A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
There was a time when I wanted to do everything listed on the Lonely Planet guide when on vacation. I’d religiously make up detailed itineraries together with distance, time travelled and what gear to use when driving up Mount Cook. But when you think about it, would it make a difference after taking the 15,267th picture of the Sydney Opera House with the sun setting behind the Harbour Bridge at 6.30 in the evening with your mug blocking the entire bridge and a silhouette of yourself against the setting sun which prevents anyone from seeing that cheesy smile? Bookings? What bookings? Go with the flow. Add the element of surprise (like hey, we’re fully booked tonight, care to sleep on the lawn?). Now, I am quite happy to just laze by the pool, get a tan, and consider it a good day. It is about reflection and time spent with the ones you care about. It is about creating memories, not necessarily on kodak paper.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Invariably, when one is in Australia, one eats pavlova. Even better, one makes pavlova. With all the hints left in my previous posts, I knew I had to at least try to make a pav by myself. And what better setting than the view of the sea in the distance, a cold breeze, and Chopin for inspiration?.
Four egg whites were used for this recipe. After beating the whites in an electric mixer until stiff peaks were formed, I added a cup of castor sugar, little by little, ensuring that the sugar was completely dissolved, creating a beautiful white gloss. I also added a teaspoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract just before adding the sugar.
Plonk the mixture onto a baking sheet….
And using a spatula, spread it into a circle. It’s best to make furrows along the side, as straight as possible, as these furrows add stability while baking. Bake it at 180C for 5 minutes, then turn heat down to 120C for 60 minutes.
After an hour, with the scent of vanilla wafting in the air, the meringue should be cooked. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar (depending on the type of oven you’re using) to cool the meringue.
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.