rosemary panna cotta


i got some fresh rosemary from the farmers market last saturday. i remembered seeing a guy make a milky rosemary panna cotta on the food network one night. so i made my own last night, after midnight. that’s right, midnight cooking!

i was making obento for paul at the same time. usually people make obento in the morning, but i don’t like to rush (or get up early). i make a couple of small dishes so it takes some time.

cooking several things at once always makes me want to grow a couple of extra arms (like in this drawing). that way i could tackle multiple tasks at the same time. i could grow extra arms on my sides, but having extra arms on my back would be more helpful, because then i’d be able to cook up tamago-yaki on the stove while using my back arms to cut vegetables on the opposite counter. yes, my kitchen is that narrow.

speaking of extra arms, there are buddhist statues called senjyu-kan’non. “senjyu” means thousand hands. with some exceptions, usually senju-kan’non statues don’t have 1000 hands. they have 42 hands. the two hands praying are the true hands. the other 40 hands save 25 sufferings each, which makes 1000 hands. they’re beautiful. hands are special.

when i was little, a monk would come to my house to pray for my family’s ancestors. he was a very big old man with enormous earlobes and of course, a shaved head. he was a nice monk, but to me, at that time, he looked very strict and scary. for one thing, he was probably 6 feet tall and i was only 4 foot. my parents were both working, so usually my grandma and i were the only ones home. after prayers, my grandma would serve him a cup of tea. he’d bring some sweets and books to read for me. he would tell us some wise stories as well as a story about his son who was an american football player, a quarterback. he told us sadly that his son got severely injured during a game and was paralyzed. when he left, he would always pat my head with his big hand and give me cinnamon candies, which i hate. but i couldn’t say no.


rosemary panna cotta recipe

(for 4 small ramekins)

  • 2 cups low-fat milk (or any milk or cream you like)
  • one package gelatin (please follow the directions on the package)
  • one stalk fresh rosemary
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • a dash of vanilla essence
  • honey

warm 1 3/4 cups of milk in a milk pan. when it’s heated, add the rosemary and the sugar. in a different bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the remaining 1/4c of milk. add the dissolved gelatin to the warm milk. stir well and strain. pour into small dishes (ramekins) and chill. serve with honey.  enjoy ;)