As it is now close to the festive season, I am going to share a recipe in this week’s blog post. (There is a textile connection too.)
First, here’s the recipe:
Whisk the whites of 2 eggs till they are very stiff. Add gradually a quarter pound of very fine castor sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture stands alone. Dip a tablespoon in salad oil. Then take a spoonful of the mixture and put onto greaseproof paper in the shape of half eggs.
Put the meringues into a warm oven – on no account must it be hot. Leave the door open and allow the sweets to dry rather than cook. If they discolour they are cooking too fast; if they run out of shape the oven is too hot or you have used too much sugar. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave till cold. They can be kept in a tin.
The recipe comes from my grandmother. It is handwritten, along with many other recipes, in a notebook. The ink is still easy to read, although the writing was done – most probably – in the 1940s and 50s. On one page there is a recipe for shortbread and there are two versions: ‘War-time shortbread’ and ‘Peace-time shortbread’. The latter is generous with ingredients which were either rationed or unavailable during the Second World War.
If you have read this blog previously, you may have spotted that I like meringue, especially in the shape of a Pavlova! You can read that post here.
I thought it would be nice to make something special of this recipe, so I’ve turned it into a tea-towel design. The writing and the lined paper of the book are exactly as they appear in the original – just a little enlarged. The surround is created from the actual cover of the book showing all the marks that evidence it having been used in a kitchen. It fits exactly onto a fat quarter of linen-cotton fabric, so it’s possible to buy a fat quarter or to get four tea-towels from a yard. You can find it on Spoonflower here.
To make the tea-towel I used an over-locker to trim the edges, exactly on the outside of the coloured area. I pressed in a quarter-inch on each side, then I pressed in a quarter each top and bottom. (The top edges enclosed the side edges.) Next, I stitched all round the folded edges of the tea-towel with a straight stitch on the sewing machine.
Here’s the finished tea-towel hanging over the Aga: