Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Strawberry Pavlova and Egg Yolks

Today was not a good day to work with egg yolks apparently. First off, at breakfast with Matt I ordered soft-boiled eggs. I was a little nervous because the last time we were there my eggs were underdone (for perfect soft boiled eggs: bring salted water to a rolling boil, add eggs and set timer for 4 minutes) Well, this time they were overdone. I call soft-boiled eggs "dippy eggs" because I eat them by cutting my toast into strips and dipping it in the soft yolks. There was no dipping with these bad boys. The yolks were so hard I couldn't even spread them on toast. They were simply hard-boiled eggs. Very nice hard-boiled eggs, but still - I wanted dippy eggs.
Then this afternoon I called and invited my parents to dinner at our house since my house was clean, my husband was home and my baby was napping. I decided to start by making a dessert so I made this beautiful pavlova. The problem with making pavlova is that you are left with egg yolks and I never know what to do with them. There is, however, a great little blog that one day posted a list of recipes for varying numbers of leftover egg yolks. http://www.fortysomething.ca/2010/04/recipes_to_use_up_extra_egg_yo.php Now, I've been to that site a few times since all I can ever think to use egg yolks for are puddings and mayonnaise, but this time I kind of felt that it let me down. I had 4 egg yolks so going down the list I was a little stumped. Being pregnant I'm obviously avoiding raw eggs (bye bye Carbonera and aioli). My mother is allergic to chocolate (so long Boston Cream Pie, Chocolate pudding and Pots de Creme). It's freezing outside so I'm not going to make ice cream, and I already baked something so I wasn't going to bake more. Stumped.
I hit up Marthastewart.com (because what else do you do when you need ideas?) and searched "egg yolks". I came across a little ditty that I had never even heard of: Honey Zabaglione. Now, turns out I have heard of it, just spelled differently: Sabayon. But Martha made her's sweetened and mixed with cream and spooned over grapefruit segments. It looked gorgeous. So half an hour before my parents were set to arrive I set to work whisking the egg yolk, honey, water and other goodies in a bowl set over simmering water. The recipe said I should do that for about 10 minutes, or double in volume.
1 minute mark - "Man, this is foamy."
2 minute mark - "Hey, this is starting to look really good!"
3 minute mark - "I'd say this is done but I've never made this before and I should stick to the recipe."
4 minute mark - "10 minutes? Really??"
5 minute mark - "This doesn't look good anymore..."
6 minute mark - "Crap. It's wrecked."
I overcooked it, in spite of my vigorous whisking, constant simmer checking and compulsive clock checking. It would've been perfect at the three minute mark had I trusted my instincts, but I'm not too hard on myself because 3 minutes is a long way from 10 minutes. So, my nice creamy sauce had egg yolk chunks in it, and thus went my experience with egg yolks today.
The rest of dinner turned out nice. I made up some alfredo pasta, baked chicken in a broccoli sauce, a simple salad and my pavlova was awesome.
I should mention also why my house was so clean that I felt it would be more appropriate for me to invite people over rather than clean it more. I'd had a very busy Sunday thanks to some volunteers not showing up and over-committing myself to begin with. I ran every position in the church cafe on Sunday, even though I try to only ever do one per week. After we got home from my parents' house where we watched the Superbowl Matt started cleaning and I felt too sore to help. I apologized and he said, "That's okay. You were busy with the cafe and all your important things." He meant to be consoling, but he was moreso convicting. Yes, if I have agreed to do something it is important for me to see it through to completion and make sure it is done well, however, the cafe is not my priority. My family life is. That is where my first responsibilities lie. So my house was messy but the cafe was clean. I felt bad for it.
Monday night came and we were supposed to be going to Auxano but I told Matt I'd prefer to stay home since I was still quite sore and tired. He said okay but I could tell he was a bit disappointed. But I had good reason. Matt left the house by 6:30. By 7:00 the kitchen was spotless. By 7:30 the living room was too. By 8:00 Gabe's room was cleaned, his clothes sorted and all of the floors were vacuumed. Matt got home at 9 by which time I'd had a chance to have a hot bath, a cup of tea and to do some relaxing (which I really did need) but I felt much more satisfied about the relaxing I got to do since my house was clean. (Just don't look in the office until after tax season.)

Mrs. Vander Leek ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to know what you think of my recipes, or even of my antics! Let me know!