Week 39 – 1 week to go!

If this is what they mean by second wind then wow I like it. Today I got up stupidly early, BD went to work on his car at 7:30am and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I sat around as I normally do as I waited for the heating to kick in and warm the house to an acceptable level to emerge from the couch. Then wow, I got to work. Sunday’s chore list:

  • Clean toilet
  • Clean bathroom
  • Clean oven
  • Take broken coffee table out the front (to be disposed of at a later date)
  • Collected boxes from around the house and put in recycling
  • Hose out inside recycling bin (it had mould in it)
  • Bath both Pugs
  • Put on two loads of laundry, ongoing
  • Stacked dishwasher
  • Cleaned out fridge and washed down inside
  • Washed windowsill in bedroom (condensation makes it mouldy)
  • Empty suitcase from April and put away
  • Put batteries in the vibrating baby seat
  • Made two frozen meals out of last nights left over tuna bake.
  • Dusted the heater (tall wall heater)
  • Hosed front walkway (realised we don’t have a broom, I don’t normally waste water that way)
  • Plugged in powerboard to nursery (there is only one wall socket)

And you know what, I was done by the time BD got home with lunch. Not a bad effort and I wasn’t even tired by the end! All that is left to do is vacuum the floors and wipe down the kitchen benches. This afternoon I’m planning on making some mini meringues with some eggs the in laws left us a few weeks ago. Just trying to decide if I want mini ones to crush over icecream, or slightly larger nests for cream and fresh fruit.  I know a lot of people get nervous about meringues but they are really pretty easy. The rules are, no yolk can taint the egg whites, and no water in the bowl so if you wash it first make sure its completely dry before you try beating the eggs. The only part I have trouble with is the cooking because my oven seems to be heating unevenly. The right side is hotter and im not convinced its heating to the correct temp.

 

Meringues:

4 egg whites

1 cup castor sugar

1tsp vanilla

Basically beat the egg whites until they are firm, make sure no runny whites are left at the bottom. Gradually add the sugar while still beating. Add the vanilla. You can add food coloring if you like but Im a fan of the silky white look. Don’t over beat but make sure all of the sugar has dissolved. You can check by rubbing a little of the mix between your fingers, if it feels grainy then keep beating. Place tsp full sizes on an oven tray. Bake at 90deg for 2hrs then switch off oven and allow to dry and cool with the oven door slightly ajar. If they start to brown during the 2hrs then turn down the heat. You are essentially drying them out rather than ‘baking’ them.

I know some recipes call for corn flour, vinegar or cream of tartar. These are stabilising agents that help the egg whites stay firm but I have never used them and mine turn out fine. You can make them any size. The bigger they are the longer they will need in the oven. They are done when they sound hollow or crunchy when you tap them. I don’t bother with piping either, preferring the rustic look but if you want a more uniformed look then go ahead.

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