I know who I am really, well I always thought I did. I was the good quiet girl that did what she was told, she tried so hard not to upset people. I then became the teenager who did not rebel, but went to church and had a good group of friends there, not for us was the under age trips to clubs or pubs, no line of boyfriends or gangs going about looking for trouble.
I left home to become the lovely Scottish girl, taking care of a little boy who always said goodbye with a “cheerio”.
Next came the first boyfriend at 19, flattered that someone was interested and caught up in something that would become life changing. I would call home happy, only to be disappointed in the cool response from home. I then changed to the girl who was caught out, the one who really disappointed her parents so much that they would not talk to her for a while; within weeks I was to become a wife.
I was not a wife for very long, for my most important job was about to begin, that of a Mother and within 16 months I was one again. My husband became increasingly difficult and if I had known the signs I would have seen the violence coming. There and then I changed and became strong, where that strength came from I do not know, but I am so glad it did. It allowed me to go to a safe place, even though I was hundreds of miles from my family I made it home.
That little girl who was quiet and did what she was told is still very real, but when she needs to, the strong and resilient woman surfaces to remind me that I have come very far in my life and that is all my life experiences good and bad, that make me the person I am today.Here is a lovely dessert I like to make, it is so much better than the packet pie filling.
Luscious Lemon Meringue Pie Serves 6
1 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
3 tablespoons cornflour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
juice and zest of 2 lemons, unwaxed
2 tablespoons butter (not margarine )
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crusts (bought or homemade)
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons caster sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F, 175°C.
Filling: using a medium saucepan, whisk together cup of sugar, flour, cornflour and salt. Stir in zest and juice of lemon and the water. Cook over medium heat till just boiling. Stir in the butter. Beat yolks together well in a bowl big enough to add a cup of the hot mixture to. Add a cup of the sugar mix, whisking all the time then add this back to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring all the time till thick. Remove from heat and pour into pie case.
Meringue: Using a large clean bowl ( wipe out with remains of lemon and dry with paper towel to make sure there is absolutely no grease/residue in the bowl), whisk the whites till foamy, can be done by hand but I find the electric mixer does the best meringue for this. Add sugar gradually, whisking till you have the stiff peak stage (or you can try holding the bowl upside down above your head to make sure!)Also check at this point that all the sugar has dissolved by rubbing a small amount of mix between your fingers. continue whisking for a few minutes if it still feels grainy. If its smooth, drop the mixture all over the warm pie filling making sure to go right up to the edges smoothing out the gaps as you go. I like to make sure there are peaks all over the meringue as I love the chewy bits too.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or till meringue is golden brown.
To enjoy at its best, let it cool down for a wee while before chilling for a few hours then serving with cream/ice cream.