By Carolynecarolyne_june 12

Before we get into my first recipe, here’s a little about what this column will be about.

Knowing from personal experience the often long hours that real estate professionals put in, I believe in cooking from scratch at every opportunity, so when I get home at odd hours or have to leave early in the morning to attend a class or a meeting, there is always (my own) fast food available.

I insist on only the best, fresh ingredients, and believe in shopping the sales and designing and creating my own recipes, mixing and matching odd foodstuffs at times. It is easy to sometimes make wonderful recipes from next to nothing; for example, I make a wickedly good ice cream using brandy marinated figs and homemade plum conserve. You will love my butter sautéed garlic shrimp in cream sauce.

My Christmas goodies are always finished by the end of August, with the fruitcake marinating in brandy from then until the holiday season, so as to miss the Christmas rush.
Here, since the fresh fruit season will soon be with us, I’m starting off with this delightful old recipe from my writings in the ’70s.


History has it that the dessert Pavlova was first made with passion fruit about the turn of the century, in Australia, and was served to Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina.

You really must see this masterpiece to be able to appreciate its beauty. Give it a try. The only caveat is: don’t try to make Pavlova during humid weather. It won’t dry properly and you will find it becomes a sticky, gooey mess like melted marshmallow.

Will you believe you can prepare this dish yourself in less than 10 minutes?  The only catch here (there had to be one) is that it takes two hours in the oven, but at only 250-275 degrees F.

A busy Realtor has to eat, and often even finds time to entertain friends. You can make your Pavlova ahead because, stored in an airtight container, it will keep for up to six months, so this dish is ideal to keep on hand.

Make it early one morning or late one night, if you don’t want your oven on during the heat of the day in summer weather.  Or, toss it in the oven after you have had the oven on for some other dish. Just turn down the temperature, bake for one hour, turn off the oven and let the Pavlova sit undisturbed for another hour.

Pavlova has a reputation of being difficult to make. I’ve never been able to figure out why, but I think those comments come because it looks so impressive – and perhaps people fail to consider the weather. You can even take your ready-made Pavlova with you and assemble it at someone else’s house, if you are requested to bring dessert.

This recipe will keep for a few days, even after filling, in the fridge. Slice and serve generous pieces in pie-shaped servings. It lifts easily with a cake knife.

Served in a swish French restaurant under the guise of Vacherin “whatevers” (the names vary), with individually baked rings piled one on top of the other to form a very high case, filled with softened ice cream and then artfully decorated with fluffy whipped cream, it certainly is impressive and definitely does take more time and flair. But you will find this Bird’s Nest Pavlova will create such a stir with your friends, they’ll have you labeled “gourmet” expert in no time.

Recipes for Pavlova come in many variations.  Some use salad oil, salt, berry sugar and cream of tartar; others, vinegar; and still others, lemon and corn starch. My recipe is really a combination of other recipes that I have created to personalize it, and I prefer it to most others I have tried.

Bird’s Nest Pavlova

6 or 8 egg whites (it really doesn’t matter)

1-1¾ c sugar (very fine, if available) (depending on how sweet your sweet tooth is)

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp cornstarch

Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry, so you could turn the bowl over your head (don’t try it when you’ve just come home from the hairdresser) and the egg whites won’t move.

Add lemon and then the sugar gradually and sprinkle the cornstarch over and blend.

Put mixture onto a well-buttered and floured cookie sheet (use lightly oiled brown paper if you prefer, or parchment paper). With the back of a spoon, make a nest with high sides.

Flick the spoon for effect on the sides. Keep piling mixture up on the sides, smoothing the bottom a little. Ideally, keep mixture within a 10-inch circle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, but as soon as you’ve put the Pavlova into the oven, turn down the temperature control to 250-275 degrees.

Pavlova should be a warm cream colour, not amber. The object is to dry the mixture, not to overcook it. After one hour, turn the oven off. Don’t peek. Keep the door closed. Don’t bake your Pavlova with the oven light on. Keeping an oven light on can sometimes alter the oven temperature if your thermostat is overly sensitive.

Let the Pavlova sit in the turned off oven for another hour or until cooled. Remove paper if used, and store in an airtight container.

