea of raw pork left in the sun until sour.  Probably just me though, right?

But you know what they say, one man’s feast is another man’s poison.  George the male cat is a real scrapper and spends summers covered in scabs from war wounds from other cats.  That’s Frieda’s cue to get busy and nibble each and every scab off the cat, while he lies there purring, thanking the dog for the service.  Not my idea of food, but there’s no stopping some people or animals.

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