Love languages, they’re tricky business. I’ve been reading an interesting book by Gary Chapman about the different ways people express their love and how to learn to talk other people’s languages. Sure, the book is heavily focused on how to express heartfelt commitment to your spouse (to be clear I have not suddenly gotten married) but the theories and principles can just as readily applied to every relationship in your life.
It truly is an art to be a relationship chameleon, adapting your actions to communicate in ways that speak volumes to those you care about, something I hope to at least start to master. It’s a funny thing, trying to understand other people. I for one seem to learn so much more about myself in the progress, a beautiful act alone, but I am beginning to see the links between how I interact and how similar it is to some of the other souls in my family.
As a kid, one of the most exciting things about visiting my grandparents was that we knew my grandma would have made something special for us to have for afternoon tea or dessert. The anticipation on whether it would my favourite, caramel slice or my mum’s favourite cheesecake that time was part of the whole experience. Maybe just liked to spoil us, or maybe she truly got pleasure out of creating food for others that she knew they would love. It’s certainly a trait I have inherited and is heavily intertwined in my love language and the way I interact in all my relationships.
I’ve been trying to challenge myself in my food in the past few months to learn new techniques and to expand my skills beyond sugar free baking, buckwheat pancakes and bowls of steaming porridge. Up until a week ago I had never actually eaten pannacotta but it was always on my bucket list of desserts to master to share with others. This version is a little grown up with a tea infused base but still holds its traditional silky texture, just perfect for the zesty lemon balsamic strawberry topping.
I think I’m in love.
Lady Grey Pannacotta with Lemon Balsamic Strawberries
Adapted from Local Milk
600ml pure cream
2 tsp powdered gelatine
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 lady grey tea bags, tags removed
250g strawberries, halved
zest of one lemon
juice of ½ lemon
splash good quality balsamic vinegar
Add cream to saucepan and sprinkle gelatine over the surface and let sit for 5 mins
Slowly warm the cream, stirring until the gelatine is fully dissolved
Add the sugar, vanilla and tea bags and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is just about to start to boil
Cover and let steep for 30 mins
Strain mixture and ladle into 4 stemless wine glasses or other serving dishes
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight
Combine strawberries, zest, vinegar and juice together in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes, or until strawberries start to soften but still hold their shape
Let cool and spoon over pannacottas