A very good Norwegian friend of mine was in Edinburgh couple of weeks ago. Svein and I had both stayed in the same halls of residences back in 1998-1999, when we were still studying for our MSc's. He was in town with his brother and two friends for a day, and we had agreed to go for a ceilidh - a kind of Scottish dancing that you can read more about here (and for the sceptics out there - it is actually much more fun that it maybe sounds!). In any case, I had invited all 14 Ceilidh-goers for a quick meal at my place before the dance - Ceilidh being a fairly energetic dance, you do need some calories under your belt! On the other hand, it has to be something reasonably light, so you'd be able to dance at all - alias something high-carb. I served two huge potfuls of pasta - pasta alla vodka and pasta with blue cheese and mushrooms, plus a green salad.
For the pudding, I made something light and easy, which I knew would be well received at this time of the year:
Meringue nests with cream and berries
(Imelihtsad beseekorvikesed marjadega)
I had already prepared these for the Cambridge buffet a fortnight earlier. Back in Cambridge I had roasted some English rhubarb in the oven with a sprinkling of demerara sugar and a pinch cinnamon until soft, mashed the cooled rhubarb with a fork and mixed it with whipped cream and some yogurt for sharpness. This time, it was simply a choice of berries and whipped cream.
I had reckoned one pudding per person is enough, but have now realised - twice! - that I need to be much more generous after all. Also - these would ideally be served at a garden party, so you wouldn't have to worry about the meringue crumbs on your carpet:)
meringue nests (you can obviously make your own, but if you want to skip that bit, then in the UK, I like M&S ones, as they are nicely crisp on the outside and deliciously chewy inside. Walkers, another widely available brand, makes crisp'n'dry ones)
whipping or double cream
finely shredded fresh mint leaves for decoration
Lay meringue nests on the serving trays. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, season with sugar to taste. Spoon the cream on the nests and decorate with berries.
Or mush roasted rhubarb with a fork, mix with the cream and some yogurt and spoon this roasted rhubarb fool on the meringue nests, decorating with some mint or even basil sugar.