Meringues with Lemon Curd and…It’s the Little Things

Once again, it’s been one of those days.

I realise there are people out there who have really big issues going on in their lives but they say wars are not started on the big things, it’s the little things.

And there’s been a lot of little things.

I woke to the teenagers both not being here (pre-organised and yes, Arabella is back from study camp) and Carl left early to go to work.

Meringues with Lemon Curd

I was on a mission to tidy the house as the next day I was hosting a lunch for six adults and plenty of offspring.   After making Alfie a high-protein breakfast I put him in front of my computer while I set about cleaning the house.  It seriously took me about an hour to go from room to room and pick everything up off the floor just so I could have the privilege of vacuuming.  I finished the vacuuming then washed the floors, cleaned the bathrooms, tidied the kitchen, folded clothes, emptied rubbish bins and sorted laundry.

By midday the house was sparkling, almost, but I was still in my pyjamas.  Alfie asked if he could have a friend over to play so next thing he was on the phone organising a play date and within minutes a class mate was on his way over.  I greeted the classmate’s mother in my dressing gown so I’ve had better moments but Alfie couldn’t have cared and was thrilled to have company.

They set up Monopoly all over the dining room table and fought over the rules.  Just then Arabella arrived with a friend and as it was wet, came in walking muddy footprints all down the clean floors.  Archie came home with Webb and after a big night of drinking and not really eating, they started a cook-up in my sparkling kitchen of scrambled eggs with Tabasco sauce and crispy bacon and melted cheese and all my juice and buttered toast and frothy coffee and pickles straight from a jar and my leftover Chinese Chews.

I made an announcement, and it was a loud one, that I was going into the bathroom for a shower.

Meringues with lemon curd topped with a fresh raspberry

I walked into the bathroom and locked the door.  It can’t be locked with a key because there isn’t one but there’s a latch that can be pulled across and looped into a little hole to prevent intruders.  I hadn’t even been in there 30 seconds when Alfie tried to open the door.  ‘Mum, the door’s locked.  Why did you lock the door?’

‘Because I’m having a shower’.

‘But I wanted to tell you something.’

‘Well what is it?’

‘I’ve bought a house.  Harry doesn’t have any but I’ve got a house’.

‘That’s great.  Keep playing the game and I’ll come and see it when I’ve finished, okay?’


I stripped down into the nude and put on my very unattractive shower cap and was about to turn on the water when the door just flew open and Archie was standing there.  ‘Oh, sorry mum, I didn’t know you were in here.’

‘I announced it, Archie, I told everyone I was taking a shower, and now you’ve broken the latch on the door.  Do you have to do everything with such force?’

‘Oh, sorry mum.  How’d I do that?’

‘Well don’t worry, can you just leave’.

‘Oh, yeah, sorry mum’.

And that wasn’t awkward or humiliating.  I had my shower and dressed and headed out to the kitchen that was now just an enormous mess.  It was carnage.  I said to Webb, ‘Do you barge in on your mother when she’s having a shower?’

And he chuckled and said, ‘Oh, not really’.

‘Well I’m off to the shops’.  And I didn’t have my car because Carl had borrowed it so I had to take my granny trolley and walk in the rain and I didn’t have an umbrella because Arabella’s lost them all and by the time I arrived at the shopping centre I had that wet-wool smell about me.  But right in front of me was a young, good-looking guy standing in front of a display handing out free bottles of water.  He saw me from a distance and as I walked in his direction he stepped forward and offered me a free water bottle.  I was so pleased.  I took the water and as I went to unscrew the lid, there was a label on the bottle that said, ‘Fitness for the 50+’.  The water was being handed to people over the age of 50 to encourage them to join a gym.  I’m not over 50.  I have a few years left in me before that event.

My clean house had been trashed within minutes of me fixing it.  I’d been sprung in the nude wearing an ugly shower cap.  All three children were home with three extras.  The lock on the door was broken giving Carl yet another job on his lengthy maintenance list.  And I was given a free bottle of water because I look over 50.

It’s the little things.

Feeling like a granny, (and perhaps looking like a granny), I made meringues for my guests, just like my grandmother would have done.

A gluten-free dessert that can be made a day ahead

Meringues with Lemon Curd

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5

Cost:  All you really need are eggs, lemons and a few raspberries.

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed (I used fresh)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 100g butter, chopped

Preheat oven to 140°C/120°C fan-forced.

Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.  Mark eight 6.5cm circles on each piece of baking paper.  (I marked mine with pencil then reversed the paper so the lead didn’t touch the meringues). 

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Add sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating until dissolved. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle. Starting from the centre, pipe a 6.5cm spiral in each marked circle. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm. Turn off oven. Cool in oven with door ajar.  (Mine took nearly an hour to become touch dry). 

Make lemon curd: Place egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice in a heavy-based saucepan. Whisk to combine. Add butter. Place over medium heat. Cook, whisking, for 7 to 8 minutes or until butter is melted and mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.  Stand for 5 minutes.  Pour into a bowl.  Cover surface with plastic wrap.  Set aside to cool.  (It sets more quickly and more firmly if placed in the refrigerator). 

Place one meringue disc onto each plate. Top each with 1 tablespoon lemon curd followed by remaining meringue disc. Dollop 1 tablespoon remaining lemon curd on each.  Top with raspberries.  Serve.

This recipe is from Taste.

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  1. That’s a very funny post – how inappropriate of the guy to give you the water – Gen Y with no manners!! Beautiful photographs of the dessert too. Looks so delicious!!

  2. Oh man that does not sound like the best day!! I think I would scream if someone accidentally broke into the bathroom when I was about to have a shower.. And how rude of that guy to give you a water bottle like that!! :(:(

  3. Dear Charlie,

    LOL about the shower and Archie. I must say it’s certainly not boring in your household! The raspberry on top of the meringue is a nice touch.

  4. My kids walked in the bathroom one time each. I screamed so loud that until they left home after high school both would knock on the bedroom door rather than hear it again. 🙂 I would be so grumpy if I cleaned up after all those people because I was having guests only to have them crap it up again. You are SO patient. I’m in awe

    Your meringues look delicious.

    …and I would have poured the water over that guy who decided you were over 50.

  5. Haha, oh Charlie. Never a dull moment in your household! 🙂 These meringues look great. I need to attempt them again…the last time I made them I think I didn’t cook them long enough and they were chewy instead of crispy.

  6. yummychunklet says:

    Agreed. Never a dull moment in your house. I bet the meringues were refuge when making them.

  7. yummychunklet says:

    Agreed. Never a dull moment! I bet you had refuge while making these meringues.

  8. Barb Bamber says:

    I bet your Gran looked 50 when she was 80.. you’ve got her genes and that guy was just looking for an excuse to talk to you:D Some days are like that, even in Australia (a children’s book I love) xx Hoping for better days ahead!!

  9. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    Oh my Charlie, you poor dear! It’s days like this I am grateful I don’t have children – not sure I could handle things the way you do!
    Think I shall go and pour another glass of wine to enjoy on your behalf.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  10. Jennifer Cullen says:

    Just another day at your house! My son would be mortified if he saw me naked. As would I!

  11. I think it was just another one of those days my friend, you have way too much zest to have granny tendencies!
    Love the gorgeous meringues 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    I don’t think I ‘ve ever seen anyone who looks less like a granny!

    Love the look of these easy meringues.

  13. Eva Taylor says:

    Oh my, that’s a very brave thing to share, thanks Charlie; you don’t look anywhere near 50, that young man must have had very bad eye sight.
    Years ago (in my 30s) we were at the Taste of Chicago and we went into a beer tent; a burly Chicago cop stopped me and asked for ID! I said, “aren’t you sweet” as I gently hit him on the chest. He said ma’am, I wasn’t kidding” it turns out he asked everyone!
    The tarts sound and look delightful. I adore lemon curd.

  14. This is a fine example of giving when there’s nothing left to give. (Including sharing your lovely meringue dessert.) Hugs…

  15. After that kind of day, Charlie, I would have made those meringues and ate them all myself. As for the young man with the wate bottles, he must go home badly bruised every evening after being throttled by women with water bottles.

  16. Woah…I would’ve screamed and locked my kids out if they had messed up the sparkling clean house that you’ve just spent all morning cleaning and fixing up! you are so well tempered! hahhaa but gosh Archie just barges in like that lol he really is a strong boy to be able to break the latch.

    Don’t stress Charlie you do not look 50 at all! I think the guy was just trying to give out all the water bottles so it looks like he’s done sometime 🙂

    I hope you have a better week coming up!

