Festive Rice Pudding for a Fairy Tale Feast

Sunday morning and I haven’t made a rice pudding yet. I have been mulling over the ingredients, starting with searching out various recipes around the world. Yes, rice pudding is global!

We often dismiss this dessert as a humble dish, but certain ingredients will make a pudding incredibly more-ish.

My mother’s version was simply to simmer it on the hob in full fat milk, then add sugar if needed, at the table. Nanna would bake hers, including knobs of butter – everyone seems to agree that the skin is best!

Today I will make a Festive Rice Pudding for a Fairy Tale Feast with

 unsweetened almond milk – 6 cups to 1 cup of rice

chopped dates, dried figs would be nice too – no need for sugar

vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest

butter

A dash of Chambord black raspberry liqueur

It will be baked for two hours low heat.

I am anticipating a festive aroma!

The most decadent version was served to me in the Highlands of Scotland. A Lady Claire MacDonald recipe laden with cream and butter!

Persian interpretations are perhaps the most famous – one recipe has milk, one does not. Rose water and cardamon are added, then the dish is adorned with rose petals, almonds and more. See Shir Berenj and Sholeh Zard https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/331999803767086537/

I found another recipe on instagram from Chile with the naughty addition of condensed milk (okay once a year!) Rick Stein has share the Mexican version on his latest jaunt. And please let’s not forget honey, which is made for this sweet dessert.

My culinary reading for the festive season is Nigel Slater’s The Christmas Chronicles.

Other books on the coffee table include:

Marco Polo – from Venice to Xanadau

Norse Mythology

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Plus a couple in the fantasy and magic realism genres arriving in the post soon.

I intend to watch international films throughout winter – the real, the magical.

Links:

Rick Stein’s recipe from Mexico:

https://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/mexican-rice-pudding-with-honeycomb

Nigel Slater:

https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008260194/the-christmas-chronicles/

fairy tale feast

Autumn Projects

Mine are piling up. I have the need to make, travel, capture images. I yearn to visit cities and their galleries, to go to the coast. But heat and humidity have me in their grasp and I must wait for cooler days.

I am completing a small cowl made from Dales hand dyed and spun mohair from well-looked after goats. The yarn is curly and I have to proceed with great care so as not to add extra loops on the needles. It’s dyed in soft oranges, browns and blues, occasionally bursting in to jewel hues. I’ve not worked with this type of mohair before, it’s corse and wiry. I am not sure how comfortable it will be to wear but it will be nice and warm.

Looked-after goats and sheep is a vital aspect of making with yarn for me now. I try where I can to care about the wool I use. We have a good number of healthy yarn providers in the UK, many work from stock raised here or sustainable Fair Trade areas around the world. The history of wool and the industrial revolution of Yorkshire makes me feel that we should be considerate of the past, although I appreciate that the true cost of healthy yarn isn’t always possible every time or for everyone, but we can work towards this. I certainly don’t want people to stop making.

Along with knitting, there is sewing to do. I may tackle recovering the sofa.  I have done this over the years, having been taught by experienced people working in upholstery. You have to be both generous and brave when going for something big. Don’t be miserly with fabric! I am looking for a soft green velvet-look like this:

sofa

Aside from knitting, this weekend’s for meditation and yoga for cronkies! The autumn calendar locally is looking good, but everything seems to be happening all on one evening – tai chi, zen meditation, singing. Programming…

Looking forward to September and the goodies I hope it will bring. Time for the heatwave to go away.

Fernweh

 

Fernweh (n.)

An ache for distant places.

A craving to travel.

There is no direct translation for this German word “fernweh”. It basically means the opposite of homesickness, a feeing that you have to leave your familiar surroundings and discover new places; the need for distance or the wish to experience something far away from home. The urge to escape from your everyday life by travelling.

Mexico. Japan. Mongolia. Whitby