Thursday, April 29, 2010

Leftover Rice Pudding

On Tuesday it rained and rained. I stared into the fridge and the only thing I saw was a huge pot of white rice, leftover from a weekend dinner party. Longing to feel productive, I pulled the pot from the fridge to the stove and got to work, adding milk, an egg yolk, butter, a whisper of whiskey, and lots and lots of cinnamon. In minutes I had hot rice pudding.

Now here's the thing: I don't really like rice pudding. Rice, yes. Risotto, yes. Puddings and custards, oh yes. But rice pudding? It has never been my favorite. I made it simply because I wanted to feel accomplished: a glug of milk, a few shakes and stirs, and something warm and delicious was smelling up the house. I washed the dishes, stared at enough rice pudding to feed eight people, and felt very satisfied.

But then I had to try it. A bite to make sure it was laced with just enough cinnamon. And then another bite after I'd added a bit of salt to bump up all the other flavors. And before I knew what was happening, I had a steaming bowl of rice pudding topped with walnut pieces and segments of tangerine and was eating it for dinner. For dinner! I did it again last night.

Do I like rice pudding? I'm not really sure. But I am loving the decadence of eating it, bowl after bowl. Now, for the rest of my life, I will see rice pudding, pale and gloppy on deli shelves and think of it fondly: 'Oh yes, rice pudding,' my mind will say. 'It sustained me through one very tough week of book revising.'

And the memory will be warm, and comforting, and sweet.

The photo and the ratios for making rice pudding from leftover rice were found here. Not wanting to measure how much rice I had, I simply added several cups of milk along with a beaten egg yolk, whiskey, and cinnamon, and cooked it on medium heat for about 25 minutes. I tasted for flavor, added a bit more milk, and then finished it off with a couple tablespoons of butter, some salt, and even more cinnamon. I think it is supposed to be served cold, but I eat it warm, oatmeal style, with dried fruit and nuts. My roommate tops it with honey. It is perfect for a rainy April day.

1 comment:

Anne Keane said...

looks delish - and your writing makes me think I can taste it! inspired!