  17. GourmetGetaway says:

    LOL!! I know your pain!! …I don’t know what else to say…
    The meringues look gorgeous, I think I would have just sat down and eaten them all myself if I was you. (Like in the Golden Book story where the chicken who does all the work harvesting the wheat, grinding the flour and making the bread eat the loaf by herself and the other lazy animals miss out)

  18. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Oh Charlie I actually burst out laughing when you read the water bottle label! I’m pretty sure I could see the look on your face. What a day!
    These little morsels look like a pretty good way to end it on a high note.

  19. kitchenriffs says:

    The meringues look great – and lemon curd is one of my favs. But I’m over 50, so I guess I can enjoy them. 😉 And I could do with a bottle of that water, too! Really funny post – thanks.

  20. Oh Charlie! It made me both laugh and cry… then do a lot of heavy drooling on the keyboard thanks to those mini meringues! Thank you so much for cheering me up x

  21. Oh my, what a day you had! But for sure you don’t look like you’re 50, and while I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…I don’t know how you do what you do! The meringues are gorgeous and I’ll bet they taste as good as they look.

  22. Honestly and truly, Charlie, it only gets way better from here on 🙂 ! Every year, I promise you! Should know: have been on the supposed ‘downhill slide’ for quite awhile now 😀 ! It’ll take you awhile yet before you can grin and smell the roses! And know the truth [Shush!]

  23. Kiran @ says:

    What a day!! And I am sure you found some solace in those delicious meringues 🙂

  24. You know, some of us would call this string of events quite a big thing. I think you’re allowed to too. At least you got meringues at the end I suppose – and delicious looking ones to boot 🙂

  25. Dessert looks delicious . Thanks for the giggle too …. I’ve got a few years le in me before 50 too.

  26. cityhippyfarmgirl says:

    CL I’m sooo sorry, but this post really did make me chuckle.
    I used to walk in on my mum in the shower as a kid, as I knew she couldn’t get away and I would have her undivided attention 🙂

  27. adrianfoodrehab says:

    hehe, love reading about your domestic adventures. You live a pretty eventful life 🙂 Oh, and this amazing dessert of yours completes this smashing post

  28. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Oh Charlie…lots of litle things definitely turn into big things 🙁 When I was young, I would rather have detention than walk in on either of my parents having a shower! 😮

  29. Ough… kids can be horrible, thinking that I was one before and then too a naughty one like that makes me feel bad. My mother swore Karma!

    Pretty Meringues Charlie, I bet they relaxed the whole situation in the house.

  30. spiceandmore says:

    Goodness. I might have eaten the entire plate of those gorgeous little treats if I had a day like that! I love the combo of meringue and lemon butter…and yours look so dainty as well.

  31. InTolerant Chef says:

    But did anyone ask how poor Archie felt walking in on his nude mother? He may be psycologically scarred for life and need therapy for his unaccountable nightmares about shower caps. Poor boy.
    I’m sure those meringues were balm to your sore feelings Charlie, crisp but smooth, silky, rich and sweet- I know they would make me feel better 🙂

  32. justonecookbook says:

    The part that amazes me most while reading your post is that despite your hurricane like life with all kinds of activities going on, you ALWAYS pull off amazing meals and parties and oversea everything going on in everyone’s life. I have two kids and I have same situation with house cleaning house messy situation all the time, yet I have no energy to invite people or do “extra” stuff. Very admirable. And you write very nice fun and entertaining posts. Hats off to you, Charlie!

  33. Oh darling. Some days I want to come over and yell at all your family for you. Well, except Carl. He didn’t mess things up. xxx

  34. My Kitchen Stories says:

    Oh how do you still smile Charlie>?

  35. Nic@diningwithastud says:

    You really are an angel! After the day you had, you still made these gorgeous little Meringues 🙂 you dessert to eat these all to yourself, in a nice hot bath, with a lock 😉

  36. I am sorry Charlie, but I was laughing so hard at this post! I know it’s not funny… I would’ve been furious. You are an angel, a very patient angel. I wish I had as much patience as you do. I literally hound everyone when I clean house, especially if I have company coming over.

  37. The Hungry Mum says:

    This.Is.Gold! Just loved all *those* moments [the shower cap, the busted bathroom lock]. And the sweeties don’t look half bad, either.

  38. My Inner Chick says:

    Damn you’re good <3 xxx


  1. […] shopping and just buy everything on-line.  Because it was at the same supermarket where I was offered a membership to an over-50′s gym and I was shopping with Alfie in another supermarket when someone asked me if he was my […]

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