Thursday, December 4, 2014

Snow, Exercises. Social Media.

SnowrabbitWhatever it did on Tuesday night in the end, it has been snowing most of the day today, Wednesday. I think the streets were not too bad but as I never poked my nose out of doors, I don’t know. Matt was out at 7 a.m. when he goes shopping but it wasn’t doing much at that time. I don’t think there’s enough of the stuff to give us a white Christmas. Not yet anyway. I seem to think we had a green Christmas last year although the remainder of the winter made up for that lapse. By the end of it everyone was complaining. Had to post my favourite snow rabbit pic.
Went for my in house exercises again, my legs were hurting even though we ere sitting down for some of the time. One lady keeps on about being 93 and I keep wanting to say “I bowl with people your age”. I was told I was a youngster by one of the women who is 85. To her, I guess I am. We have been collecting for a present for the regular instructor and I am told we have $40. They are talking about a box of chocolates, that’s going to be one hell of a box full.

My mother had a close friend (best friend maybe) for many years from her early days in Birmingham, England. I remember Aunty Nella very well from when I was a child and remember the Shirley Temple LtlJodress and the Snow White Cloak that was provided for me, I think my mother bought the dress and Nella gave me the gorgeous blue cloak. At the time she had a son called Richard and we were very good friends too. Eventually everyone moved away in one direction or another, I sent Christmas cards for many years, but didn’t get any responses. Then, tonight, (Wednesday) I got a Facebook friend request from her daughter, Rosemary. Not quite sure how she knew me although she has a photo of me at 12 and a video of my first wedding. But the latter was 52 years ago. Unfortunately both our mothers are no longer with us although Nella didn’t die til 2007 at 96 years old, a very good age. I was sorry to hear that Richard, too, had died of colon cancer. I think this is a picture of Richard and I. Rosemary is going to send me a copy of the pic she has, once she has got someone to upload it for her. It turns out she is 10 years younger than I. Isn't social media wonderful.

I have made Pavlovas in the past, but this one sounds absolutely wonderful. I would have to leave out the grapefruit because of pills unfortunately, I love grapefruit. I have left the time in as I don’t want anyone caught out by not realising there is such a long cooling time.

Ambrosia Pavlova

Contributed by Ben Mims to Food & Wine
  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN Plus 4 hours cooling
    Here, F&W’s Ben Mims transforms the classic ambrosia salad recipes from his childhood into an incredibly delicate dessert topped with an orange-infused coconut milk whipped cream.

    Pineapple Curd

    1. 1/4 cup sugar
    2. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    3. Grated zest of 1 lemon
    4. 1 large egg yolk
    5. 1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
    6. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


    1. 1/4 cup cornstarch
    2. 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
    3. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    5. 2 cups sugar
    6. 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
    7. 1 cup very finely ground pistachios, toasted and cooled


    1. 1/4 cup sugar
    2. Grated zest of 2 oranges
    3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    4. 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
    5. 1 cup cold heavy cream
    6. 1 orange, peeled of its pith and cut into segments
    7. 1 grapefruit, peeled of its pith and cut into segments
    8. 1/2 cup candied cherries in syrup, such as Amarena Fabbri
    9. Large dried coconut shavings, julienned lime zest and chopped pistachios, for serving
    1. MAKE THE PINEAPPLE CURD In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt, lemon zest, and egg yolk until smooth. Add the pineapple juice and butter and stir until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it begins to simmer, continue to cook and stir the curd until it is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
    2. MAKE THE MERINGUE Heat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, vinegar, vanilla, and salt until a thick paste forms. Put the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Add the cornstarch paste to the beating egg whites and continue to beat until very stiff and glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the pistachios and, using a rubber spatula, very gently fold until evenly incorporated.
    3. Trace a 9-inch circle onto a sheet of parchment paper. Flip the sheet over and transfer it to a baking sheet; spray lightly with baking spray. Pile the meringue in the center of the circle and, using an offset spatula or small rubber spatula, form it into a 9-inch disk, smoothing the top and sides. Transfer to the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 215°. Bake until the meringue is dried on the outside and looks set, about 1 1/2 hours. Without opening the door, turn the oven off and let the meringue sit inside until completely cooled, at least 4 hours. (The cooling process allows the meringue to dry and cool slowly enough so that it doesn’t collapse on itself.) Once cooled, gently tip the meringue onto its side and peel away the parchment paper. Carefully place the meringue on a flat cake stand or serving platter.
    4. WHEN READY TO SERVE, MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM In a food processor, combine the sugar, orange zest, salt, and coconut milk in a food processor and process until the sugar is dissolved and the zest heavily perfumes the coconut milk. Pour into a large bowl, add the cream, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Pile the whipped cream onto the center of the meringue and gently nudge it to the edge of the meringue, leaving about a 1 1/2-inch border.
    5. Arrange the orange and grapefruit segments on the cream and then drizzle with some of the pineapple curd. Dot the top with cherries, coconut, lime zest, and more chopped pistachios and serve immediately.
    Have a great day.


