As it would happen, our Australian companions are sticklers for telling The Whole Story. Just for them, I will tell you what really happened the night we ate the pav. I owe them so much, since they taught me to play charades, convinced me to take part in a talent show, and got me out for a series of sinus cleansings in my attempt to get up on water skis. These folks like to party once they get off their island.
After dinner, when we descended ravenously upon the pavlova, we found it crawling with ants. The beach house we rented seems to function in lew of an anthill. After some desultory squashing of the bugs that wandered off the dessert, our friend Eric picked the pavlova up with a “Women may make desserts but only men delouse them,” expression on his face and walked away, out of eye and earshot. “Don’t get it wet!” I yelled desperately, “it will disintegrate!” I pictured him dunking it in the lake like soiled laundry and wringing it out.
He returned moments later with an antless pav! It was damp, even wet in spots but hey, I don’t need to know how sausage gets made, or de-anted. So we partook. I didn’t really wonder how he did it but he eventually told us it was by blowing each individual ant off of it. And the droplets? We’ll call them collected vapor. Where would we cooks be without some improvisation?