Fill with stiff whipped cream and top with fresh fruit of your choice. For a different spin on the filling, try stirring Fry’s hot chocolate powder into the whipped cream, or extra strong coffee. YUM!


The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking - at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen" additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.


  1. My New Year’s gift to REM readers, a Gourmet column url “index;” I will update it from time to time. Perhaps copy and paste into a file, or print it out so you can easily recapture your favourites.

    REM column 5-year “Update:”
    “Thank you Editor Jim and Publisher Heino” – original REM entry written in June 2010, amended and updated here below – watch for new recipes in the coming year.

    “Carolyne Lederer is broker of record at Carolyne Realty Corp. Proudly putting her name to her work for 35 years, she serves Brampton ON residential real estate clients.

    She taught gourmet cooking in the mid 1970s prior to going into real estate, and wrote a newspaper weekly cooking column. She also has a cookbook in the works and now is going to share her recipes with REM readers.”
    Five years of “Gourmet Cooking with the REALTOR ® in Mind” columns here at REM, look for the new feature, my url ***index*** by recipe topic, that will hopefully help REM readers recapture recipes.

    Another way to locate a recipe here on REM is to type “Carolyne and the topic recipe” you want to bring to your screen, in the REM search field box at the top of any screen. Example: “Carolyne salad or Carolyne soup.”


    URL INDEX – REM columns:
    Celebrating 5 years (2015).

    My personal gift, from me, to you… for those who follow our REM column ~ “Gourmet Cooking with the REALTOR® in Mind” ~ an easy to find REM specific reference Index of the recipe page urls during the 5 years the column has run.

    As at White Chili recipe REM Dec 2015

    REM – PAGE 5

    Pavlova ~ Bird’s Nest Pavlova

    My very first REM column:
    “Gourmet Cooking with the REALTOR® in Mind” June 2010.

    Salad on the run
    (We eat with our eyes)

    Brunch on the run
    Caution: The scent created while the cheeses are melting may attract your neighbours.

    REM – PAGE 4

    Sacrilegious Shiraz-permeated veal shoulder (or shank)

    Instant rosé pasta sauce (and several additional uses)

    Getting ahead of the holiday season ~ Asbach Stollen
    ADD-ON recipe: Make it a “CroquemboucheChristmas”

    Holiday magic – no matter what you celebrate
    Asbach Cheese Ball

    Canadian Cheddar Cheese Balls

    Bitterballen (veal croquettes)

    Dips for crudités

    Ever try chicken livers?

    The king’s breakfast or brunch;President’sPick – and pâté

    Delicious tortillas for lunch ~
    Chicken Filling

    Roast beef or leftover steak filling

    Creative additions

    Meatless filling

    Seafood filling

    Delicious spinach

    Pesto, Pesto, Pesto : Watercress

    Spectacular indoor-outdoor desserts

    Banana Flambé with Chantilly Cream

    Crème Chantilly Ananas

    REM – PAGE 3

    The economy special:
    Gourmet meatballs extended (Italian: multi-colour peppers, onions, mushrooms)

    Turkey Time ~ Stuffed
    Breast of Turkey (serves 4)

    ADD-ON recipe: ~ and Sauce (great with seafood, too)

    Southern Comfort; Pepper
    Marinade and BBQ’d Peppers

    Just add steak (and Ginny Brown agreed)

    Special cheese dreams

    Pear avocado salad ~ just add
    cheese (Kathy Sperl-Bell is right)

    Butter is better

    Herb butter (keep on hand)
    Roast that Large Mouth Bass
    Economy butter cream:

    Strawberry butter:

    A different kind of fry ~ Zucchini
    Deep fried ‘many things’ – try deep fried ice cream

    Surprising fruit punch

    Marsala chicken

    Pepper marinade

    REM – PAGE 2

    Rustic mushroom soup

    Multi-fruit dessert ~ a cross between sorbet and semi-freddo

    Strawberries: A special super easy dessert
    ADD-ON recipe: More Strawberries – Leftovers

    Spectacular barbecue serving sauce (andpaupiette potatoes) and BBQ’d Pork Chops; Rock Cornish Hens

