While in the Arena…Rice Pudding

Here’s a true story from my life. I once spent almost a year trying to perfect a recipe for the perfect rice pudding. Then one day, just as everyone that I knew was getting sick of eating it, I did; creamy, not dry, the right amount of cinnamon, plump moist raisins and a warm vanilla finish. I made it by the gallon and served it at the restaurant, soon after, I sold the restaurant and somehow misplaced the recipe.

It’s been a rough week, busy doing things that I have to do and no time to do the things that I love and want to do. However, recently I have discovered Brene Brown who has nothing to do with the food world, but her work on vulnerability has inspired me to keep cooking and to continue to write, even if no one reads what I’ve written. I still love to create my blog, and rather then waiting until I have the technology figured out, or I have a fabulous new camera or have created the perfect logo, rather then wait until I have perfected the art of blogging, I’m going to keep working at it. Brene Brown often quotes a section of a speech entitled “Citizenship in a Republic” that Theodore Roosevelt gave in Paris in 1910.  The passage  is about the man in the arena who steps in and who gets bloodied, knocked down and criticized and who may win or may not, but what’s important is that he stepped into the arena and in dong so was “daring greatly.” (my apologies to Theodore Roosevelt for the crude paraphrasing)

So it may just be a little blog, but I’m learning as I go, and with each post, I believe that I am that “man in the arena,” and no matter what happens, with each post, I too am “daring greatly.”

This week, I’m on the rice road again because I love rice pudding, it makes me happy.  I think that I’ve come up with a good facsimile of that long lost rice pudding recipe. I’m an old soul, consequently I crave old-fashioned food. I grew up eating rice pudding, but there was never a recipe.

This one is based on a recipe in Edna Staebler’s Food That Really Schmecks but I had to play with it a bit, hers was too sweet. Mine is creamy and soul soothing. I’ve topped it with homemade pear butter, which I’ll post the recipe for later this week.

Rice Pudding, for everyone “in the arena.”

3/4 cup uncooked short grain rice

3 1/2 cups whole milk

2 eggs separated

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins

a generous pinch of cinnamon

Rinse out a medium size saucepan and then add the rice, salt, and the milk. Cook, stirring often over low heat for approx. 20 minutes. Then, stir in raisins, and continue to cook another 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is soft and the pudding has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the egg yolks and the sugar, mix until pale, then gradually while stirring, slowly add the rice pudding. Return it all to the saucepan and cook while stirring constantly over low heat for another two minutes. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and the cinnamon.

I like my rice pudding warm, but it’s as delicious chilled. Also, it makes a super delicious breakfast dessert

Save the egg whites for another use.

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