Last week while I was grocery shopping I overheard a cell phone conversation that gave me food for thought! It was very loud, so I really couldn't help eavesdropping! The lady was talking to a man about rice pudding. She was trying to decide what flavor of rice pudding to buy. They actually had an argument, but she finally selected the ‘traditional’ cinnamon and raisin and moved along.
Just out of curiosity, I ambled over to the rice pudding to take a look. The variety was pretty revealing - I had no idea rice pudding had gotten so fancy! The price was what really caught my eye! Unless cell phone lady had a coupon, she paid $2.99 for 4 tiny plastic cups of rice pudding. Yikes! I started to read the ingredients and got really lost - there were 13 of them and half were requiring a chemistry degree.
I like rice pudding - it’s a comfort food - something I remember my Mum and Nanny making often. It is a bit on the rich side, so I don’t eat it often, but it is so simple and economical to make! I guess I couldn't figure out why someone would pay so much, get so little and miss out on the fun of making it at home. It can be made after supper while the kitchen is being tidied. It smells wonderful!
Old Fashioned Rice Pudding
1 ½ cups of cooked rice (not minute rice) - plan extra when making it for dinner!
¾ cup milk + see note
¾ cup cream (whatever you have on hand - even whole milk works just fine)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup raisins
1 tablespoon butter
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon
Throw this all together in the top of a double boiler (if you don’t have one use two pots close in size that will fit in one another without dumping everything). Put 1 ½ inches of boiling water in the bottom of the double boiler and set the top pan so that very little steam is escaping. Low heat for 30-45 minutes - or longer if you are adding more milk like my Mum does! Stir occasionally. Makes 8 or 9 ½ cup servings.
*My mum likes to let it get really thick and than add more milk, and cook it some more - but it’s up to you! It is yummy served warm or excellent cold.
*If you like a more custard style - beat up two eggs and add them at the end cooking for 5 more minutes or until it coats a metal spoon.
*If you want to get crazy with those flavors, throw in 2 Tablespoons of cocoa.
*I have substituted currents, dried cranberries or cherries and they are all quite nice too.
*If you are Swedish you might like to throw in an almond. It is a Christmas tradition that the one who receives the almond will have a special wish granted, and a happy year! Just a bit of fun!
I have a nice pot of rice pudding simmering away on the stove tonight - I know I’ll be taking some over to Mr. Neighbor tomorrow and packing some in my hubby’s lunch for work!