Ivory mentioned in her blog about making new traditions around important dates – Christmas in particular. I also need to do this, to shake off the rubbish from the past and get out of the loop of negativity and repeating patterns that I find myself in. She mentions sharing a Christmas story and recipe that has meaning or tradition for us. Being in the Southern Hemisphere where Christmas tends to be a very hot day, our traditions revolve around a barbie (bar-be-que) and pavlova…
4 egg whites
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Beat egg whites and salt in a bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the castor sugar while beating. Continue until stiff peaks form. Beat in the remaining ingredients, vanilla essence, vinegar and cornflour. Turn mixture out onto a baking paper covered tray. Shape into a circle approximately 23 cm (9 in) in diameter.
Reduce oven temperature to 140°C. Bake for 15 minutes, then further reduce the oven temperature to 120°C and bake for 1 ¼ hours. Cool completely in the oven with the oven door ajar.
Top with whipped or brandy cream and your choice of fresh fruit – traditionally strawberries, kiwifruit and a sprinkle of icing sugar.
There is debate over whether the pavlova was first made in New Zealand or Australia, but we consider it a New Zealand dish 🙂
As for a story or tradition, possibly my favourite Christmas memory is making home-made Christmas crackers with my Nanna (grandmother). We were on holiday in Okiwi Bay, sitting around the kitchen table picking out presents for each person, adding the popper tape and wrapping them up in paper. It was simple fun and the presents in each cracker were so much better than the ones you get in the store brought Christmas crackers.
My past isn’t always painful…