    1. Hi Jo. Such a cute bunny!!!

      I enjoy social media. Just had a friend request from a former close chum. Haven't seen her since 1989. Her daughter found me first. It's been exciting.

      I have been looking for a decent meringue recipe - for meringue cookies. I'll give this one try. Grapefruit is out for me as well. I'm prone to ulcers. (Nuff said.) Wonder if could substitute clementines or tangerines?

      Stay warm and dry!

      1. It is fun to catch up with old friends.

        I want to make this pavlova but nothing in the offing at the moment, not doing it for just the two of us.

    2. Hi Jo. Stay safe and warm in all that snow. Seems funny, seeing that we are sweating through a heatwave in Oz. Well, it is summer here. That is a different take on a pavlova, which is like a national dish here. Tastes lovely on a boiling hot Christmas Day!


      1. Of course I am jealous of the heatwave, mind you I don't think I could take some of the temps you guys get.

        I thought it was different too. Sounded delicious. I always enjoy meringue in any form.

    3. Hi Jo - the snow is coming I guess, especially for you. How interesting you've connected with such an old friend .. that will be fun catching up.

      Love pavlova ... we often have concoctions of it .. but the extra orange and pink grapefruit colours give that extra look ... cheers Hilary

      1. Yup, everywhere is white here Hilary. Yes, they moved to Rottingdean years ago although apparently she now lives in London

        I love pavlova too, haven't make it in quite a while.

    4. Just arived back in the UK where its cold and wet and miserable in Kent ... no snow though! Am bundled up in Winter Woollies trying to keep warm.
      Social Media is a mixed blessing ... its quite addictive and takes up far too much time, but has its compensations when you can catch up with friends from the past I guess ... and of course we get to 'converse' with e-friends from around the World which is always interesting

      1. Quite a contrast for you Sue. I agree it is a mixed blessing, but yesterday it turned out to be fun. Like this blog this morning, a comment from Oz, couple from the States, two from the UK. The wonders of the Internet.

    5. That's a lot of chocolate for forty dollars.
      I've had a few white Christmases, but few here.

      1. I remember one when we first moved to NC in 88. I think it was in 89 we got 18 inches at Christmas. The mail girl (who drove a 4x4) wouldn't come in to our area for a week. Friends managed to visit for Christmas morning though, a whole bunch of them for ham and champagne cocktails.

    6. I am forever grateful for social media b/c that's how Russell tracked me down. If it wasn't for Facebook, I wouldn't be with the love of my life. :D

      1. You say tracked you down, did you know one another before?

    7. I try and read your blog every day but don't always comment. The snow bunny is terrific--how big? Snow is good, ice and ice storms are not. Be careful you two!

      1. Thanks, I appreciate that. Don't know how big the bunny is. Just found the pic one year and liked it. We are careful, thanks a bunch.

    8. That pavlova looks lovely - I might give it a try this Christmas.

      I love the fact that the internet allows us to connect all over the world - a great substitute for the penpals we used to have.

      I hope the snow's not too severe for you Jo - they're forecasting a white christmas here.
      If it comes it'll be nice to slow down a bit - and get back to reading and writing some blogs - haven't been on for a while and I have loads to catch up with.

      1. You and me both except for the grapefruit. I was thinking the same about pen pals only the other day.

        No snow today and it's sure not very deep yet, can still see the grass.

    9. My wife keeps hoping it will snow here. I am not so sure I agree.

      Love that recipe another one I will share with my daughter.

      1. Where's 'here'? Are you likely to get snow?

        And will your daughter make it for you?

    10. Come to think of it, we had a very warm Christmas last year too. The past couple of days we've had some much needed and appreciated rain. That pavlova sounds really interesting. I'll bet it is quite tasty and unique. Hope you stay warm this winter, even if it does snow. I'm not much for very cold weather and I always think of my friends who do snow every year. I couldn't imagine that, but I guess many of you enjoy it. It sure is beautiful when it falls from the sky!

      1. Yup, I think we did too, but I cannot swear to it.

        The Pavlova does sound good and I would like to make it.

        Canada is well prepared for the Snow so we can generally stay good and warm. We used to really enjoy the snow when we did Cross Country skiing, could never get enough of the white stuff. Bit too ancient these days.

    11. The way you embrace social media is a reflection of just how young in mind and soul you are Jo! I just found a friend I haven't been in contact with for 25 years the other day. It sometimes gets a bad rap but social media can be very beneficial.

      1. Why thank you Miss Pinky. It is quite something when this happens isn't it? But yes, it can also be bad and sometimes very boring.