When I was a teen, I had decided to make Pavlova for 4-H Favorite Foods Day. I had won medals previously and decided to stretch myself and enter the foreign foods category. I researched Australian meals and culture. My mom made me a traditional outfit, and I had gotten an Australian flag to put into my place setting. With all the work I had done I was confident I would be a medal winner~again. When the judges started calling out red ribbon recipients, I was already thinking about the gold medal that I would hang on my hat, but then I heard my name repeated.
I snapped to attention. They must have made a mistake! Then they said it again. I tried to stand and smile. My face became hot with embarrassment as I stepped to the front to be acknowledged.
On the way home I stared at the ribbon I had tossed on the floor next to my feet. “I should never have tried something harder; I should have stayed with what came easy! ”
My mom kept her eyes on the road and spoke up. “You deserved a medal.There is no doubt in my mind of that.” There was a small silence then she spoke up again. “I know you are disappointed, but you always win. Maybe this is a life lesson.”
Half in shock, I looked at my mom who continued,”To be a good winner, sometimes you have to understand what it takes is to be a gracious loser.”
She was right. I did something that stretched me, and in the process, I learned something far more than a medal could have ever taught.
Thanks, mom. I think of how lucky I am every time I bake this fun dessert.
4 egg whites 1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar 1 Tbs. cornstarch
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat egg whites and salt 3 to 4 minutes until peaks form, then add sugar and beat until peaks are stiff. Add vanilla, vinegar, fold in cornstarch.
Pour out onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
You can make one large pavlova..or several individual small ones.
Turn over to 250 degrees.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Put onto a plate and when cool, top with whipping cream and top with fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi.
From my kitchen to yours ~ enjoy~