Eton Mess: accident or design

I’ve watched celebrity chefs make Eton Mess on TV; it’s a concoction of meringue, cream and strawberries dumped into a glass bowl.  It tastes wonderful but looks, as you would expect, a mess.  I do not know, but have no doubt that it came into being because one day someone dropped a perfectly formed strawberry Pavlova and, rather than waste it, scraped it off the floor, put it into glass bowls and named it an Eton Mess.  Why Eton?  Maybe they thought only old Etonians ate Pavlova.
Well now we have our own version of the Eton Mess, called Pasty Mess, or maybe Cornish Mess or maybe Mess of Pasties.  The name is still to be decided.  
I am one of those lucky women whose husband likes to cook.  Today after spending all morning on the golf course he decided that we would have Cornish Pasties for lunch.  Delicious.  I don’t know what went wrong, maybe the pastry was too soft or he forgot to put the greaseproof paper under the pasties when he was preparing them, but they refused to be removed from the work surface where they had been made.  No way could he lift them up and put them on the baking tray without them falling apart.  Frustration took over and he scooped them up a skillet and dumped them on the baking tray.  
‘Throw them out,’ he said.  
‘No way; they’ll be fine like that,’ I replied and popped the mess in the oven.
The result was unorthodox but delicious.  Onion, carrot, potato and meat mixed in with broken bits of pastry, that looked a disaster but tasted great.  Now we just have to decide on a name for it and it too can become a TV star.


Joan Fallon is a writer and novelist living in Spain.

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