December 17, 2008

Rice Pudding

In spite of our spectacular snow storm in November, here in Nova Scotia we've been flirting with the continued presence of Fall trying to hold onto every last minute of warmth. I for one have been hoping that for some reason Winter will choose to play shy and not make an appearance this year. Every year I have this same hope, the same dream. I imagine Winter turning into a lovely Summer. I picutre myself able to wander the city, wearing tanktops and my Birks. And just when I let myself truly think that maybe this Winter will be a good one, it goes and rears it's ugly head. For example, at 7 this morning it was -1 C, and we were dropping to our high of the day at -7 C. Our high was lower than our early morning temperature. Am I the only other person who sees a problem with this? In case I haven't already mentioned this, please allow me to do so again - I hate Winter!

What is a girl to do? I can't hide away in a nice warm bed for about 5 months (and that's not really much of an exaggeration, maybe an extra week or two has been added). Nor can I afford to become a snow bird, at least not until I hit retirement age. I'm trying to make the best of things, I have managed to make myself a lovely Advent wreath, and I've been baking up a storm (more of those to come). But none of that warms my soul. But there is one thing, one dish that can do that. It's creamy, and sweet with lovely hints of vanilla. Why, I'm talking about rice pudding of course! Such a simple treat, yet so satisfying. It's one of those great treats you can enjoy hot or cold, for breakfast or dessert. And best of all, it involves next to no work! Mix it all in a pot, let it simmer, and eat. What more could I ask for?

There are surely a million different rice pudding recipes out there. I honeslty don't know if there is another one like mine, the recipe I orginally used was from Martha Stewart, but I left out large parts, and change several quantities. All it contains is rice, milk, sugar and vanilla. Beyond that, it's all mine. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have, and that it brings a little bit of warmth to your Winter.

Rice Pudding

4 cups milk

1/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup short grain rice

1 vanilla bean

pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pot. Over low heat bring to a simmer and let gently bubble away until most of the liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender. Since I never set the burner to more than low, it took about an hour in total. But if you want to use a slightly higher heat (no more than medium-low) cooking time will be decreased some.

Serve hot or cold and enjoy.

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