Brown. Everything was freakishly brown. Furniture was brown. Think of all those drab wooden sideboards and burnt-looking velour sofas that houses were so very full of. Our houses themselves were brown. With brown front doors. Wallpaper was brown. Sometimes it was more off-the-wall than on it with swirly patterns granted, but generally it was different shades of brown. Our clothes were brown. Our shoes were brown. We were all tanned. We liked it. Brown was where it was at. We fawned over it. We were happy with brown. Until someone paired it with another ludicrous colour of course.
Orange. We had outlandish orange curtains hanging in rooms to match the peculiar orange lampshades. Rugs were a range of far-out orange tones. Our kitchens were so orange we needed sunglasses to enter them. We had offbeat ornaments that were orange and maybe a bit space-aged. But orange still. And kooky. We matched them with brown. We embraced the eccentric, extraordinary orange and brown combinations in our homes, in our wardrobes and in our lives. Even our tans went orange. If it wasn't for orange the whole curious decade would just have been, well, brown.
Almost. Okay, Fanny did her best to banish the buff and beige, bringing every colour of the rainbow to the buffet table. But the table was probably brown, the table cloth would undoubtedly be brown and orange. The guests crowded round it would certainly be dressed head to foot in cocoa inspired patterns of chocolatey brown and zesty orange, with orange accessories that perhaps looked like they'd been fashioned from the space-age adornments scattered around the house. And dipped in extra brown. You get the idea.
Fanny decided to embrace the unavoidable brown-ness of the time. In celebration, she unveiled her Brown Meringue. She could've worked more on the name, but do remember how hip and happening it was to love brown. Today we want our meringues to be so glowingly white they match our overly-whitened teeth and pristine, shiny, clinical white homes. Not brown. In the 1970's Fanny replaced the white sugar in her meringue mix for the tawny brown stuff and whipped up a brown frenzy. If she could've got brown egg whites I'm sure she would've. That's how she rocked.
Bang on trend, she pairs it of course with... Orange. She replaces the milk in a custard with equal quantities of orange juice and water, using the otherwise abandoned egg yolks perfectly. A splash of orange blossom water adds a shade more orange. The brown meringue is baked on a sheet of rice paper for reasons unknown, but also why not. It emerges so fashionably brown, all it needs is a seventies swirl of the orange custard. And a whole mandarin orange plonked in the centre. With a bay leave decoration. And freshly released citrus segments to trim. It tastes wonderfully caramelly and orangey. It tastes like the 70's. There are no other descriptions. It's brown. It's orange. It is the 1970's.