Confident In The Kitchen Ii – Mother’S Day Pavlova - The Frazzled Pan - Cooking for Real Blog at - 94960

The Frazzled Pan - Cooking for Real

Confident in the Kitchen II – Mother’s Day Pavlova 
May 11, 2009 10:02 am 
Updated: Jul. 17, 2009 11:30 am

A couple of months ago, I instituted a new rule at my house.  Each daughter is to make one meal a week for the family.  It’s been a good rule.  The kids have learned some great kitchen skills, and I have had a little time off from dinner prep.  My youngest, Megan, has embraced the challenge.  She has become quite a good cook – and adventurous!  She actually made my husband’s birthday dinner -  Greek dolmathes (lamb stuffed grape leaves) and a “from scratch” cake with chocolate buttercream .
Well, Megan decided that she really likes to give food as gifts.  I was delighted when she announced that she was going to make me a Pavlova for Mother’s day. I was delighted, but a little apprehensive. I wasn’t really sure what a Pavlova was, and it sounded difficult!  A quick search and I found that a Pavlova is a famous dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.  It is a large meringue disk, topped with whipped cream and fruit.  Wow!  Sounds great! So I bought her the ingredients, and she got to work.
A Pavlova is quite a bit easier than it sounds.  Egg whites are beaten until foamy, sugar and a bit of vinegar are added, and the mix is beaten until stiff to make a meringue.  The meringue is then spooned onto a parchment lined sheet in a disc shape.  It bakes in a very low oven (200 degrees F).  The oven is turned off when the Pavlova is hard and shiny and the meringue is left to rest in the oven overnight.
Well, Megan’s Pavlova turned out to be a delicious and quite beautiful triumph!  She topped the meringue with lightly sweetened whipped cream and a combination of red raspberries and blackberries.  It was crunchy, sweet, soft and fruity – just wonderful.  She served it with a proud flourish and a smile on her face. 
I’m so glad that Megan has discovered a love for cooking. It’s so fun to watch her plan her next project, work through a recipe, and problem solve along the way.  What’s best, though, is the look of pride and accomplishment on her face as she serves her food. I’m happy to say that she’s done it.  She has truly become confident in the kitchen.
Megan's Pavlova
Photo Detail
May 11, 2009 10:25 am
yummy!!! What a beautiful dessert and from the sounds of the ingredients it sounds pretty low in fat and calories!!!! Good for you Megan and lucky you Mom to have someone like your daughter in your kitchen!
May 11, 2009 10:48 am
Gorgeous! You're a very lucky mom, and she's a very lucky daughter.
May 11, 2009 11:27 am
What a great success and a beautiful Mother's Day gift! Your story reminds me of when I first started cooking - those first feelings of pride and satisfaction are the seeds of passion!
May 11, 2009 5:54 pm
So creative! To find what a joy it is to give food (& your creativity) as a gift is very special. Could open up new avenues in her life! you are both very lucky & the MD gift is beautiful.
May 11, 2009 10:59 pm
She's how old? Good for her. My youngest is 15 and sounds a lot like yours. She loves to bake and try new things for fun. She has a killer hazlenut scone recipe that she makes that is just as good if not better than anything I've ever had at the local bakery. Happy belated Mothers Day.
May 13, 2009 2:17 pm
What a great Mother's Day gift!! Lucky you! Was it as tasty as it looked? It was beautiful!!!It sounds a lot loke the schaumtortes that I used to make. Hats off to Megan for being so adventurous!
May 13, 2009 8:27 pm
What a beautiful Pavlova! I have only tried once to make the dessert once and it did not turn out at all... I give Megan a huge congrats for what she did! I love the berry combo! In NZ popular toppings are passion fruit and of course the kiwi fruit - Pavlova can be pretty sweet and having fruit like berries or kiwis help balance the sweetness out.
May 14, 2009 8:37 am
Hi! Megan has read all of your wonderful comments and is still beaming..... Her new goal is to get one of her pictures on the home page! new goal is to keep up with my daughter in the kitchen:).
Jun. 22, 2009 11:45 am
I think it's a good idea to have your daughters cook atleast once a week!!! I have been married a little over a year, and I was SO glad that my mom had this rule as well when I lived at home!!! I already knew how to cook by the time I was married, which I am finding out from some of our married friends isn't always the case. I think it helps prepare them for life after they are on their own. It sounds like your youngest is really taking off!!
Jul. 17, 2009 11:30 am
Lovely! I instituted that same rule when my boys were 9 and 11. They started out with simple meals like spaghetti or chili, and it just took off from there. Now at 30 and 32 they still love to cook and when they come to visit do as much or MORE of the cooking than I do. It's wonderful!!
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Home Town
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Living In
Kirkland, Washington, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2008

Cooking Level
Not Rated

Cooking Interests
Baking, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
I recently returned to work full time and -- life's gotten pretty hectic. I have 2 really busy (and really hungry) teenage girls, a very active husband and an old yellow lab who really misses having me around the house. I love to cook and feel that sitting down to a meal with the family is really important. Unfortunately, I don't have the time or, frankly, the energy, to put a lot of work into meals every night. I'm determined to figure out how to get a delicious and healthy family dinner on the table with a minimum of fuss. As I figure it out, I'll post on my blog.
My favorite things to cook
I went to culinary school, taught cooking classes and read cookbooks for entertainment. Do we eat a gourmet meal every night? No way. Weeknight meals are quick and easy and, usually, nutritious. Weekends are when I have fun with my food. My weekend favorites: anything Greek, anything Italian, breads, soups and braises. I like trying new foods and techniques and love to have dinner parties.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Dolmathes (Greek rolled grape leaves) for birthdays, gnocci for Christmas Eve, pitzelle cookies with my Italian pitzelle iron, jack-o-lantern cake for Halloween and avgolemono soup for whoever is in need of comfort.
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