After completing my most stressful practical yet at JWU on Friday, I spent this weekend enjoying good food with good friends. I celebrated my birthday and spent my Saturday afternoon with one of my favorite people (and favorite Baking and Pastry students) Kristen. Our birthdays are only a few days apart so we decided to bake something together, and she recommended a three-layer berry and brown sugar pavlova. You should definitely check out the recipe. A couple of tips taken from Kristen:
1) When mixing the meringue add the sugars very slowly, starting out a teaspoon at a time making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved before adding more.
2) If you decide to make 9” rounds from the meringe, line 10” rounds with parchment and use the round shape as a circular guide, but do not spread the meringue all the way to the edge of the pan. It’s a real pain to clean the meringue off of the pan, but it will peal right off of the parchment. (See picture below.)
The brown sugar gave the meringues a golden hue and the berry topping was a wonderful way to use up some locally grown berries I had in my fridge. Although the recipe said to allow the meringues to cool completely, we found that they were more marshmallowy on the inside when we ate them only partially cooled….and we were impatient and wanted to taste it sooner which could very well be the same case for you! The super sweet marshmallow inside paired with the slightly tangy but rich sour cream was a perfect balance.
The next day, I had the chance to enjoy another culinary first for me, and I felt as though it was taken straight out of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and you’re about to see why. Another JWU student was celebrating his birthday that Sunday, and he was doing it in style. He and his roommates had invited 50+ of their closest friends over to enjoy this all afternoon and evening:
Yes, that is a dressed pig, head, tail, ears and all, roasting on a spit. It was delicious. And to top it off, it was a German student’s birthday so he and his friends made their grandmother’s recipes for several authentic German dishes. The weekend was filled with great food and great people which is exactly what I wanted.