My mother asks this question only once a year
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Somehow you can just feel it in the ring of the phone
“Ahem. Soooooooo .. you know you have a birthday coming up?”
“Oh YES, there’s that.”
“Well, of course, all good things must be celebrated. What do you think we should have for dinner?”
Whatever your craving, big or small, naughty or nice, that’s how it shall be.
I love her extra for that, among other things.
For me, it’s about dessert (of course) Carrot cake is the pinnacle, a close second, rice pudding. She’s passed along the pudding recipe several times over the years, but the end result remains elusive. One of those things that I just can’t replicate. It’s something in her technique.
No matter, it’s just as well. Rice pudding is one of those foods it’s best not to have around as temptation. It’s pretty much cream, sugar, white jasmine rice, with a few raisins thrown in for good measure. Fantastic for a once/year treat, not so much for every day.
When my copy of Clean Food came in the mail, I eyed the recipe for brown rice pudding and kept coming back to it. Rice milk? Tofu? Baked in the oven? Eaten for breakfast? Not just as a snack?
It was easy enough to put together; I’m getting the hang of working with tofu. The house sure smelled good, creamy, casserole-y
A bite first thing out of the oven and my mental filter was wanting/hoping for my Mom’s
“Nope, no good. That’s not it. Not the taste I was going to for, shoot. Add this one to the list of tried, but not good enough to write about.”
Slightly bummed, I carried on, leaving the warm, yummy smelling pudding on the counter
A few hours later it struck me
Please, you’re never going to replicate a bowl of heavy cream/jasmine rice/sugary goodness. No way, it’s just not going to happen.
that’s an ok thing
Why don’t you leave utopia where it is, and enjoy the heck out of it once or twice a year
There have to be alternatives for every day.
I walked back to the kitchen and looked at the pudding. This time in a different light. It wasn’t some badly done wanna be. Instead, it had potential.
The taste really WAS nice, grown-up even The nutrient stats surprisingly good
I made a small bowl and ate slowly. This time enjoying it on its own, without other mental comparisons
Lessons always seem to be learned or remembered at the most unexpected times
Different doesn’t always mean bad
Some things in life aren’t meant to be replicated
~ Adapted from The Clean Food Cookbook
Brown Rice Pudding
- 2 ½ cup brown rice, cooked
- 12 oz silken tofu, extra firm
- 1 cup rice milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown rice syrup
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp corn starch, dissolved in 2 Tbsp rice milk
- ½ cup raisins
- optional toppings nuts, fruit, cinnamon, coconut sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350° F
- In a food processor, combine cooked rice with tofu and almond milk. Slowly add maple and brown rice syrups, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Process to combine.
- Add dissolved cornstarch, and raisins. Pulse to combine.
- Prepare a 9 x 13" pan and pour in mix.
- Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the top and bake for 45-50 min, or until the top is bubbling and browned. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Serve warm with nuts, cinnamon, coconut sugar, fruit, and a bit of almond milk on top.