Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Baby Shower

Friday was devoted in greater part to prepping the dishes I needed to make for the baby shower.
I promised sausage rolls and Pavlovas as my contributions, both rather unfamiliar to most Americans but well known and loved by Aussies and New Zealanders alike.

In case I have made you curious - and perhaps hungry- I will attempt to explain!
The sausage rolls are fairly easy to make, especially taking advantage of purchased puff pastry and lean bulk Italian pork sausage combined with Italian turkey sausage with a small amount of Italian bread crumbs added to the mix.
This is the process in pictures........

roll out the dough and the sausage..........
roll into tubes and slice...........

then bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, illustrating just how simple they are and oh so yummy served with what we Antipodeans call "tomato sauce" [ketchup in the USA].
Where ever you go in Australia you will find them in somewhat varying sizes and flavors, this is my version which my family thinks is just as good as those found DownUnder!

Pavlova is a dessert that was created to honor the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova during an Australasian tour in 1930's.
It is not quite so simple to produce though it is in fact egg whites [with a few additions] baked into a meringue style base. The preferred result is a lightly crisp exterior and an interior more the consistency of a mousse, not an easy combination to produce. My Aunt Marjorie was the queen of Pavlovas in our family, she seemed to manage to have them come out perfectly every time & if there were ever any less- than- perfect we never knew of it- Uncle Jim must have eaten them!
Growing up in Australia it was customary to have a special decorative ovenproof "Pavlova plate" on which to bake and serve the delicacy- this is the one my Mum gave me in 1965.

Below is a baked meringue base before the addition of the toppings, the picture came out a bit dark due to lack of flash!

The meringue is then covered generously with whipped cream and sliced fresh fruit, bananas, kiwi and strawberries and passionfruit poured over all. Unfortunately passionfruit are very rarely found in the USA , I usually just buy my passionfruit in cans on my visits DownUnder. I had none left and the Pavs were passionfruit-less but yummy nonetheless so on our next trip south of the equator in May you can be sure I will replenish my supplies of both passionfruit and Vegemite!
I know, I know Americans just don't get the whole Vegemite thing!

Here are the finished Pavs, decadent and delicious! And yes it's all gone!

So now that the baby shower is over it's quite obvious that baby Matthew will be the best dressed and best outfitted baby [not to mention most beautiful] around! He received a plethora of lovely gifts from his generous admirers and I can see from all the equipment apparently needed for a twenty first century baby that he will be taking over the entire home!
His baby swing, we were informed, can be connected to an iPod, oh my what next!
This is the special label made by my friend DeeGee for Baby Matthew's quilt and sent all the way from Texas!

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