Mother’s Day is this weekend. Advertisements and recipes abound with gift suggestions and ideas for a special brunch. Being a mom, and feeling it has been my most significant life privilege, it nears ‘sacred’ as holidays go for me. We change up our routine annually depending on my mood. I usually like to keep the day open to be spontaneous which seems novel in our highly scheduled lives.
I think possibly my favorite Mother’s Day was two years ago. We had not made any extra special plans and my son, who was then nine years old, had Googled ‘gluten-free recipes kids can make themselves’ (I of course learned this all after the fact). I had been sent upstairs and could not ignore the eventual wafting of deep chocolate to the upper levels of our house. He had found a chocolate truffle cookie that he made with some support of my husband.
My daughter had pulled out her American Girl mini food cookbook and made me a few diminutive treats as well. One I mistakenly took as a jello shot before realizing it was a supposed to look like a watermelon slice using jello and citrus rind. The first guess perhaps an indicator that Mommy needed a cocktail that Mother’s Day!
Kids feel great about themselves when they are responsible for a gift to adults, even if there is a bit of adult supervision and support. The gift is still from their own inspiration and hand. I wanted to share a recipe that I feel is easy for kids (to do alone for older children and with some stovetop help for wee folk), yet is still unique, unexpected and pretty to behold: Rose-Flavored Panna Cotta with Edible Flowers. Panna cotta is a rich, luscious custard that takes about 10 minutes to construct and that chills for about 3 hours. It is always a welcome dessert I’ve found and when flavored like roses is sure to delight!
The other thing I love is repurposing, or using something predictable in a completely unexpected way for gifts. Though in restaurants panna cotta is usually freed from its mold when served, that both seemed tricky for kids to do and for these I thought it would be fun to mold them in things that could be used afterwards for something else. Two gifts in one! Fun glasses, goblets, food-safe candle holders, liqueur glasses all make fun options with a keepsake to have long term.
Edible flowers may seem exotic but they are available at most grocery stores with herbs in the produce section. They are grown specifically for consumption so there should be no worries about their safety. I personally grow pots of flowers that look to be for show but all of them are edible. They are great to throw into salads or for a whimsical touch to desserts such as this panna cotta. Never eat flowers, even of edible varieties, unless sure they have not been sprayed or treated in other ways making them potentially unsafe to eat. I’ve added small mint leaves and herbs to the decoration for this dessert as well.
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 cup Half and Half
- ½ cup granulated Sugar
- 1 packet Gelatin
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Rose Extract
- Edible flowers, mint leaves, flavorful herbs (lemon thyme and lavender are great)
- Combine the gelatin and 3 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan combine the cream, half and half, sugar and vanilla extract. Over medium-low heat, stir the mixture until the sugar is fully dissolved (a few minutes).
- Add the gelatin mixture (which may be solid) and whisk to fully incorporate. If the gelatin is solid, continue to whisk briskly over medium low heat until is dissolved into the cream mixture. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in the rose extract. Pour into serving vessels and place on a baking sheet to keep the containers stable if needed. Refrigerate until solid, 2-3 hours.
- Decorate with edible flowers and serve.
More flower-themed recipes for Mother’s Day (these recipes will need more help from Dad or another adult for kids to make them!):