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