Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday night treat

After work tonight, I was doing my normal check-in on all of my favorite blogs when I realized that I was in the mood for something creamy and sweet, but not cold, like ice cream. I let the thought brew in the back of my brain for a while while I simultaneously rotted it out with bad game-show TV. By 7:30, I had had enough and wanted something warm to nurture my insides while I started a new book ("Lisey's Story" by Stephen King).

To hell with lactose intolerance - I'll gladly suffer for a steaming bowl of rice pudding.

My Rice Pudding

3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup rice (I used brown rice tonight & won't do it again)**
1/2 a vanilla bean
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
Dried currants

Pour the milk into a pot and turn on the heat, very gentle. Drop in the cinnamon sticks; split and scrape the vanilla bean and put the seeds in the pot (add the bean too). Add 1/4 cup sugar and the rice; stir and cover the pot.

It's going to take about 1-1/2 to 2 hours for the rice to absorb the milk. Have patience! Stir periodically to make sure the milk doesn't burn. Remember, good things come to those who wait.

Before the pudding gets too thick, fish out the vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks.

When the pudding is thick and the consistency that appeals to you, drop in a tablespoon of butter (use the real thing please) and stir until melted throughout. Add a handful of dried currants (or raisins, if you prefer).

If it's not sweet enough for you, add additional sugar.

Serve warm. It even reheats well in the microwave.

**Note: it's better if you use short-grain rice. I haven't made this in years and kinda forgot about that little fact. I had crunchy rice pudding, even after 2 hours of simmering.

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