My dad tells this story of my mom's first attempt to duplicate his own mother's rice pudding recipe. Oh fer sure, it was a long held Scandinavian secret that must be meticulously passed down to the next generations. Well, my mother, as eager as ever to play the role of housewife (not really), dutifully tried to duplicate the recipe...except...for...one small...change. She used minute rice. Let's say, my dad was less than pleased. So the story goes.

I'm sure there were details missed, like my dad's desire to not be wasteful. What if my mom had said, "Honey I need to go to the store for some rice." And my dad responded, "I'm sure we have some, just use what we have." So she did. It isn't always a good idea to place historical blame when one never really knows the nuances of all the facts. I'm sure the Swedes would agree.

So I'm going to give my mother the benefit of the doubt. She might have even been trying to improve on the recipe. Which is exactly what I have done.

My Grandma Gin told me there were actually two rice pudding recipes. One baked and one cooked on the stove top. In the picture at the left, which I believe is my birthday, you will see my grandmother's mother on the right, Hulda. The others are my mom, dad and great grandfather Julius. My other great grandmother Rachel (pronounced Rahkel) apparently baked her recipe over night. Hulda did it on the stove. Or was it the other way around. Funny that oral history thing. 

My grandmother wasn't certain of the technique either, which of course caused others in my family to make it differently. My Aunt Diane makes hers a bit runnier. There were probably earth shattering feuds about the proper thickness! Clearly that was too Norwegian!

I've now made it several times and can duplicate it exactly as my grandmother made. It isn't hard 1 cup of rice (I prefer medium grain, but any will do.), 6 cups whole milk cooked on medium low (double boiler preferred) adding 1 cup of sugar, 1 tempered egg and 1 tsp salt right at the end. Cook a bit longer. (Mix in raisins optional.) Pour in a bowl. Cover with cinnamon sugar. Chill. Serve with milk. That's it. My dad loves it. Unless of course you run out of regular rice and only have Jasmine rice. Oops, perhaps I am my mother's son.

Jasmine Rice Pudding

Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Jasmine Rice
  • 3 1/2 Cups Milk (2% or whole)
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Cinnamon Sugar

Instructions
  1. Cook rice and milk in double boiler for about 2 hours over medium low heat.
  2. Mix sugar, salt and egg together. Temper with a bit of the rice mixture.
  3. Add sugar egg mixture to rice.
  4. Cook a minute or so longer.
  5. Pour into serving container and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Enjoy!


 
 
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I love good leftover challenge. I peek into the refrigerator and swing open the pantry doors. I hear Ted Allen from Chopped announce my arrival and think what leftover basket items would I use tonight. Would it be gooey duck and squid ink or beef tongue and spam? I pick refrigerator bowl number 3, refrigerator bag number 4 and glass container number 1. I accept the challenge.

As I place the containers on the smooth kitchen counter, I'm imagining right about now that Alex Guarnaschelli is thinking I'm the culinary at-home-dad superman. She sees me with my knives and cape and can't wait to taste what I bring her on my over sized triangular art plate with bamboo asymmetrical edging and American Western Nouveau Asian fusion styling.

I fire up the stove, combine containers number 3 and 4 in carefully measured equal amounts and simmer gently. I lose total track of time and Ted says I have almost no time left. I quickly plate up my culinary delight and sprinkle it with what was in bag number 4. I season the dish as Mr. Allen calls time and throw my hands up into the air. I'm so proud of myself. I look at the others. They've got nothing. I wipe off my knives and think Alex is gonna love me tonight.
Picture
Here's my winning recipe from the leftover basket:

Ingredients

  • Cooked White Rice
  • Beef Tomato Chili Soup or Chili
  • A Few Ounces Of Shredded Cheese
  • Dried Parsley
  • Black Pepper

Preparation
  1. Heat equal amounts of the first two ingredients in a sauce pan over medium low until bubbling.
  2. Plate.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese, parsley and pepper.

Hints


Serving
Usually 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of soup together make a serving.

Nutrition
Approximately 325 calories.


© Russell W Peterson | DayParentDad.com | 9.17.14
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One of the most important things I have learned as an at home dad is that children are hungry. Always. You need to be prepared. No, seriously I mean prepared. Like you are preparing for war or you get melt down city and cranky tantrums that threaten to expose your parenting deficiencies post haste. You do not want those stern looks from the mothers at the swim practice because you weren't prepared. Failing all of "man"kind once again!

Nor do you want to drive into another fast food joint and unload your wallet on food that will only last about 20 minutes until the next emotional outburst. I have come to believe that these hungry, emotional responses from kids are what has driven the explosion in fast food, prepackaged sugar snacks and "nutrition bars". None of which is really good for our kids. 

What I do is overcook and carry. Make more food than your family can eat in one meal and carry extra with you whenever possible.  (Get a good portable cooler...sort of a food security blanket.)


The first step is to have extra basic ingredients. One of my favorite quick foods is fried rice, but the important part is that you need cold precooked rice. So, always make extra rice and store it covered in the refrigerator. And I am not talking about keeping extra Chinese take out rice in those nasty card board boxes. You only end up with rock hard, flavorless construction material if you do that. Put that rice in a different sealed container.

Once the kids are hungry, you can have a pretty nutritious meal within a few minutes. Here's my basic recipe.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups cooked and refrigerated rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp soy sauce
2-3 drops fish sauce

Optional Ingredients
1/8 cup precooked diced chicken
1/8 cup precooked vegetables (scallions, carrots, broccoli, celery, onion, peppers are all good options)
1/4 cup finely diced lettuce

Preparation
  1. Heat a cast iron or non stick pan until it is very hot. You could use a wok too.
  2. Add the oil and let it heat a bit.
  3. Add the rice and start to heat. 
  4. Add optional precooked chicken or vegetables finely diced.
  5. While the rice is heating combine the egg, soy sauce and fish sauce and whisk quickly.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the rice and stir quickly until set.
  7. Add optional lettuce and wilt.
  8. Serve.

Picture
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Nutrition
2 Servings
Approximately 250 calories per 3/4 cup.
Reduce calorie count if vegetables are added.

Tips
The trophy wife hates the lettuce added at the end. I learned that trick from an old Chinese home style cook book. I love the flavor and the texture. So I only add it to mine!
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