kruizing with kikukat

Monday, June 25, 2018

Almond Panna Cotta

Since nearly the beginning of 2018, I have been suffering from shoulder pain.  What began as stiffness, which I attributed to sleeping funny, turned out to be the beginning of adhesive capsulitis, aka "frozen shoulder".  Over the course of 4 months, my shoulder when from slightly stiff to absolutely painful upon certain motions.  I have had surgeries, sprains, fractures, ischemic colitis, and a bunch of other painful things, but nothing compares to the pain from frozen shoulder.  Nothing.

While the pain didn't start off as all-consuming, it gradually caused a few lifestyle changes which really put a damper on comfort.  I had to resort to sleeping flat on my back; any degree of rotation caused pain, either from direct pressure on my shoulder or from my shoulder being unsupported.  At some point, I reached for the Aleve, but it wasn't very helpful.  I blame the combination of Aleve and sleeping flat on my back as the cause of my GERD.

So in addition to restricted movement/motion while I was awake, I had some difficulty eating, fearing the resulting heartburn and gas which followed.  As I mentioned before, sleep was out of the question.  This was my life for the second half of April and all of May.

MMM suggested that consuming yogurt might be soothing.  The Help had no problem going to the market and buying tons of one of my favorites.  My yogurt jag failed to remedy my stomach ills, but it did contribute to my growing war chest of cover-less, smallish glass jars.  A work friend, who also had an affinity for that brand of yogurt, and I talked about what we could possibly do with all of the jars.  We both thought it would be a shame to throw them out, as the jars were sturdy and cute.

On a hot day in May, I had D2 make jello for dessert, and she poured them into those jars since they were out on the counter already.  She stacked them in the fridge (our fridge real estate is always limited) since the bottom of the jar is larger than the top.  That's when it occurred to me that the jars would be perfect for panna cotta, a dessert I've enjoyed at Noodle Club and some other restaurants.  And being able to stack the jars meant I wouldn't need too much space in the fridge.

I tried a few different recipes, but some were too firm, and some did not set up adequately.  A few recipes also called for odd amounts of not-usually-in-my-fridge milk varieties.  After some trial and error, the recipe with this post is what turned out to be a good texture (to me).  Reduce or increase the amount of milk to get the texture you prefer.  Although this recipe is for almond panna cotta, there is a small amount of vanilla extract in the recipe.  I find that adding a bit of vanilla nicely softens the almond flavor, which can sometimes be very bold (think Chinese almond float).

Because cherries are now in season, I made a topping with fresh cherries (thank you Ds for pitting and halving all the cherries).  I hope The Help can come up with a summery drink using the cherry syrup.  Any type of fruit can be used as a topping.  I've had this at a restaurant with some lavender syrup and it was delicious.  I think chocolate lovers might enjoy it with a spoonful of Nutella.

Now that June is nearly over, my shoulder is almost back to normal, thanks to the MUA (manipulation under anesthesia) I underwent just after Memorial Day.  I am able to sleep on my side, my GERD is gone, and I can actually straighten my arm and lift it over my head. 

Best of all, my MUA was done on Oahu, so I got to check out the Memorial Day sales at the Waikele Outlets and Nordstrom Rack. And the Rack just happened to be having a fabulous sale on boots.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     2 c heavy cream
     1 c milk, divided
     1 envelope unflavored gelatin
     1/2 c sugar
     1/2 tsp almond extract
     1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Soften gelatin in 1/2 c milk.  Heat heavy cream, remaining milk, and sugar, to just below boiling.  Stir in softened gelatin and milk.  Continue stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved.  Remove frm heat and stir in extracts.  Pour into small containers.  Chill until set.  If not serving within 8 hours, cover each container to avoid drying out.  If serving unmolded, lightly grease containers prior to filling.  Serve with fruit or desired topping.


No comments:

Post a Comment