As we walk through the neighbourhood I spy trees in various stages of nakedness, and some like this magnolia is already begining to bud. I am overwhelmed with the promise of spring and the unfolding and renewal it brings...
I'm reading a book by one of favourite wordsmiths Luci Shaw - her prose washes over me like a fine mist - cleansing my eyes and mind. She writes about ageing, ascending gracefully - and I'm left with a desire to embrace growing older, sagging slowness and all (and not apologise for it)...
With Reuben on my lap we read the same pages I thumbed with my mama as a child, of a little dutch boy hiding a thimble and crashing into an Amsterdam marketplace...
Then, we spill all the peas and lentils in a great cupboard clean-out -
for the trains to steam through and standing above
I marvel at the tracks my son makes,
curly, consuming me.
I heat milk on the stove and stir in a little sugar with cinnamon and vanilla beans. I cut more passionfruits than I can count and scoop out that pulpy flesh filled with tiny black eyes. Later in the evening, with my sister at my side, we laugh and exhale and cook dinner. We savour those panna cottas with teaspoons and feel full. The best kind of full...
Passionfruit Panna cotta
2 cups pure cream
2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
seeds of 1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp of vanilla paste)
1 tablespoon grass fed bovine gelatine powder
1/2 cup cold water
juice of 6 passion fruits
1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons grass fed bovine gelatine powder
1/2 cup water
For the panna cotta heat milk and cream in saucepan on a low heat. Stir in cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved. Stir in strained juice from 6 of the passionfruits - reserving the seeds for the jelly. Let gelatine "flower" for a few minutes in 1/2 cup of cold water. Whisk gelatine water into cream mixture until dissolved. Pour into ceramic or glass ramekins (I was able to fill about 7 but it will depend on the size) and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Now for the jelly - Scoop out pulp + juice of 4 more passionfruits and put in a small saucepan along with the seeds reserved from making the panna cotta. Add strained orange juice and a tablespoon of sugar. Let 2 teaspoons of gelatine flower in 1/2 cup of cold water for a few minutes then add to the saucepan and stir until dissolved. Cool. Pour gently over the top of all the pannacottas which will be semi-set. Return the pannacottas to the fridge for a further 2 (or more) hours before serving.