    And Cherry Tomatoes, Spinach Leaves

    Use cream to thicken soup: Tomato Mushroom Bisque

    Best turkey ever: My secret recipe
    Roast Turkey – and
    ADD-ON Recipes ~ Turkey in Aspic

    Leftover turkey, again (croquettes and [poultry] meatballs for Minestrone soup)

    Thanksgiving lighted candle at table

    Cranberry Sauce and Sautéed Chicken (instead of turkey)

    Orgasmic Whipped Potatoes & Veggies

    Save that pumpkin (and real estate farming article)

    Special egg salad holiday treat

    Yorkshire [pudding] to the table
    Thanksgiving – time to remember the ‘Best of Every Thing.’
    Guilty pleasures ~ for the Thanksgiving ‘after-feast’
    Roasted Acorn Squash at Turkey Time ~ served two ways
    Oven Roasted Acorn Squash Memory-making Soup

    Chicken veggie gravy (full of vitamins)

    My Latkes for Lent (with zucchini and carrots – meatless Friday)

    REM – PAGE 1

    Meat sauce gravy (serve with Orgasmic Whipped Mashed Potatoes or Spatzle)

    “Pastilicious” – Sweet or savoury Russian Jewish Noodle Kugel
    ~ and Savoury version

    Caramelized onions on long baguette

    A perfect picnic: Chicken legs and coleslaw
    Coleslaw extraordinaire

    Cherry Cherry Tomato Salad

    Grilled shrimp kabobs and tapas

    Black olive bread – Brussels sprouts and tapas
    BBQ’d Pineapple

    And water tips, kitchen cooking tips: –
    if you get raw garlic on your hands – do you know how to instantly get rid of the scent?

    Seafood supreme: Sole, shrimp, sea scallops, and more – deep-fried, pan-fried, breaded and plain, shrimp cocktail – and paupiettes

    Naked lazy sole

    Gazpacho – is a liquid salad

    Delicious duxelles delight – Mushroom trinity and

    Stuffed Breaded Wiener Schnitzel (& red cabbage & spaetzle)

    Carolyne’s own red cabbage


    (Scroll to bottom, past red cabbage lots of off-topic forum real estate comments)

    Easy-to-make white chili ~ and
    Outside-link to Hanukkah “Latkes”

    ADD-ON Recipe: CHILI CON CARNE ~ another chilly day favourite holiday keeper

    “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks”
    © Carolyne Lederer-Ralston

    Celebrating 5 years on REM posting my columns ~ “Gourmet Cooking with the REALTOR® in Mind” ~ to make looking up a recipe a little easier, I put together this specific-to-REM, “recipe url index link list.”

    I hope you have enjoyed my easy to do recipes, some of which go back to my gourmet teaching days of the 70’s, that I have reworked for the REM REALTOR® on the run. Thank you for all the private notes and on REM comments. Have a blessed New Year.

  2. Thanks so much, Teri. Sometimes this business needs to lighten up a little. For me cooking is relaxing. I clean up as I go along so no big mess to deal with.

    It’s the shopping for food that has become such a nuisance, and tiresome, and prices have escalated greatly in recent times, perhaps due to all the weather impact and the cost of fuel. How is it in Minnesota? Rising prices also?

    Things seem to spoil much more quickly these days, and so many things have experienced genetic engineering that when we shop much of the food isn’t even real food anymore. That’s scary.

    Homemade anything is always a nice surprise for your guests and for family too. I can smell your banana bread all the way over here… :)

    Carolyne L

  3. I don’t think I have ever heard of this dish….guess I am not a gourmet. lol I do like your writing style as you relate it to a realtor’s busy lifestyle. It is a fun post to read.

  4. A colleague sent me a private note, having seen the REM recipe for Pavlova, telling me that although she doesn’t cook at all, she thought she might give this recipe a try because it so simple. Her other comment was that she and her husband don’t eat a lot of sweets, and she asked if there was a way to divide the recipe so as to make less. In basic cooking often we can make adjustments to create our own preferences. But in baking, chemical reactions come together, and once a combination has been tested and found to work, it is perhaps best to continue to follow the basic instruction.

