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Kitchen Fun with Mom

Camomile Panna Cotta

By Katherine Burnett

Over the years, I was told by many of my mother's friends that I was so much like her. I do not hear that much at all now, as Mom is almost 93 and most of her friends have, sadly, passed on. There's no one to tell me now that I smile just like her, or that my facial expressions tell them whose daughter I am.

Making bouquets for the table

Mom's love of fun in the kitchen definitely inspired me to collect recipes, many of which were ones she shared with me. I grew up baking and loved to have a pan of cookies ready when my kids got home from school. That had Mom written all over it! A special 'Mom' recipe was Favourite Cookies which I think, without exaggeration, she made a thousand times over the years of raising us 5 siblings. We had a mini skating rink in our backyard which became a quarter of a tennis court in the summer. The family neighbourhood of 24 kids or so, often congregated in our yard. Mom, being a stay-at-home Mom for many years put together these stove-top cookies in a flash and before they could harden in the fridge, my friends would be hanging out at the back door waiting for the distribution of the chocolate, rolled-oats treats. We could smell them from the backyard and I remember feeling that my Mom was awesome - great childhood memories, for sure!

For Mom this Mother's Day, I decided to try a recipe that's been in my cookbook for years. I cut it from a newspaper at some point and cannot give credit to its creator. It caught my eye because of the tea connection, obviously. It's a Camomile Panna Cotta which by its mere name created an elegant and luscious imagery! Panna Cotta is an Italian cooked cream. Since Mom developed lactose intolerance in the last few years, I substituted the milk and cream with lactose-free dairy and am very pleased with how it turned out. It's super easy!

      Mom topping them up

 Ready to Eat

 Camomile Panna Cotta

2 cups cold milk
1 tbsp unflavoured gelatin powder (I used 1 packet)
1/2 c loose leaf camomile tea (about 8 teabags)
1 c whipping cream
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp lemon zest

Pour 1/4c milk over the gelatin in a small bowl. Do not stir. Set aside. The gelatin should bloom (double in bulk).

Bring camomile and remaining milk to boil in medium sized pot. Once boiled, remove from heat, cover and let steep 15 minutes. Strain.

In pot, add cream, sugar and lemon zest to the camomile milk and return pot to medium heat. Stir occasionally until mixture is hot and sugar is dissolved (about 5 minutes). Add gelatin mixture and stir until well combined. Pour into a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure gelatin is absorbed.

Pour mixture into 6 greased dessert cups. Refrigerate till centre jiggles and is no longer liquid. Allow 2 hours or even overnight.

You can eat directly from the bowls or turn out the panna cotta onto a plate. Garnish with honey or any fruit topping or eat as is.

Enjoying the results of our fun in the kitchen! 

Cherish the moments and honour your Mom deep within your heart!



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