Friday, April 23, 2010

Pavlova Perfection...sorta.

Yesterday had to be a day off from the gym out of necessity--I was still VERY sore from spinning. But that was okay, because it was also my monthly Boston adventure with Erin. We went to the Institute of Contemporary Art, which I've been wanting to go to for a while. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a let-down. I thought it would be similar to MassMOCA, but it was pretty small and the main exhibit was...a tad evil and very pornographic. There were some cool sculpture exhibit, and I'm glad I finally made myself go, but I don't feel a burning need to go again.

We went to dinner at Legal Test Kitchen afterwards, where we had some delicious calamari and delicious salmon and a REALLY delicious raspberry lime ricky. Like always, the time just melted away while we caught up, and I felt for just a moment like I actually had a social life. Sweet. =)

Today, Melissa went spinning again and I actually really wanted to go with her, but I had to have bloodwork done and I'm supposed to do it first thing, before my cortisol levels get messed up from being awake. Plus, I was trying to find time to cook a surprise pavlova for Michael. It's one of his favorite desserts ever, and I've never attempted it before. It's trickier than you'd expect, since it bakes for 1.5 hours and then needs to cool in the oven. I was going to do it last night, while Michael was at his fishing club meeting, but he came home too early. And then I was going to do it this morning, but the bloodwork took too long and I didn't have time to wait for it to be done before going to work. So I gave in and asked my boss if I could take an extra long lunch to make the pavlova. If she thought it was an odd request, she didn't let on.

Kate said it was super easy and there was no way I could screw it up, but it was harder than she implied. To her credit, she only laughed a little bit when I wrote back with 15 questions about the thickness of the pavlova, and the shape and size and how to properly separate egg whites. The recipe itself is pretty easy, but the problem was that it said to beat the egg whites until stiff. It didn't say how long it should take. I beat those suckers for freaking EVER and they weren't very stiff. I nearly called Kate at work to ask her to describe stiff eggs. When my arm started to get really sore, I gave up and stopped the mixer. And, lo and behold, the beaters left a whipped egg mountain peak behind! Stiff!

So I baked it for an hour (less than Kate's recipe called for, but I was already 90 minutes into my 60 minute lunch break), and turned the oven off to cool. When I came home at the end of the day, it didn't look too bad... (it's supposed to have cracks in it)...but it's hard to tell if you did it right until you get ready to eat it, since the inside is the important part!

Then I wrapped it up and hid it. In Michael's dresser drawer. Which is pretty freaking hysterical, if you ask me, since there was no CHANCE he'd look there. And it was empty. hahaha. Good one.

This is what it looks like once decorated:

In case you've never had it, pavlova is the National Dessert of New Zealand. Why don't we have a national dessert?! Anyway, it's crisp on the outside and sort of...marshmallowy/merengue-y on the inside, and you top it with fruit and whipped cream. It's SO GOOD. And while I think Kate's was a little better, Michael was kind enough to make a big deal out of my attempt. =)

On a side note, I got my new sheets today...the ones I ordered after getting my massage last weekend. They are AMAZING. I can't wait to go to sleep. They are so soft and inviting. Sadly, we are on duty so I can go to bed until well after midnight. sigh. At least I have something to look forward to! (sad, I know.)

On another side note, Erin sent me an article about "America's Funniest Small Town Names" which, of course, includes Uncertain, Texas! Now we have another 7 places to add to our "must visit" list. I've driven through Truth and Consequences before, and Michael and I were near Carefree when we went hot air ballooning last November, but we didn't stop and take a picture by the sign, so we might as well re-do it. =) Thanks, Erin.

Well, I didn't exercise today. But I made heart shaped pavlova, my house is CLEAN, and I have new, super-cozy sheets on the bed. So that's some kind of perfection right there.

No comments: