Christmas and the Pavlova.(667 recipes)

IMG_0052 a horse, a horse

We have bought the ingredients for the pavlova including the cream. Helvi thought that the cream was overdoing it, but reading the recipe on the box, it clearly stated that cream was needed. The supermarket was in a total pandemonium. Some people so swept up, they grabbed whatever they could get hold of. As if possessed by voodoo magic. It is the same each year. People try and remain calm but then totally loose it during the last few days. Hospitals are on standby, broken bones, bloodied faces and marital whiplash are so common during the Christmas festivities. For some it just gets too much. The say; ‘uncork and unwind’ does come with consequences!

My Christmas started early when I found an abandoned trolley with its 2 dollar coin still in its little holder near my car.  I suspect some shoppers might well think it costs two dollars to go shopping. They walk to the car with the full trolley and after loading the car just leave the trolley to its own devices. All the better for the canny shopper on the look-out for trolleys with 2 dollars. Something for the school kids to latch onto.

Getting back to the pavlova. Its history continues to be a much disputed item over a sweet dish made in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who toured New Zealand and Australia during the 1920’s. It is a dish made in honour of her. Till this day both countries still claim ownership of this dish. Some even totally dispute the Pavlova being of NZ and Australian origin, and say it was invented in the US. Another in-depth study claims its origins are Austrian.

This from Wiki.

“Keith Money, a biographer of Anna Pavlova, wrote that a hotel chef in Wellington, New Zealand, created the dish when Pavlova visited there in 1926 on her world tour.[7]

Professor Helen Leach, a culinary anthropologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand, has compiled a library of cookbooks containing 667 pavlova recipes from more than 300 sources.[8] Her book, The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand’s Culinary History, states that the first Australian pavlova recipe was created in 1935 while an earlier version was penned in 1929[2] in a rural magazine.”[1]

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20 Responses to “Christmas and the Pavlova.(667 recipes)”

  1. freefall852 Says:

    Where was the Pavlova invented…Wrong on both counts!…I have the good oil from a letter from old Granny Kruger up here in the Mallee…Where she describes a “Cake of air” made from many egg-whites and sent in for a competition to raise money to get the then “free-form” celebrity dancer Isadora Duncan to do a tour of Australia in 1927..unfortunately she died in a car accident that same year..
    The competition was run in a rural magazine…The Mallee..Stump(?)..Mallee Log (?)..Mallee something or other..and the cake was to be called the : “Isaduncan”…but of course. . .However, it did win first prize..and the funds raised were contributed to the Russian Dance company..and so it was named the “Pavlova”…as second choice. help me God!

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      There could be something in that, Jo.
      I think it was in the Mallee Mallet or was it a rumour by the Mallee Mole, it was wrote upon? Hotly disputed by a mob behind the Black Stump.
      My mum knitted us grey socks for Christmas each year, but dunno if they ever ended up used in a sponge cake. She was frugal and managed to use everything that was ever worn out.
      It might explain that everything I wear seems to bear a grudge.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. janesmudgeegarden Says:

    Wherever the pavlova originates, it remains a yummy desert, especially when laden with fresh fruit and cream.
    You’re right about the pandemonium ( lovely word, that) in the supermarkets, Gerard. Who would have though they’ll be open again on Boxing Day? Have a lovely Christmas, you and your Helvi, I hope the weather has warmed up a bit since yesterday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Jane.
      We bought the passion fruit pulp as well as the fruit, raspberries, blue berries and straw berries as well as mango.
      Our daughter will add special touches to the pavlova base. We never tried cooking cakes, more into fish and vegetables.
      I suppose the madness in shopping centres has now calmed. The shelves looked ravaged already at 1pm when I was there. Someone had spilt vanilla on the floor. You would think a war was on.


  3. leggypeggy Says:

    I love pavlova and am lucky because the neighbour makes a fine one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jennypellett Says:

    Pavlova is a favourite in our household. I top it with raspberries and blueberries. Part of our five a day. Our supermarkets are open 24/7. I still went early on Friday. Came away unscathed. Merry Christmas 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the raspberries and blue berries are really the go this year. I noticed a lot of hams still in the supermarkets. I wonder if they have fallen out of fashion. We don’t have any ham. It is overrated, I reckon.
      Bought a kilo of cooked prawns, hope they get eaten. Last year Helvi was submitted in the hospital’s emergency ward on Christmas day. I was stuck with prawns and tried to get them down, but could not cope with the quantity. I ended up ditching them in the letterbox of the cyclamen thief. (nicely wrapped.) Goodwill to all.

