Saturday, May 8, 2010

In which we make pavlova and I wish I bought an Ooshka...

I went to the stitches and craft show yesterday. I'd been dying to go last year but somehow just couldn't manage it, so this year I was going to go come hell or high water. I managed to convince my better half to watch Minty and the littlest man of the house and I set off for a day out together. The show was great. It probably would have been better sans baby because I couldn't actually get involved with the classes or watch 'The September Issue' (I'm busting to watch it - hopefully I'll get a chance soon). We still had a great time though. Turi flashed winning smiles at all the ladies and I got to see some lovely fabrics and cute products. I gave myself a little early mother's day treat and bought a panel of Anna Maria Horner's little folks square dance (see the picture above). I just love the weight of this fabric, it has the most gorgeous drape and is oh so soft. I restrained myself from buying anything else, other than a scrap bag of fabric. The thing that has stuck in my head since the show are the Ooshkas from the red thread. I didn't buy one but there was something special about those faces (which were also being sold as fabric panels)… hmn I wish I had.

In other news... After watching Master Chef I felt inspired to make a pavlova. Before we get onto talking about the pavlova I just have to get something off my chest. The number of people on Master Chef who claim they 'don't do desserts' really rankles me. I mean sweet food is a massive category to sweep aside off handedly. It's as ridiculous as saying 'I don't make main courses' or 'I don't make savoury food'. Aside from anything else they are on Master Chef for heaven's sake. Obviously when they signed up for the show they knew they were going to have to make dessert. Surely they could have put in some time to practise the basics. Watching the contestants try to make pavlova was mildly excruciating. More than one contestant had no concept of what 'whipping to firm peaks' meant and one lady even managed to bugger up measuring the sugar. I'm not saying I've never had an unmitigated kitchen disaster (I'm sure we've all been there at least once), but I'm also not entering a contest to win the title 'Australia's best amateur cook'.

Enough rant. Is anyone still reading this?? Coooooeeeee! Where were we? My pavlova… right. I used the Donna Hay recipe from the master chef website. It was delicious… but a little cracked on top - nothing some whipped cream couldn't cover. My oven has a troubled relationship with all things meringue. It is a relic from the 1970s and runs on bottled gas, which basically means it's minimum temperature is about 160C. Never mind, I'm not one to back down from a challenge.


  1. As a person who loves making desserts, I wholeheartedly agree with your rant. People may write them off because you need to follow a recipe to make them, unlike mains which can be a little less precisely measured. But really, if you can read a recipe, desserts are not the big scary monster Masterchef contestants make them out to be!

  2. I agree and often think the same thing when watching Masterchef! And desserts are the fun bit - you get to taste as you cook. Well, perhaps not on TV! I have such fond memories of baking with Mum on school holidays.

    Can I just say that I love your blog, Susan and I read it all the time :-0

  3. Hi Susan, I just came across you post and your Ooshka longing! They are now available from my online shop...

    Your pav looks fab!