Holy heavens I can finally breathe!
What a whirlwind year with so many adjustments and stages and fun.
Career wise I made the shift and invited another member onto my little team in the studio.
Stephanie is an interior design and architecture student who helps me to process orders and has added so much flare to the design side of my business.
All the info you receive inside your prints has been made by Stephanie. I give her a project and she flies with it.
We added another babe to the family, little Abraham.
With having all these lads and no girls in our brood I was determined when I found out he was due in April, to at least share a birthday month with one of them so I was thrilled when he arrived four days after my birthday on the 30th. A small but a significant thing, for me.
My Grandmother, who this blog is named after passed away in February which really shifted life.
My mum’s side of the family are a close bunch but Granny was the glue that held us altogether. I can’t help but cry when I see amazing carol singers giving up their time to go to old people’s homes, something that Granny, even in her years of dementia adored and sang along to.
Christmas can be a tough time, right?
I trust this post finds you well.
I feel so blessed to read your comments, to have so many of you share your stories of grief (my post on grief is here) or postpartum difficulties (my postpartum posts are here and here) and, to really just feel like I have a wonderfully engaged audience (for want of a better word). Thank you for “getting me” and all of my ramblings.
As you know I am all about healthy “clean” eating 80% of the time, but that other 20% is spent indulging in good desserts, red wine and prosecco, and chewy sweets!
We live about two minutes away so Supervalu is familiar territory for me, and their shelves entice me with local chutneys-I love Hollah preserve, Cookstown pork sausages from their butchers’s counter and of course Clandeboye yogurt amongst other Norn Irish treats (see my Norn Irish gift guide post here).
Anyway, would you believe I had never made a pavlova before, NEVER!?
My Mum and my Mother in law make amazing ones. My Mother in law even uses the egg yolks to make an incredible sweet filling, while my Mum taught me not to overbeat the eggs and really that I should invest in good mixture!!
The pavlova making method is something I heard so much from everyone- “My Mum’s pavlova is incredible” or “We still use my Granny’s recipe” or “Oh, you use hot water in yours? I must try that”.
It’s a simple dessert (I was astounded at how quickly it can be rustled up!) and a super talking point.
I loved Noel’s recipe and was a very well behaved for once, sticking to the instructions and correct ingredients from start to finish. It was just the decorating where I added some flare- to be fair it’s all I know- the artistic bit rather than the baking!!
My pavlova took two attempts after the balloon whisk in my sad ten year old Kenwood broke. And by this stage I had roped in my Mum and my sister law, both of whom churn pavlovas out ALL the time so I was never going to fail second time round.
My kids hands have now been all over the pavlova so it no longer looks like it did in the picture above. My second born thinks that you don’t need a spoon for desserts anymore, or indeed to slice anything into sections. It’s a free-for-all attitude!
Find Noel’s recipe for the meringue below. And then my own topping recipe.
NOEL’S CHRISTMAS PAVLOVA RECIPE
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 150C/130C/Gas 2
- Using a pencil mark out the circumference of a dinner plate
- Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks are formed
- Add 1tbsp of caster sugar at a time, until the meringue looks glossy.
- Whisk in vanilla, white wine vinegar and cornflour.
- Spread meringue inside circle.
- Bake for one hours, then turn off the heat and let the pavlova cool completely inside the oven.
2tbsp icing sugar
450ml whipping cream
- Chop 100g strawberries and blend with 2tbsp icing sugar.
- Whip remaining cream with remaining icing sugar and spread on top.
- Decorate with leftover strawberries.
Fresh cream, 2tbsp icing sugar, a punnet of strawberries and a kiwi
- Whip fresh cream and icing sugar
- Spread on pavlova.
- Chop and decorate with strawberries and kiwi
Thank you again for all of your support and for taking the time to follow my words and adventures.