Food Styling: In celebration of Loyalty, Spring, and all things new …

welcome spring


I am an intensely loyal person.
On a scale of 1-10; I’m a golden retriever.

I’ve had the same hairdresser for 15 years, following her across Johannesburg as she hopped from salon, to salon, as is the proclivity of her industry.

For years I refused to shop at a particular grocery store because a close friends ex-husband was the CEO of that chain of stores, even though it was very close to my house  ( when years later I mentioned I shopped at another out of the way the grocery store, my friend was aghast, she herself shopped at that store, and had no idea the extent and cost of my affection and loyalty toward her.)

I’ve even been loyal to old thought patterns and limiting beliefs waaaay longer than I should have, and resolutely stuck to friendships that were manipulative and one sided out of misplaced loyality.
I often think I was born in the wrong era, I should have been around in the Victorian age; when esteeming values and noble characteristics were not considered old fashioned, or outdated.

In our modern, fast moving and fickle consumer society, I am a brand managers dream customer.

I practically invented loyalty reward points!

I’ve used the same toothpaste brand almost all my adult life, I have no memory of using any other brand.
The same applies to most of my kitchen appliances and equipment.
I inherited a Kenwood Chef from my granny when I was in my early 20’s, 10 years later when I started my catering business I bought an additional Chef, and for 7 years, whisked, beat, mixed, creamed and kneaded copies quantities of bread dough, cupcake mixture, our infamous chocolate orange cake mixture, icings, and meringue, all with my Kenwood Chef’s. Never once did my trusty machines let me down.

When I closed the business, I sold off all the equipment except for, yip you guessed it, my Kenwood Chef.

I’ve written before about my resistance to change, and this is probably a contributing factor to my over-developed sense of attachment.
I recently had the opportunity to acquire a new food mixer.  A new brand of mixer, in pretty pink, in a new kitchen, as part of a new journey.

And, to celebrate I tried my hand at a new meringue technique, Italian meringues.

The result?
I’m ready for a few more new adventures…

Happy Spring everybody  !
I hope the new season rewards you with much “newness”



Recipe for basic Italian Meringues – makes about 40 medium size

adapted from Martha Stewart  YouTube recipe


1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
few drops food colour, I used salmon pink
3 tablespoons light corn syrup ( you can leave out the corn syrup and increase the sugar by 1/2 cup)
6 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Bring sugar, water, food coloring, and corn syrup to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook, undisturbed, until syrup registers soft-ball stage (238 degrees F / 114oC) on a sugar thermometer.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla. Increase speed to medium, and whisk until soft peaks form, about 8 minutes.
  3. Reduce speed to low, and pour hot syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Increase speed to high, and beat until mixture stops steaming, about 3 minutes. Use immediately.
  4. Spoon or pipe meringue onto a greased baking sheet in the shape of flowers, and sprinkle with poppyseed to look like pollen.
  5. Bake at 150oC for 45 minutes, reduce oven to 100oC and bake for a further 45 minutes. Meringues should be crispy on the outside and marshmallow soft in the centre.


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Photography: Vanessa Lewis

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