We met for lunch, as we do every couple of weeks
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She smiled as she sat, the slightest of sighs in her voice “Gotta keep an eye on the time, my next meeting is in an hour. How are you?” Pregnant pause (she knows me well) .. “Truth.”
“Fine, good, generally good. I hate to be a complainer when life is humming along so beautifully. But when am I going to get through a day without feeling like it's a rush from one thing to the next? It's all good stuff mind you, but sometimes I wonder if I'm really doing any of it well.”
“Singing to the choir, my Dear. Singing to the choir.”
We hugged as we parted ways that sunny afternoon. Two kindred spirits, each diligent in their strive to be the best they can be. Often needing a friendly reminder that the woman in the mirror deserves care and feeding as well.
As always, my friend, I love you extra for fresh perspectives.
By the end of the day, I'd scheduled some time away from work, put away the notebook full of endless to-dos, and hung a note on the bathroom mirror. “Tomorrow you're going to do NOTHING .. and it's ok.”
One day turned two, turned into four, and it's been a little piece of heaven
I've slept in, consumed endless mugs of sloppily brewed herbal tea, didn't change out of my pajamas until the sun was quite high in the sky, went for long walks, read cooking magazines in bed, made simple meals from things we already had in the freezer, and spent time with friends
When my mind raced from one thing to the next, I gently reminded myself, “Today you're doing nothing.”
Of course, a little something could always be found on the stovetop ..
This simple brown rice porridge is breakfast comfort food if there ever was one. A cross between two of my favorites, oatmeal and rice pudding. It's gluten-free and made with homemade vanilla almond milk. Strawberry-rhubarb puree Kala brought to April's food swap is a great topping. The toasted pecans are a nice addition of extra texture that compliments the nuttiness of the rice.
I was skeptical of the rice to liquid ratio, although it turned out beautifully. (Chinese rice porridges have similar ratios). If one isn't partial to porridge, tuck yours away in the fridge to thicken. It makes a mean rice pudding to serve as dessert.
This morning as I finished off the batch, I decided my favorite way is with a generous mug of hot tea, NPR, a wonderful husband to share it with, and most important a head full of quiet
~ Adapted from Bon Appetit | June 2014
Brown Rice Porridge With Pecans
- ⅓ cup pecans
- 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup short-grain brown rice
- 2 Tbsp natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup strawberry-rhubarb puree (or jam such as plum, apricot, or peach)
- In a cast-iron skillet, on medium-low, heat the coconut oil.
- Add pecans and toast them until golden brown (~ 5-6 minutes). Let cool, then coarsely chop.
- Combine almond milk, rice, sugar, salt, and 4 cups water in a large saucepan; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is very tender and mixture resembles loose rice pudding or oatmeal, 60-70 minutes.
- Remove the vanilla pod.
- Serve the porridge topped with strawberry rhubarb puree (or jam) and toasted pecans.
Strawberry Rhubarb Puree
- 1 lb rhubarb chopped
- 1 ½ lb strawberries, chopped
- ¼ cup natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
- Add strawberries and rhubarb to a large pot (You'll want plenty of room, as this can bubble up quite a bit)
- Sprinkle coconut sugar over the fruit and stir until fruit is coated
- Cook over medium heat until the mixture just beings to bubble, stirring every now and then to ensure the fruit cooks evenly.
- Turn the heat to low and let the mix simmer for about 30 minutes or until the fruit start to mash easily with slight pressure from the spoon. (Stirring periodically as the fruit simmers)
- Once the fruit is soft, mash it for a chunky texture or use an immersion blender to achieve a smooth puree