Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I know. I am as horrified as you are. Wassup with all the recent photos of my food? All styled and dressed up? Whatever happened to The Little Teochew, the home cook? Home cookin' need no stylin', y'all.
Well, just in case you have been wondering, "Who are you and what have you done to Ju?", let me assure you that it's still me.
It's just that I have been on "camera high" lately. It's amazing what a DSLR does. I notice so many new details through the lens, so much beauty in the unlikeliest of places. In fact, I just have to share with you the pretty things I saw today. Now.
Indulge me, will you?
First of, my friends, Linda, Quinn and Ellie all made gorgeous pavlovas recently. I couldn't resist but join in. I mean ... meringues, you know? Pure and white, cute and cloud-like. Bite into the delicate crisp shell and melt into the marshmallow-like centre. What's not to love?
I made mini ones.
So ethereal ...
... I can almost see a halo (halo, halo, halo ... sing it Beyonce!).
But keep an eye. I baked this batch a tad too long (because I made them petite). :(
But even in a cracked meringue, I can still see beauty (love the arch). Don't throw them out. Give them a makeover ... they can still steal the show.
Pavlova and spring go hand in hand. OK, who am I kidding? I live in perpetual tropical heat and humidity, but I did think of spring when I saw this lone bunch of Sweet William at the market. They called out to me and my heart sang. Their petals reminded me of farfalle. :)
I found this Oneida spoon that belonged to my late father (part of a set ... I'll show you the gorgeous fork another day). It could well be as old as me. I was helping my mom get something from her cupboard when I caught sight of this box ... hidden in a corner, yellow with age ... forgotten over time. But golly, the cutlery ... they were in mint condition! I held each heavy piece tenderly for a moment, admiring the intricate swirls.
Gosh, I miss him so. He was the one who opened my eyes to beauty from a tender young age, starting with the picture of the sea he painted for me when I was six. He was extremely talented in art, among many things. The image is still etched in my mind ... the most beautiful painting to me.
My fruit of choice was the strawberry. This batch was from the USA. They look fatter and juicier, but their taste paled in comparison to the Korean ones I got recently. Oh well, buying fruit is like playing Russian Roulette, no?
So you're supposed to top with a generous serving of chopped macerated berries, but it soon turned into a floppy mess! It was a nightmare to photograph, and I had no choice but to prepare another one. For the sake of photography, all you get is this halved strawberry. Don't fret ... I made up for it with extra whipped cream. :)
I used Linda's recipe, which comes from Ms Nigella Lawson herself. I only omitted the vanilla so that the meringue stays pure white. Visit Linda's blog to see the recipe and her notes. She knows her pavlovas. Don't you, my dear Linda? ;)
Here's what you do with the cracked meringues:
You crack them further, layer them with the macerated berries in a verrine, and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Voila! You now have Ambrosia! Does it not turn heads too? :)
Have a beautiful day, everyone of you!