      A very Happy Christmas, Jenny.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Curt Mekemson Says:

    No Pavlova here, Gerard. Not part of the tradition. But lots and lots of cookies. 🙂 My daughter is now whipping up a pumpkin pie. She knows it is my favorite. The very best to you and Helvi. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes Curt, Vive la difference.
      Here the pavlova is revered like nothing else. People after Christmas will ask each other; “How was the pavlova?”

      It took my dad a long time to get used to it. He was perplexed about the connection of a fluffy sugary cake and a Russian Ballet dancer. Of course, at that time she was a world famous artist.

      We also have another curious culinary Christmas item. It is the “Mince pies.” It has nothing to do with meat pies, instead a sickly sweet kind of mixed dry raisons little cake within a brown flour crust. They look and taste dreadful. But that’s how it is.


      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        One of these days, if I see it on a menu, I will have to try it!

        Minced pies are not overly popular here— unlike pumpkin pies, fruit pies, merengue pies etc. but I actually like them. My mother used to make them with the meat. My brother shot a buck once and, as I remember, the neck was dedicated for mince meat pies. 🙂 Happy New Year, Gerard! –Curt


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, Curt. A pie has to have meat, nothing else will do. A good and Happy New Year to you too.


  6. Master of Something Yet Says:

    667 recipes?? Please tell me this included a variation in toppings because I cannot believe there can be 667 ways to combine and cook egg whites and sugar.
    Cream is a definite necessity for a successful pavlova and should be in sufficient proportion that it is not overwhelmed by the meringue. I’m fond of a crushed peppermint crisp topping myself but you can’t really beat good old strawberries.
    We went with an icecream dessert given the current heatwave. I somehow managed to serve it before it melted all over the table.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      My daughter reckoned I had not beaten or whipped the cream fluffy enough. I blame it on the electric whisk that thickened it quickly but did not add enough air bubbles into the cream. Anyway, who cares?

      Half of it is now languishing in the fridge together with half the prawns on the shelf above it. I try not to open the fridge for a while in case the prawns have leached down on the remnants of the pavlova.

      We are now faced with eating an enormous mountain of fruit and leftover lamb-curry, prawns and pavlova.

      I think we might dig out a nice YouTube of Anna Pavlova’s magic ballet for the time being. My iPhone keeps pinging away leaving messages of bargain shopping at Noni’s. Who is Noni?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. shoreacres Says:

    Clearly, your opinion of mince pie would change, were you to taste mine. My dad and I were the only ones who liked it, but I think it’s wonderful. Of course mine doesn’t have meat, either; it’s a combination of fruits (apples, raisins, dried cherries, and so on) combined with plenty of chopped nuts. I soak the raisins for a day or so in plenty of rum, which certainly does whomp up the flavor a bit. And I make a bang-up pie crust, so there’s that.

    I wasn’t sure what your pavlova might be, so I looked it up. Lo and behold, we used to have it every Christmas, although we prepared individual meringue shells instead of making one large dessert. I do love it, but it’s hard to make down here on the coast, because of the humidity. It’s the same way with certain candies, like divinity, which also is meringue-like. Even fudge can go south if the day’s too humid.

    We have humidity in abundance this morning. The fog’s so thick the treetops are disappearing. No matter. By the time I need to leave the house it should be cleared, and until then I intend to indulge in some creative laziness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Linda. We buy the meringue base and it is more out of tradition than lusting after pavlova or anything sweet, that makes us go through the efforts does add to a nice Christmas spirit.

      A heatwave is predicted for the whole eastern coast of Australia. Elderly people are advised to keep well hydrated. I suppose we have reached the age of ‘elderly’, but don’t really feel as such. Fortunately we live high up and humidity as experienced in Sydney doesn’t really reach the Highlands.

      We have tried the magic of ‘mince pies’ but found them too sweet, almost painfully so. It could well be that the ones we tasted were not good ones. I know that one of our neighbours likes to make them and it is quite a business with many ingredients. I think she boils the lot or am I mistaken with Christmas pudding? There is so much in cooking.

      Now that Christmas is gone, our fridge is groaning with left-overs. Sydney is in a frenzy with Boxing day shoppers.

      Far out!


  8. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    I knew nothing of the history of pavlova! Thank you for sharing!
    I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!
    It’s good to see a photo of Mr. Horse. Even if it is only his beautiful tail end! 😉 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂


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