It feels like 2014 came and went in the blink of an eye. Yet it was a year that packed a major wallop. On a very personal level, it felt like a slightly disappointing sequel to a very challenging 2013; however the advent of summer brought with it a force that seemed to have parted the clouds and lifted the fog. And in spite of the sturm und drang at the beginning, it has been quite an educational, enriching, and magical year. There were bright new beginnings, wonderful new opportunities, and a renewed zest for living.
So before 2015 takes the baton, here's a hearty cheers to a very special year.
As we bid adieu, here's a throwback recipe for one of my favorite desserts, the Eton Mess. Inspired by the gorgeous Nigella Lawson's recipe, this refreshing delight is, in my opinion, quite an apropo treat as we ring in the New Year. And it's very easy!
2 cups fresh strawberries (cut into tiny squares)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1/2 pint whipping cream
5 pieces of meringue (vanilla)
In a small bowl, combine the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and sugar and toss until the sugar and vinegar coat the berries thoroughly. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the whipping cream with an electric mixer until the texture is between heavy and fluffy. Avoid adding too much air by overwhipping.
Take the strawberry mix and fold it into the whipped cream. Then crumble the meringues and add them to the mix (in thirds). Remember to fold them in carefully. Do not mix or toss vigorously as this will knock the air out of the cream.
Serve in wine glass, champagne flutes, or any other clear container for a nice visual effect.
A little messy, but overall beautiful, delicious, and satisfying, much like this passing year.
Cin cin, 2014! And Happy New Year, everyone! Well wishes for a fruitful 2015!
(Pictured above: a very curious cat named, Banana.)