on butterfly wings

i may have mentioned before that i am most naturally an introvert. lots of people lots of the time makes me kind of nervous. but this week gone i have been like a social butterfly extraordinaire! it started with dinner and a movie (black swan) with knitabulous on tuesday night (i loved that movie, loved every second of it, even if it was completely melodramatic and OTT). this was followed by afternoon tea on wednesday (australia day) at rosereds house, and was great to catch up with my old morris and sons SnB mates that i really dont see often enough. we ate lots of sweet things, including a pavlova decorated like sydney harbour (sort of) and fairy bread and of course portuguese tarts, given that we are not all descended from Empire:

that same day, i went back to webgoddesses place, and herself, the snook and i caught a bus down broadway to circular quay, where we met up with kunaal and his spare ticket to the opera house to see amandafuckingpalmer.

it was just so awesome, a fantastic, sprawling, chaotic, musical-drama-comedy-poetry reading thing, topped off with the amazing mr gaiman reading some new stories for us, including an ode to australian  history called Megafauna. a really great night, exhausting and a bit spine tingly. i drove through an empty city at midnight and sped down the freeway to get me home in under an hour but it was still 2am before i slept.

then i had a day or two off, and did some cleaning in preparation for my house guests, my friends georgie and bertie and james and grace and their dog ally from canberra, who came to spend the weekend with me, and trent, and our three dogs, so it was kind of crowded and kind of chaotic but really a lot of fun. saturday afternoon we met knitabulous and randomknits and zena and kate for lunch at diggies (yeah, a bit over the crap service and over pricing, shame cos its in such a great spot), then up to the novotel for wollongong stitch and bitch, where i met a new person called catherine who works in the same building as me! (we already have a coffee date! me and new people, unheard of!) george and i met bertie and the kids after their day on the beach and we went home for bbq and pavlova for desert. it was my very first pavlova. i was inspired by rosereds on wednesday, and enabled by a very thoughtful gift to the house from trent, a new mixmaster!

i had looked at some of those big $700 kitchenaids at christmas but couldnt make up my mind, and then trent saw a breville one advertised for less than $200 so we went in to look at that, but we were seduced by this groovy little number. it was marked at $140 but we haggled and it was the last one, and we got it down to $90!! nice! it comes apart too so it can be a hand mixer or a stand mixer:

it did a very nice job on my egg whites, turning them from this

to this

and then to this:

i was surprised how easy a pav is to make, really,

but there a few things that go into getting it right, like making it stiff enough to sit where you put it on the tray and not collapsing, and not cooking it for so long that all you have is yummy crunchy shell and not much meringue. james and i decorated saturday nights one into a smiley face, and i made another one on sunday that was almost perfect

a few more tweaks and i will have it just right.

the recipe is from the stephanie alexander bible (cooks companion), by the way. and now i am home alone (well with three dogs) again, albeit with a fridge that looks like an art gallery, thanks to james and grace, including a map from their place to mine:

and because its hot im going to hibernate for the rest of the week and quite possibly finish the edging on a particular shawl. its been lovely to have such a busy social week, but some quiet time sounds good too!

until next weekend….

k xx

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About DrK

researcher, knitter, dog lover View all posts by DrK

12 responses to “on butterfly wings

  • Bells

    i admire pavlova making so much – my dabbling has failed. Clearly I need better kitchen equipment!

    I’m seeing Amanda F Palmer tonight and CAN’T WAIT!! So glad you loved her. She’s spectacular.

    Go the shawl! Go the shawl!

  • RoseRed

    Pavlova really is pretty easy isn’t it! Yours looks great (except for that narrrsty passionfruit!!)

    You have been the social butterfly, haven’t you! But I agree, some quiet time is good, isn’t it, to recharge the batteries and be at one with yourself. I miss it too, if I don’t have it.

  • sue

    It sounds like you have had a fabulous week of socialising and catching up. Hibernating in the heat sounds like a great idea, although I would love to have a swimming pool in my backyard at the moment to cool off.

  • Kate

    The pav turned out nicely. Well done! I love Stephanie’s recipes, they really help you understand how the whole cooking process works.

  • donna lee

    I am a bit of an introvert myself (although you wouldn’t know it as I am a social worker). I am most comfortable in small groups. Large groups scare the crap out of me.

    I have never made a pavlova but I love meringue. If it weren’t so hard to get good fruit this time of year, I’d try one. Maybe with some strawberries in the spring.

  • LynS

    I’m exhausted even thinking about your Australia Day activities. In my case I don’t think it’s introversion that’s causing my increased unsociability – just lack of energy.

    Well done with the pav. I use my Auntie Mollie’s recipe, but they use so few basic ingredients there’s not much variation in recipes. Modern ovens makes the outcome much more predictable. My favourite, indulgent, summer finishing is raspberries and slices of fresh peach. Yum.

  • Ailsa

    New people, social events – and even enjoying them? Good for you!

    I still am not sure who Amanda Palmer is. I hope you’ll still be my friend though..

  • gidgetknits

    Oh that’s a cute mixer! I also love meringue cookies and mini-meringues swirled with jam (hey, gluten free – I can enjoy meringue to my heart’s desire!). And wow… Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman! Isn’t he the most wonderful storyteller? I always come down with the urge to want to hug him… is that silly?

  • 1funkyknitwit

    You go girl and live life socially butterflying 😀 …ehheh, glad you liked the movie and not just media hype cause I too want to see it too 🙂

    You pavalova… MMMmmmmmmmmm !!!!! looks GREAT !!!

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