Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to survive a 45 degree C day

When the temperature soars to 45 degrees C in Sydney
 and eggs may fry on car bonnets,
what else does one do but bake a pavlova?
They are tricky things, 
they don't like the heat and will flop in humidity,
 but then so do I.

After two attempts over Christmas
 where the thing just sank miserably, it was war.
 Out came the Kenwood.
A mixer that never fails despite being 36 years old.
A symbol of independence in 1976,
 and now a symbol of defiance in the heat.

My first paycheck was $50. 
Desperate to escape home life,
I gathered essentials for leaving.
 At 16, with no clue how to live on my own, 
a cake mixer was the first item.
 Kenwood has never been lost of forsaken since then, despite
 numerous house moves,relationships
 and  kitchen gadgets.

The pav cooled slowly in the oven,
 looking promising.
Strawberries were cut and passionfuit
 liberated from the overhanging 
branches of unsuspecting neighbours spooned out.

In the time it took to whip the cream, 
sweat beaded on the pav.
It must be appreciated before
 pooling into clear and sticky goo.

In 1996 I had meltdown of my own. 
I pooled into goo and sought
  a  therapist to un-goo me.
We worked together for almost two years.

At one stage we discussed the Kenwood. 
How sturdy it was, and well made.
 How long it had been with me
 and how it was one of the first things
 gathered to assist my move to a better place.

Thanks Kenwood.
Pavlova made with the help of a trusted old friend,
eaten with love,
 and who cares how hot it is outside.

Kenwood is still here and so am I.


  1. You and the Kenwood ~ what a team. Looks like you made the perfect Pav ~ good enough to go back for more!

  2. LOl and 'Ken wood' may well be more reliable than most partners!
    Gosh it sounds delicious.............lol

  3. Brilliant - I needed a good laugh and you never fail me Denise!

  4. Hello :)
    A friend in the US just gave me your link because I'd just posted an instagram photo of the Pav we had last night.
    Glad she told me about you because I will be back :)

  5. Your first pic had me drooling
    Your last statement has me smiling :)

  6. Lovely post, wish i could have shared the pavlova, love it!

  7. I don't know what a pav is, but I know a great story when I read one! Thanks!

  8. Looks absolutely delicious! Cooking is a girls best friend, when the going gets tough, the tough gets cooking!
    Well, it is 35 degrees Farenheit tonight here in so-called sunny California! It's our winter time and it has been cold.
    I have had Australia in my thoughts and prayers due to the raging fires. That happened over the summer this past year in the mid-western states here...a very random event with wild fires in at least seven states with not much point to how they all began. I guess it was the dry drought conditions that fueled the fires. Not fun.
    Take Care!
    Teresa in California

  9. Sooo, Grrl+Kenwood? have you got an old ad for the trusty K? Glad it saved you from another meltdown.

  10. What a fine, genuine heartfelt post. Thank you for these words.

    I'm no stranger to meltdowns either, grrl, and now that you mention it, I've *pooled into goo* a time or two, or five.
    Never seen the likes of a Kenwood here (stateside), nor a pavlova (hopeless cook), but I am grateful for the therapists that did find me. Mainly soup, I think. And bountiful plants that grew from seed. Also, much later, a glue-stick called dawg (my sweet, dear Isla girl).
    "Who cares..." is right. Trusted old friends are, well, nothing short of life savers whatever form they take.

  11. Just beautiful! Made all the sweeter by reading it in a sub zero UK temperature. I remember seeing the sun once...

  12. Lol .... may you have many more happy years with Kenwood.
    I was moaning about temperatures of 40C, 42C a few weeks ago but 45C would kill me!

  13. loved this post and am in desperate need of a kenwood right now!

  14. And a good thing, too! In all ways possible!

  15. A blessing indeed and outstanding photos.
    12'F here......need pavlova soonest!

  16. Oh for the love of a Kenwood...wish I was in Oz..it's about 5degrees here and raining. yuck. Am thinking about making a pavlova now...:)

  17. After looking up a pavlova - and admiring you tenacity at getting one to come out right, regardless of temperature - I could see the entire process as a celebration of the emblematic Kenwood and of having found ways to champion yourself in difficult times. I love symbols. xo

  18. Lovely to immerse yourself in the details and the process on a very hot day. And I just love meeting your inner poet when I come to visit

  19. Lovely heartfelt post - can't get over the 45 degrees!!! oh my word - I would be like tha pavalova - a sticky goo. I will keep the snow. Love the Kenwood.

  20. Holy, cr*p, 'Neese!

    Can't imagine heat like that (had to look up the conversion...) 'Dry' or not! Whoosh.

    BUT, the 'Pavlova' (had to look up that, too...:-) looks SOOOOO GOOOD AAAGGGHHH.
    (NOT good for my diet, but can you share a recipe? I'd like to try it, for when I get my oven fixed.)

    And what a story! You are a strong, tough woman. How ballsy to pick up and split at 16? Wow.
    And you're doing so great-you should be VERY proud of yourself!
    (New, additional respect here. :-)

    Hugs from your fans here in O-High-O.

  21. Ah pavlova, our unofficial national dessert. Yours looks luscious. I split at 19. My first appliance was a little sewing machine, which was subsequently stolen, but shows where my priorities lay. Now I'm thinking I need to get me a Kenwood.

  22. love your pavlova analogy...glad your still here! Your pictures are amazing and i am excited to be following now xxxx

  23. These just have to be the tastiest pictures I have ever seen!

  24. Sweetie, I totally agree. We have Kenwood in various forms (my mixer is a kitchenaid, and too new to compare) which have lasted many decades, handed down from people who wanted something blue or had to move and also Kenwoods which we purchased knowing we were basically stealing crown jewels from the proprietor. It's amazing to us how sturdy. I would totally kiss your mixer!!

    That pavlova looks so gorgeous.

    It was 39 F here in L.A. this morning. 32 F yesterday.

  25. My inherited Ken Major makes the absolute best pavlovas and stonking cakes, along with fellow team player Ruby the Aga. There is something about going through the process of assembling the ingredients, mixing, pouring and anticipating the result that is quite meditative and I find a lot of my sewing and knitting is much the same. The small repetitive actions are almost more important than the end product - witness the pile of unfinished projects in my workroom ... I should make some bunting! Love your blog x


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