Monday, 11 August 2008

Alien meringues...

Yesterday found Mr Teacakes and I lying on the sofa with a stack of unread weekend newspapers beside us and the children happily making 'books' upstairs...which is why Mr Teacakes found it completely incomprehensible when I sprang up and said that instead of taking advantage of this lounging time I simply HAD to make meringues...this wasn't as out-of-the-blue as it seems though. A while ago I saw these perfect pink meringues on Cathy's blog. It had never occurred to me that meringues could be made pink, but since this revelation I have felt quite possessed by the idea of having some of my own. And this was absolutely nothing to do with wanting to eat them, and everything to do with wanting to look at them. So here they are all are lined up on the tray pre-baking...perfectly, delicately, delectably baby pink....

...and now here they are out of the oven, their outer-colour stolen, a wretched disappointment on the baking tray. They had the decency to retain their colour on the inside, but it was really the outer shell that I was more excited about seeing (and there's something slightly revolting about their differently-coloured layers, as though alien life has formed inside an innocent-looking meringue). I have no idea what might have happened: should I have put in more food colouring, cooked them more slowly, made each one smaller? I have no idea, but knowing that Miss Marzie has made the elusive perfect meringue makes me want to get out my whisk right away....but as it's not yet Saturday Sweet Day this means that I must wait four more days before I can. Rats.

This week I decided to overcome my fear of zips...they are something I find frustratingly difficult and when I do manage to get one in to place neatly it seems as though it has come about from luck rather than judgement. Perhaps I haven't made things any easier for myself by wishing to install them mainly on curved edges...but there is something that I love about a curved-top slouchy cosmetic bag. I have lost count of the number of times I have put in and then taken out the same zip this week, doing a good approximation of Eeyore with his jar and balloon, but was working on the belief that if each time I did it I looked at what I could do better next time and then remedied it immediately (rather than on my next attempt three months later) then it would result in zip installation wonderfulness. I'm not sure that is exactly what has happened, but I do feel a lot less fearful of them now.

And lastly here is a note that Zebra-girl handed to me before bed this evening...so sweet it made my stomach do somersaults.

Time has been running away with me - I hadn't realised how much I managed to squeeze into the three mornings that Dinosaur-boy was at nursery, but with the children at home my days are mostly computer-free. I'm so sorry for what a poor blogging companion I have been lately - as ever so many unanswered (but greatly appreciated!) comments and emails and so many posts unread on my favourite blogs. Thank you to: Molly Cupcakes, Sew Christine, Cake Makes the World a Better Place, Trixie's Trinkets, Jenny Flower, Creative Nachos and Lulu Carter for tagging me for memes or passing on lovely awards.

And I have been meaning to say, ever since I first clicked onto her lovely site, if you haven't already, do go and visit Clare's lovely blog, Lulu Carter. Scroll down and you will see image after image of loveliness. I always find that she writes about things that interest me, or that leave me thinking: oh! me too! And (this should have been mentioned first, no?) she sews lovely, lovely things! Enjoy. x

13 comments:

  1. Hello there - I feel so terrible that you are having trouble with your meringues - and that you think that they look like aliens.

    I think I may know what is wrong. Your oven is up too high. You really need a very slow oven - you don't want to cook the meringue you just need to dry it out. I know oven temps in the UK are different to here in Australia - but please give them another try as they really are the easier things in the world to make.

    Get to know your oven - and remember a slower oven is much better - and don't forget after the timer has gone off to leave the meringues in the oven with the door open and oven turned off. Drying them out is the key.

    Good luck with your next ones and I must say I just love your pink zippered purse.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those meringues look like something from the Clangers but I wouldn't say the cooked ones looked revolting - still rather tasty to me!

    So brave with your zip - I wouldn't know where to start. A very, very pretty purse resulting from those Eeyore moments.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Florence .. I agree with Cathy - i think your oven is too hot. Do you have a fan oven? I do and often find that the hot air blowing makes a difference from times when I didn't have such a posh one!! I personally wouldn't open the door once you turn the oven off - but it's trial and error because everyone's oven/kitchen is different. Delia (smith) would say leave them in the oven all night to dry out.

    A curvy zip looks very challenging indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear dear Florence, thankyou so much for your praise!Blushing : ) My grandmother always said the trick was a low temperature and then leaving the meringue in the oven with door ajar and temp off.Take out when cold.You probably did those things.I have no luck with individual meringues but Nigellas chocolate pavlova (which is surely just a giant meringue?) is a winner every time.What about an enormous pink pav!?x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the pink theme. You'll have to have another go at the meringues - filled with gorgeous summer fruits Ummm! (Shame, the weather looks as if soup and dumplings would be more in order!)

    You're very brave with the curved zip thing and what delicious looking fabric!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for the comment sweetie, it's good to hear from you.
    The meringues look yummy to me and wouldn't last 5 mins here lol
    I must give them ago, do you add the pink food colouring or do they just turn pink?
    that little note form Zebra girl is just the sweetest, you're a lucky mummy.
    And the purse is just devine.
    Many hugs.
    Catherine x

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm very impressed with that curved zip - it looks incredibly professional.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've never been afraid of zips but I can't get the hang of meringues. Not at all. I can cook, I can make dessert but I can't make meringues. My friend can make fabulous meringues, but she's not so great at putting together a Sunday Roast (her record is making us wait almost seven hours...) so perhaps I'll just stick with the gifts I have already and not torture myself about things I could easily buy from Ottolenghi.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lovely purse Florence and have just had a look at Clare's blog which is just gorgeous xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is hard to stick at making things with the childrn around but it is lovely to have them around! Great zip pouch, such neat top stitching.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would have thought dinosaur boy would have liked aliens better anyway? Loving your blog as ever, love from Sculptor's wife

    ReplyDelete
  12. with my meringue recipe, I turn on the oven while I'm mixing up the egg whites and sugar, pop them in the oven and then TURN THE OVEN OFF. I leave them in there overnight and the next day they're crisp and beautifully white. I think it'd work with the pink too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Florence, glad to see your meringue issues are sorted!! I just wanted to tell you that Cathy and I are going to the Sydney Stitches and Craft show next week and guess who has the next display table to ours - Lulu Carter!!!! I shall take photos just to show you!!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x