Posts Tagged ‘Anna Pavlova’

The dying swan!

December 26, 2018

With Christmas Day over and unruly hordes invading the shopping malls looking for specials I thought I would remain with the Pavlova for a-while. ‘How was your Christmas day and how was the pavlova?’  This would have been a question thousands of times repeated around the suburban landscapes of Australia. I thought of giving you a photo of our pavlova. As written before, the pavlova base was a commercial one from Aldi. I found two trolleys with their two dollars still in its little pockets. It was a good omen. People’s need for frugal shopping seems to go overboard at Christmas time when the deposited coins on the trolleys are so recklessly abandoned.

Here the Oosterman pavlova.

IMG_0228 the Pavlova 2018

As I wrote before, our daughter thought the cream should have been a but more fluffy. It did not matter because the cream got covered up. One less sin to worry about. I like cooking rather roughly and am the last one to follow a recipe to the last letter or exact gram. Not that whipping cream involves much cooking.

The prawns have been eaten but Helvi was most annoyed with my suggestion of leaving the shells in the letter box of the cyclamen thief. She said; “you are just as bad as the woman cyclamen thief, and… worse, to contemplate such an evil act on the day of Christmas when the new borne Jesus was in its little crib being warmed by Mary and a kind ox’s steamy breath.” This, she followed up by; “And you are a Catholic as well!”  Helvi stated,”We  Lutherans live by our main credo and that is to be good, and not just PRETEND.”  That hurt!

I answered, “if I put the redolent prawn shells in the letter box and then ask for forgiveness afterwards, would that be OK?  I was always forgiven before, especially if I did a good repenting and a couple of Holy Marys.” Helvi just ignored this. My guilt went into automatic. I am not going to do anything with the prawn shells now. Mind you, the cyclamen thief gave us  really hell apart from stealing cyclamen. Not all old ladies are benign and kind.

The platter the pavlova is resting on is part of a ceramic colection given to us by a very good friend dating back when our children were small, and together with other couples  used to babysit each other.  It was known as the Balmain Babysitting club. It had some kind of point system to keep balance on the hours we sat in each others houses. They were great times.

But now for the real Pavlova. It brought tear to my eyes, the beauty of this dance.


Christmas and the Pavlova.(667 recipes)

December 24, 2018

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]

Milo’s Christmas present

December 19, 2013


No Christmas can be celebrated without considering all animals. The entire Noah’s Ark will be lit up, festooned with pretty baubles and thousands of flickering multi coloured lights, all provided by a solar panel fastened to the main mast. When reindeer have finished their endless flights over rooftops, they too will be asked to join the party.

The table has been set for twelve thousand two hundred forty four guests including four lions, nine elephants and many birds including a pair of wedge tail eagles, a robin and twenty two sparrows. Milo is at the head of the table ( he insisted on it) well away from the possum family who are safely seated and protected in between the jaguars and hyenas. A solitary skunk will be allowed to crawl around underneath the table after promising he won’t look up any stockinged thighs of belted Galloways.

As a special gesture of goodwill and sweetness AC/DC are providing the music with a few solitary violin pieces by Vivaldi during the eating of the Pavlova in memory of Анна Павловна (Матвеевна)The principal ballerina of the Russian Ballet. It was a special request by Milo, who as some of you might now, has been practising his very graceful leaping up into trees. (to try and kill possums, but we won’t talk about that, will we?).

Even so, we know the animal world is very much involved in feelings (more than many people animals) and even though the pavlova is sweet on popular request they insist on seeing, as is their wont every year, yet again a performance of her ” The dying Swan”. This lovely piece was projected on a large screen.

The whole table became quiet and many looked down on their plate of Pavlova struggling with the eating of something so sweet and at the same time seeing the real Anna Pavlova so graceful, yet so tragic. They reflected on how, they too would, at some stage follow life and succumb, like the swan, to a dying. It was so and no one would ever be denied this final dance. Was it something that could even be looked forward to? Ah, the mystery of life.


The animal world reflected deeply on one of life’s deep questions. One of the elephants had tears in his eyes; he told the giraffe next to him, the Couscous was repeating on him, and he needed to stretch his trunk. Needless to point out that the Christmas dinner was totally vegetarian. One can imagine if a roast pork had been served up or worse, a leg of lamb. The horror, the horror. Even a single prawn would have caused a solidarity of revulsion amongst all the animals.

Milo, in the meantime, felt that the table ought to be brought back to a more cheerful festive mood and decided to pull some crackers with good old silly corny jokes.

Why did Santa’s helper see the doctor?
Because he had a low “elf” esteem!
What happened to the man who stole an Advent Calendar?
He got 25 days!
What kind of motorbike does Santa ride?
A Holly Davidson!
What do you call Santa’s little helpers?
Subordinate clauses!

Happy Christmas to all the animals (and people too, if they stay good) from Milo and his best adult friends.