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Pavlova – YUM!
January 25th, 2010 by Kate
There are many many tasty foods here in NZ.  To start, ALL the land animals that we eat here are eating what they were meant to eat – cows and sheep grazing on real grass while walking around pretty green pastures.  Not a feed lot anywhere.  The meat and cheese REALLY do taste different, and better.  And I should know – as I have made it a really bad habit of buying a round of “local” cheese just about every evening.  Needless to say, I will be dieting next month in Thailand.  To make matters even worse, they do fish and chips here that are SO light and crispy and perfect!  WAY better than in England!   And the steamed mussels are meals fit for a  king.  ANd don’t get me started on the fresh fruit ice cream stands that dot the countryside – if you’ve never had fresh kiwi ice cream you haven’t lived.

So imagine our surprise when we couldn’t find New Zealand’s official national dessert – Pavlova!  For our first 12 days in OZ we checked every menu we came across with no luck.  We had Pavlova made for us by a Kiwi couchsurfer in Phoenix last year, and Australian’s all over make it a point to let you know that Pavlova was REALLY invited by them – but we are going to give credit to the Kiwi’s for inventing it, as we always root for the underdog.

Olivia & Tessa overlooking the Wellington and the Bay

Olivia & Tessa overlooking Wellington and the Bay

Our quest for Pavlova brought us to Wellington – New Zealand’s capital (I am ashamed to say I didn’t know it was NZ’s capital until we were on our way here!) and a really cool city on the southern end of the Northern Island.  Wellington is yet another city on the water, has a great “walking” downtown with lots of cool shops and resturants, and a couple really cool museums. 

City Gallery Wellington - covered in dots for the Yayoi Kusama exhibit!

City Gallery Wellington - covered in dots for the Yayoi Kusama exhibit!

 

In one of the Kusama instillations - Kusama is from Japan and came to America in the 60's where she was a contempory of Andy Warhol's.  She has always been obsessed with dots, and has made quite a name for herselft in the dot (and art) world.  She is still alive, but suffers from pretty significant mental health issues that she blames on the dots.  While I'm making all this "dot" stuff sound really flipant - her work is really good and Olivia, Tessa and I totally enjoyed the exhibition!

In one of the Kusama instillations - Kusama is from Japan and came to America in the 60's where she was a contempory of Andy Warhol's. She has always been obsessed with dots, and has made quite a name for herself in the dot (and art) world. She is still alive, but suffers from pretty significant mental health issues that she blames on the dots. While I'm making all this "dot" stuff sound really flipant - her work is really good and Olivia, Tessa and I totally enjoyed the exhibition!More dots - but in the form of lights this time. The Phoenix Art Museum has an exhibit very much like this (I actually like PAM's better) called "Fireflies" (I think!). I'm not sure who the artist is - maybe it is Kasuma - but if you are in Phx you should go check it out, it's really cool and Tessa & Phoebe's favorite exhibit at PAM.

But what really made our time in Wellington great was meeting back up with our friends Diana, James, Theo, Iris and our main little man Bruno!

Our friends the McLean/Castles.  We met them back when we were in Hanoi, Vietnam at our favorite cafe and spent Halloween with them celebrating with ice cream.  They generously took the five us in when we visited Wellington - and we had a blast with them!

Our friends the McLean/Castles. We met them back when we were in Hanoi, Vietnam at our favorite cafe and spent Halloween with them celebrating with ice cream. They generously took the five us in when we visited Wellington - and we had a blast with them!

Phoebe & Bruno in the tree (photo courtesy of Iris)

Phoebe & Bruno in the tree (photo courtesy of Iris)

7am Twister anyone?  "Kids in New Zealand are just like kids in the US but they talk funny" says Phoebe.

7am Twister anyone? "Kids in New Zealand are just like kids in the US but they talk funny" says Phoebe.

The McLean/Castle crew totally spoiled us – we ate, drank, played (Phoebe spent about 10 hours a day on their trampoline and in their tree house with Theo, Iris and Bruno), and Diana did her best to totally fatten us up with her amazing baking EVERY day!   We woke up to the smell of fresh muffins, then munched on no fewer than 3 different kinds of amazing cookies throughout the days (I will be adding a few of these cookie recipes to my Christmas cookie repotorie!).  We causually mentioned to her on the morning of our last day there that we’d yet to find Pavlova – and when we returned that afternoon from museuming – there it was – the Pavlova of my dreams!

pavlova

Pavlova

(recipe from Edmond’s Cookbook – perfected by our friend Diana)

 

For Meringue:

4 egg whites

1 ¼ cups fine sugar

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs corn starch

 

For Topping:

Kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced (traditional Kiwi way to eat it!)

Strawberries, blueberries, or other assorted berries

 

Fresh Whipped Cream:

1 pint heavy whipping cream

2 tbs powdered sugar (frosting sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract

 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and sugar for 10 minutes on high until thick & glossy.  In a separate bowl, combine vinegar, vanilla, and corn starch.  Add to egg mixture & beat for an additional 5 minutes.

 Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Using a pencil, trace a dinner plate or a 9 inch round cake pan onto the parchment paper.  Spread the mixture to within ½ inch of the edge of the circle, keeping the shape as round and even as possible.  Smooth the top.  Put Pavlova in the oven, and turn temperature down to 210°F (100°C).  Bake Pavlova for one hour.  Turn off oven & open door slightly, leaving the Pavlova in the oven until it is cool.  Carefully transfer onto serving plate.

 Combine heavy cream and powdered sugar with 1 tsp vanilla extract in an electric mixer.  Beat until fluffy and peaks form.

 Fill top of Pavlova shell with whipped cream (the middle of the shell may cave in) and decorate with fresh fruit. 

 YUM!

 


One Response  
Anita (Nana) writes:
January 28th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Well, I hope you see the Switzerland dairy and cows, like I had the invite to do and found Emminthauler cheese, yummy like your describing. It was a sight to behold as each cow had a bell on it’s neck and Ms. Ingrid let Ms.Greta and I know each cow had a name. Oh boy, as we were viewing a hill full.
Well, you know your mother-in-law enjoys trying new recipes. So it will be on the table, the New Zeland Official Dessert, for Valentine Day. Yummy Kiwi dessert.
I’m with you Kate, I’ve had no reason to really know the capital name of NZ. But the photo sure shows a awesome sight. Thank you.
Are your co workers jealous from the PHX Museum?
Sure glad Pappy not viewing with me, as none of the neessary ingredients in Nana’s kitchen today for the delicious Pavola dessert I’m looking at.
No twister playing at 7:00am, but walking a dog name Shugorei.
A hug to all.

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