it's been a rainy kind of a day but that's ok, i've been working on some bright and cheery assemblages,
these are still a work in progress, after a few hours i find i loose sight of the overall feel and need to put them away so that i can start afresh the next day, once more with a clear vision.
the sun came out for just a moment and i couldn't resist photographing raindrops! today is the 1st anniversary of the terrible earthquake which killed many people in the beautiful city of Christchurch this time last year, i can't believe it's already been that long! i have dear friends living there, they are ok thank goodness but the city is still very badly damaged, bless you all down there, our hearts and thoughts are with you on this sad day.
i popped in to visit my dear friend nancy this morning, she has the most beautiful garden imaginable!
i don't know how she does it! she has 4 children, teaches art and mosaics as well as volunteering in the community, she really is an inspiration! her daughter is of school sick today,i just had to share this photo of her with her pet rabbit with you, cute, cute, cute!
I have been blown away by all your comments regarding your freezing winter. thank you so much, it's fantastic hearing from so many corners of the world!
i have found it so hard to choose, they are all worthy!
so i asked my son to randomly pick a number out of a sack,
amazingly number 1 came out!
the winner is: Iva G from Croatia!
please email me with your address and choice of print and i will send it of straight away,
i'm so sorry to everyone else if my finances would allow it, i would send every one one!
as you know, i have been experimenting with meringues this week for this sunday's up and coming market. because valentines day is coming up i thought it would be nice to give them a romantic theme. i spotted some cute rose shaped ones on google and decided to give them a go. unfortunately i don't have the exact right piping tip and because i am far to impatient to go out and buy one, i decided to make one myself. i am so pleased with the result and am excited to share my recipe with you!
to make your own tip:
make a cone shape by cutting up a plastic water bottle,
tape it so it stays in shape.
it needs to be at least twice as big as a regular piping tip.
cut the tip of so you have about a 5mm hole.
divide it into 4 equal sections and with scissors, cut 4 deep v shapes about 15mm deep,
take a sturdy plastic bag,
cut small corner out and insert tip, tape securely with tape.
now for meringue recipe:
3 room temperature free range egg whites,
1 cup caster sugar,
flavoring and colouring if you like, i used rose water and
red food colouring.
(some people add all sorts of things like cream of tarter and vinegar, as you can see you don't need it!)
all you do is:
beat the egg whites until stiff.
add about 2 table spoons of the sugar and beat till very thick and glossy, (about half a minute).
add another couple of spoons and the flavouring and colouring and beat for a little bit,(15 seconds)
now add rest of sugar, mix gently till it's all nicely combined.
you should have a lovely stiff glossy mixture to pipe.(if it's runny you have mixed it too long!)
now pipe roses starting from the center and moving around till desired size, it's easy i promise!
bake in oven slowly for about an hour, don't be tempted to speed things up they will become brittle and collapse,
IMPORTANT: only use very clean metal utensils and bowl, NO plastic!
only have oven on about 100 degrees or even a bit less! if they go brown it's too hot!
place backing paper on trays. use room temperature eggs.
for the lovely post ! i love your blog too! thanks too so much for your fabulous comments, wow, i have heard from so many places! keep them comming. to be honest, our summer hasn't exactly been award winning, i took a walk today in the rain, even rainy days can be beautiful if you look closely! just in case you are wondering, the last shot is a close up of a paua shell.
Well what can i say! after battling for several hours and running backward and forwards to the shops to buy more ingredients i have officially decided that I will stick to meringues!
Macaroons are just too fickle, you have to get the mixture consistency just right and even humidity can ruin them! i have a great idea for decorating meringues and i never seem to balls them up so watch this space!
oh yes, thanks as always for your lovely comments, I hear it's pretty cold and miserable on the other side,
i would like to brighten up someones day by sending them their choice of print,
simply send me a comment telling me where you live and the temperature and wintery conditions and i will send one of you, a print of your choice!
The Eastbourne Market is on in a couple of weeks and i have decided to take the plunge and sell my prints along with... macaroons! yes i know they feature on nearly every cooking show and come across as quite hard to make but i love a challenge and really how hard can they be?! i am making them primarily because they are so bright and colourful, my hope is that they will stand out against all the other baking. try Google "french macaroons" and you'll see what i mean!
anyway, i have dusted of my food processor and i'm trying my first batch today... i'll let you know how i went tomorrow!