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Wednesday July 6, a wonderful day.

7 Jul

What an amazing day.  I spent the morning doing all sorts of annoying but necessary house cleaning jobs. ( the cleaning is not the amazing part, it comes later.)  You know, the ones you put off until there’s more time.  I’m off right now, so I guess I have more time…  As a reward for cleaning out the fridge, washing the garbage bins, cleaning the stove, and clearing out the pantry,  I promised myself some “fun” time.  For me, fun time means hitting the thrift stores.

Once the jobs were finished I felt a sense of accomplishment, almost a reward in itself, I went out anyway.   I shop the thrift stores with $10.oo.  It’s a cheapand harmless  way for me to have some fun. Yet,  DJR wonders “how many sets of dishes do we really need?”   I tell him that it’s an innocent diversion.  Plus I have ground rules: I will only buy what I will use or know of someone who would use it.  Currently we have many sets  of white dishes. However, I used all of them at a surprise birthday party for  for DJR.  Who has dishes for 40?  I do and they saved me a bundle in rental costs. Next, I only buy quality, a few years ago I bought a set for eight of white Wedgewood china for $7.88. And finally,  I stop (for the day) either when the money’s gone or if I score a major find, I don’t like to be greedy.  Today, was a colossal find day,  I bagged a tall blue green West German vase $3 bucks, and a cookbook that I have been looking for, Craig Claiborne’s Southern Cooking, also $3 bucks.  Total fun, for a total of $6 dollars.

The best part of the day though, was  on the way home. I stopped at my local farm stand and what greeted me upon my arrival?  Pints and pints of the first raspberries of the season, just picked an hour before.

Today was one of those where life was perfect.  The sky was a deep blue and the sun was hot.   I drove home with the windows down ( the air-conditioning quit on my four year old car, but life is perfect today so it doesn’t bother me) with my thrift store finds on the back seat and the glorious, plump raspberries beside me.

I came home to a hot kitchen, too hot to bake, so I made a vanilla bean panna cotta, so easy, it takes five minutes to prep, and after 2 or 3 hours in the fridge, I’ll be eating this cool, smooth vanilla spiked custard with the sweet berries on top.  So simple, but so perfect, just like today.

Panna Cotta ( I use 2 ounce mason jars to serve desserts in during the summer, so this recipe makes enough for eight of those)

1/3 cup milk, I used 1% because it was in my fridge

1 envelope unflavoured gelatin

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract plus one vanilla bean scraped, or if you don’t have fresh vanilla beans (an extravagance of mine) use 2 tsp. of vanilla extract  (hey, I buy my jeans at the thrift stores but I buy my vanilla beans on line at The Vanilla Food Company, they’re awesome)

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and granulated sugar, whisk over a medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the cream just comes to a boil. But don’t let it boil over like I did on my uber-clean stove, oh well.

Meanwhile sprinkle packet of gelatin over the 1/3 cup of cold milk.

After the cream has come to a boil, remove it from the heat, add the gelatin mixture, and the vanilla.  Whisk to mix, and pour into dessert glasses.  If you want to unmold your panna cotta, which is traditional, first lightly grease your dishes with a neutral flavoured oil.  Chill until set, 2 to 3 hours.  Keeps 2 to 3 days in the fridge and makes an excellent late night snack or a perfect breakfast dessert.  If you like breakfast dessert.

creamy smooth deliciousness

Hey Deb, you would have loved it today.