Perfect Pavalova

Not only do I pride myself that I am able to inspire others to write authentic pieces, I have always claimed to be able to produce an outstanding Pavalova. The Pavalova that I make is always crisp on the outside, with a deep, marshmallow, meringue inside. For the real secret of that deep marshmallow centre read on.

9 egg whites
500 gram caster sugar
2 tspn vanilla essence
2 level tblspns cornflour (wheaten cornflour for preference)
dash of vinegar
600ml thickened cream, whipped
3 punnets of strawberries, washed, hulled.
Half a cup of passionfruit pulp (4-6 passionfruit)

Whip egg whites with an electric mixer (not a food processor) until stiff and white and then gradually add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. When finished the meringue should be thick and shiny. Stir in vinegar, cornflour and vanilla, gently, with a metal spoon. Pile on a prepared tray, strictly confining the mixture within a dinner plate circle, marked on the foil lined tray. Smooth over the top of the meringue with a spatula (do not hollow the centre... this is the secret of the marshmallow centre) The meringue should resemble a flat oval cake which is approximately 6cm thick.

Preheat oven to very hot. Place the pavalova in the very hot oven but turn down the temperature immediately to very slow (120c to 130c) and bake for 2 hours.

The secret of writing lies here somewhere.
Heather Blakey


Raven Writing

My Raven Guide - by Heather Blakey

A Writing Project

Authors begin by researching an idea They do this by

Talking and listening to people;
Being observant and using their senses.
Reading about the topic
Keeping notes in a workbook

To practice try writing something featuring a Raven

What Raven told the Moon courtesy of Megan NoŽl

Follow the links, do the tasks, keep returning to this page for a fresh direction and watch as a piece of writing emerges.

Set up a vocabulary page in your workbook. Draw an abandoned site and imagine that it is inhabited by ravens. Find some pictures of Ravens and paste them in your book.

Go out into the field and observe Ravens in their natural environment. Make copious notes.

Browse through this fascinating collection of Raven information from Sequoia High School. Research and find out about the symbolism of birds and the symbolism of the raven in particular

Find out how Edgar Allen Poe depicted the Raven!

Read about the Raven in mythology. In the 'Seven Ravens' the little girl is prepared to endure a challenging pilgrimage to find her brothers.

Are you familiar with Medicine Cards? The Raven has carried powerful medicine of magic throughout time. Raven magic can give you courage to enter the darkness of the void, which is the home of all that is not yet in form.

Read the landmark gothic tale, The Birds, by Daphne du Maurier or watch the movie version. In this chilling tale the birds revolt against humankind. The story later became a Hitchcock movie - dated maybe, but still a mood movie.

Keep add to your vocabulary page. Play with magnetic poetry to form some more ideas.

After you have undergone the necessary research on Ravens make sure that you answer these questions

Once you have done all of this write freely for twenty minutes. Do not worry if your initial piece is incoherent or full of grammatical errors. These can all be fixed when you come to publish.

Now you have something to work with.

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