I have realised that it is not enough for me to have an Outlook calendar at work to remind me of business meetings and deadlines – I really need to set up an entirely separate online calendar to remind my of my blogging and other online responsibilities and deadlines!
Take this month, for example. I've been so busy editing the text and photos for the BloggerAid – Changing the Face of Famine cookbook (the perfect gift for Christmas 2009!)that I have completely lost track of what is happening in the blogosphere in terms of events and deadlines and even my dear friends' blogs. Mea culpa! So that's how I discovered last night that I have missed the deadline for submitting something to my friend Barbara's wonderful annual event A Taste of Yellow, timed to take place this year on 2 October, LiveSTRONG Day 2009 and the ten year anniversary of super athlete and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong's diagnosis with testicular cancer. And I've not just missed it by a couple of hours or days – missed by a good 2 weeks. If something is worth missing, it's worth missing comprehensively, I always say :o)
Anyhooo…. The dish was made and photographed, so I decided to put it up anyway and leave it up to Barbara whether or not to include it. Even if it's not included, I urge you to read up on both this event and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Very few of us these days can say that our lives have not in some way been touched by cancer. Although, increasingly, it is not a death sentence and chances of a cure improve every year, it still wreaks havoc in the lives of those afflicted by it as well as their families. Barbara herself underwent a second round of treatment for the disease this year (remember when we celebrated with her?) and hosts this annual event to raise awareness of cancer issues worldwide.
I have written before about my my beloved sister-in-law's gorgeous sister Gail and her battle with breast cancer. I am absolutely thrilled to report that Gail underwent surgery and bore the chemotherapy treatments (and reconstructive surgery) with the style, dignity and humour that we have come to associate with her – and was given the all-clear. I want to dedicate this dish and this post to her and I hope that by sharing her success story somebody, somewhere is given the hope and strength to face another treatment or another operation. It can be beaten.
Passion fruit is one of life's great surprises. It does not have a lot going for it from the outside – smaller than a lemon with a dry and slightly shriveled purple skin, and an unpromising lack of weight. But slice it open and paradise is revealed in the form of a mass of black pips surrounded by a bright yellow, translucent pulp. The pulp and seeds are edible and can be scooped out with a teaspoon. The pulp is also highly aromatic with an intense, delicious, sightly tart flavour and a little goes a long way. The name, incidentally, was given to the fruit by Catholic missionaries who thought that certain parts of the flower and plant could be related to the passion of Christ.
No doubt I am going to get arrested by some sort of antipodean foodie police, but I made these pavlovas with store-bought meringue nests. I feel duty bound to tell you that pavlova meringue is NOT meant to taste like the super-crisp and dry store-bought meringues – it is meant to be home made and slightly, sensuously chewy in the centre and I have no doubt that this would have improved my dessert. But I had leftover nests in the house and I was pushed for time. Mea culpa once again… If you have the time, though, I'd urge you to make your own meringue. But even with the store bought meringue nests, the flavours and textures worked well together, especially the contrast between the sweet meringue and the tart fruit. And best of all, it's a super-easy dessert that can be thrown together in 5 minutes flat!
PASSION FRUIT PAVLOVAS (serves 2)
Click here for printable recipe.
2 mini meringue nests (make your own if you have time, but store-bought will also do)
2-3 fresh passion fruits, depending on size
150-200ml creme fraiche
1 heaped teaspoon caster sugar
1 Tbsp bourbon (optional)
Place the meringue nests on the plates you want to serve them on.
Mix the creme fraiche in a bowl with the sugar and bourbon (if using) until well-blended. Spoon half of the creme fraiche mixture into the centre of each meringue nest.
Slice the passion fruits in half and, using a teaspoon, scoop out the pulp, pips and any juice and spoon over the creme fraiche. Serve immediately.