Do you know the story of Sisyphus? I think you do. But in a few words I will give you a reminder. In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king. He was punished by being compelled to roll a very huge piece of rock up a hill and he only had to watch it roll back down. Endlessly he had to repeat this action – maybe he is still rolling? Poor Sisyphus! Oh yes, but the story reminds me of my own childhood and the early teenage years.
Growing up and living the first 4 years with my grandparents was the best thing I could have experienced. My parents were too young to raise a family. When I was 4 years old my grandparents decided that a child belongs to its parents and so they supported my parents to start their own family life. I had to move into my parents house (god bless, only a few meters away from my grandparents) and had to stay there.
Well, things went on over the years but a safe bonding couldn’t really grow. I was a „grandma kind of a girl“ and I wasn’t good enough for my father. No unconditonal love, no emotional affection. I was being compelled to roll my rocks up a hill and my father kicked them down again and again. Unfortunately for my parents I was excluded from the exchange 😉 and vice versa. I sometimes wished I could leave my small world to find new parents and sometimes I was really jealous of my friend’s parents.
I will tell you about one of my big rocks I had to roll up. Today the story sounds a little funny but it was one of my father’s subtle methods to treat me. Beside our house there was a large batch of construction sand (I hope you know what I mean). Over the years the horsetail started to grow there – and here we go – a new task for me – every weekend I had to clear the rambling weed. Remember Sisyphus… After clearing my father decided if I would deserve to meet my friends.
OK – times are changing – I live my own life with the best husband on earth but there is a little piece of a thing so to speak. I don’t have a „green thumb“. It isn’t a good idea to bring me flowerpots – they will not survive 4 weeks in my household. It must have something to do with the horsetail, I guess 😉 And that’s why you’ll find cactus at my place.
Except one. The tiny little basil! It is my new challenge. I bought „him“ and since 6 weeks we have our conversation time – every morning. The basil and I travelled a long way – across france, stopped at chambre d’hôtes, visited the river Rhine in Switzerland and had our problems with the air condition.
I hope „he“ will survive!
One of my favourite blogs is Junglefrog Cooking. Simone is a very talented food photographer and the host of photography challenges. After reading Simone’s blog entry I decided that we (the basil and I) take part in the white challenge. The dish and the photography setup should be mostly white – puh, really challenging! But what a nice stage for my friend basilicum minimum.
I made a light version of a savory panna cotta and used a pot of my homemade yogurt instead of only cream. During cooking the cream I added a bunch of chopped basil leaves. I prefer to have this savory panna cotta as a starter. So there’ll be enough space for the next course.
I highly recommend you visiting Simone’s Blog to see the entries for the all white challenge and to browse nice recipes.
I take care of my basil now and see you soon.
Basil Panna Cotta
makes 4 servings
200 ml heavy cream
100 ml yogurt
1 teaspoon agar -agar (a herbal gelatin)
salt (I recommend fleur de sel), pepper
a bunch of fresh basil, washed, drained and chopped and a few leaves to garnish
In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream and salt.
Bring the cream just to a simmer (do not let it boil), whisking occasionally until salt has completely dissolved. Add the bunch of chopped basil and set aside for 3 hours or overnight.
Strain the mixture into another saucepan to remove the basil and bring the mixture to a boil. Now add the agar-agar and whisk to completely dissolve the agar-agar and cook for 2 minutes. Season with freshly ground pepper. Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a bowl whisk the yogurt and then add the heavy cream mixture. Pour the panna cotta into ramekins or custard cups. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To unmold and for serving, dip the bottom of each ramekin. Run a knife around the edges of the ramekins to help loosen it from the inside.
Place onto plates and garnish with some basil leaves.