or should I just call it Brown Rice Pudding?
When I was a little one, I remember lulling myself to sleep by listing off in my brain all of the things that I might like to find in heaven should I find myself there. I started off with important things like:
I’d like to find my little sister Lauren in heaven, but I don’t want to have to share my toys with her if I don’t want to.
I’d like to find my best friend Natalie in heaven because I love to play with her hair.
I’d like to find Grandmother, Granddaddy and Aunt DeeDee in heaven because they make the best hamburgers every Friday night .
And then this list would surely devolve into something that resembles my Christmas wish list:
I want an Easy Bake Oven in heaven…
I want a Barbie Dream House in heaven.
I want mechanical pencils in heaven… I had a serious thing for mechanical pencils. Still do.
Nowadays I’m barely awake enough to get my socks off before I’m zonked out on my pillow. I’d like to put this down on record now, if you’ll indulge me.
I want Rice Pudding in heaven. Rice pudding with raisins. Rice pudding with dried cherries. White rice. Brown rice. Any kind of rice cooked with milk and sugar. Please.
A few mechanical pencils might be nice too.
It’s hearty. It’s warm. It’s creamy and sweet. It’s filling and it might just be the most comforting bowl of goodness I’ve ever encountered.
Note: When served cold, the brown rice has a bit of a bite to it. I like it cold as much as I do warm, but be warned that cold brown rice pudding will be just a tad more work for your jaw.
Brown Rice Rice Pudding
serves 4 to 6
4 cups water
1 cup brown rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter
4 cups whole milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 vanilla bean, split open (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of ground cardamom
1/2 cup dried sour cherries (or any dried fruit you fancy)
Rinse brown rice in a strainer under cold water for 30 seconds. Set aside.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in brown rice and salt. Turn flame down to medium and simmer rice, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, drain rice and water. Let rice sit in strainer for 10 seconds and then return to the pot you cooked it in (not over a flame) and immediately put a tight fitting lid on the pot. Let rice rest and steam for 10 minutes.
Once rice is cooked, place it in a bowl and set aside. Add 4 cups of milk, sugar, honey, cinnamon stick, pinch of cardamom and vanilla bean to the pan. Bring to a very low boil, stirring often so the milk doesn’t burn. Add the cooked rice, butter and cherries to the hot milk. Stir often. Don’t ignore the milk or it might boil to furiously and curdle. Simmer until the milk cooks down and the rice is creamy, about 30 minutes. Place in a large bowl or serving dishes to cool. Serve cold or at room temperature.