In July, when the children broke up from school and the Summer seemed to stretch ahead like a lazy cat in the heat, the weather was sunny and sultry. Now, at the tail end of Summer, the days and nights are cooler and ennui has set in and we have run out of ideas for how to pass the time.
We have been away to the beautiful Suffolk coast for a week of splashing in the sea, building sandcastles, collecting pebbles, cycling and crabbing.
We have been for walks with our friend's sweet-natured dog and we have been swimming and to museums and read books.
We were also lucky enough to get tickets for the theatre during Kids' Week and we was the hilariously energetic and effervescent performance of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense.
So, what else could we do?
A trip to our local "pick your own" farm proved fruitful (please excuse the pun!) and we returned home laden with sweet, ripe raspberries. The gorgeous, jewel- coloured fruit called for a pavlova, so here it is:
2 egg whites
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
250 ml double cream
200g raspberries, strawberries or mixed fruits
1 tablespoon of cassis or liqueur, if desired
1 large baking tray lined with baking parchment
Electric or hand whisk
1. Preheat oven to 140/Gas 1.
2. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking it in thoroughly. Then add the cornflour and lemon juice and keep whisking until the mixture is completely combined and looks glossy.
3. Spoon the meringue mixture onto the baking parchment in a circle. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Then switch off the oven and leave it to cool in the oven. This is important to ensure that the meringue does not crack and is crisp on the outside with a slightly marshmallow texture in the middle.
4. Whip the cream until it is floppy. Put the meringue on a serving plate and spread the cream over it. Then put the fruits on top and drizzle the liqueur over the fruits.