    Although there well might be a chemical method of division (know that when you “double” a recipe, you don’t double ALL the ingredients, such as doubling the salt is a no-no), likewise careful consideration would be needed in halving some recipes. I reminded her that, in this particular case, Pavlova is so very easily stored and keeps for ages, therefore eliminating the need to make less.

    And, of course you can make fillings in any quantity you want; it is very easy to whip just half the amount of cream, and use however much fresh fruit you want – whatever is in season, even if you just want one piece of the Pavlova. This is an ideal recipe for people who live alone or with just one other person.

    The stored remainder can be served when unexpected guests arrive, or even when you feel like a really special treat, just for you, weeks later.

    BTW – save the egg yolks in a covered container for a bit, in the fridge, and use them to make homemade mayonnaise. Or whisk them and pour the eggs, swirling with fork tines into a pot of gently boiling soup of any kind, just before serving. The egg will form strings and float on the surface – like in Italian Wedding Soup. DE-LIC-IOUS! And, once again, nothing is wasted.

    REMINDER: When cooking with eggs, always allow the eggs to come to room temperature. Whites will whip faster and firmer; yolks will emulsify easier with oil.

    Perfect soft-boiled eggs: Place two large eggs in cold water. Sprinkle on a little salt. Turn heat on high and bring just to a boil, uncovered. Watch closely. Timing matters. Immediately turn off the heat, cover the pot and let sit for exactly six minutes. If you like the eggs a little bit firm but not hard cooked, time for seven minutes only. WATCH THE CLOCK! Just briefly, run cold running water over the eggs while still in the pot, and cut the tops off the shell with a flick of the wrist using a regular knife. Scoop out the soft-boiled egg into your favourite serving bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy with freshly made toast, coated with real butter. Perfect texture every time. SO GOOD!

    Carolyne L

  5. You are toooooh funny, Brian. But your support is appreciated. LET'S DO BUSINESS. And if you, too, have any contacts living in my area, I would be pleased to assist them with their real estate needs.

    Carolyne L

  6. Hi Carolyne: I just thought of something, sitting idly here again at the Kiosk watching dust settle on the floor. You mention that your Pavlova will keep for up to six months in an air tight container (impressive). In an effort to induce Mary back into the fray, why not invite her over to your place for this obviously very tasty treat; you can give her a six month irrevocable to show up, within which time she may partake of your specialty. If she fails to show, the deal is off. How much more accomodating can one be? If she does show, not only will she be educated about the realities of real estate, but she will be given a first hand education about something else equally important that she might not know enough about. It would be a classic win-win situation.

    Funny how some contribute to this site with a positive attitude and helpful information vs others who just want to slam the entire real estate industry. Maybe they need to take the time to apply some of your home cooking knowledge instead of eating take-out stuff from dominant fast food joints; I hear that fresh ingredients used in home cooking recipes are more beneficial for enhanced brain activity than the stuff used in the cheap, price competitve, generic, convenient 'food' that many live off of these days.

    Again, the cheaper is better argument meets with a scientific/nutritional thumbs down response from those in the know. Quality always trumps quantity, in more ways than one, for those who appreciate the former. Unfortunately, I eat too much of the cheap stuff, and my mind is suffering. (I need to say something that most will agree with me on, for once at least)

    Your new column is a nice departure from the philosophy wars.



  7. Aw, shucks, Brian. Sincere thanks for your kind words. Just need a little clarification. Chef I am not, never was… cook and recipe developer and writer, yes. Taught gourmet before it was the popular thing to do (back in the 70's), in the media and elsewhere. Love to eat. Want to know what's in my food, LOL.

    Great motivator for me. Will share copy of cookbook, eventually. In the meantime, look for future REM columns, and perhaps give the recipes at REM a try and or share with your friends and colleagues who love to cook (eat).

    Carolyne L

  8. Hi Carolyne: If anyone out there doubts the quality of mind of some within our business, he/she need only read your comments on this site to be set straight.

    Now we find out that you are an accomplished gourmet chef who taught the profession prior to becoming involved in real estate. There may be hope for our public collective REALTOR(r) persona after all if the real estate industry can attract many more folks of your abilities, transparency and character from here on in.



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