It’s a jolly good laugh when the opposites of deprivation and bounty take you to the same dish.
When we were feeding, clothing and educating our sons on a shoestring budget, peasant food was the menu du jour. I liked calling it peasant food: it gave it a romantic, bohemian flair. Peasant has a nicer ring than poor. I bought potatoes in fifty pound bags, sacks of beans, sacks of rice, sacks of wheat, sacks of oats. One son recalls us eating a lot of rice pudding.
Lately I’ve had the dilemma of abundance. A local farmer delivers milk weekly and we’ve had too many gallons of milk spoil for lack of consumption. Reluctant to reduce our order (and support of our farmer friend), we felt rotten throwing away good food. Yogurt and cheese were options; I wasn’t consistent in making them and the demand for them was low.
I tried to think of foods that use milk. “Remember when I used to make rice pudding?” I combed through my cookbooks for a recipe which required the most milk. One took a quart of milk; I doubled it. It uses so much milk because you cook the rice in the milk instead of water. My high-metabolism husband loved it. He’s always looking for sweets to eat.
I doubled that recipe, tinkered with how to prepare it and now I make a gallon of rice pudding every week. One man, my husband, eats a gallon of rice pudding every week! It’s become a game.
Me: You’re gonna get sick of rice pudding.
Him: I will outlast you. You will get tired of making rice pudding before I get tired of eating it.
Me: I’ll keep making it!
Him: I’ll keep eating it!
1 gallon whole milk
4 cups rice
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Mix ingredients and simmer on low heat until thick, 2-3 hours.
Stir when you can.
In another bowl beat 6 large eggs together.
Add the hot mixture gradually to eggs to warm them up.
Add egg mixture to pudding and cook 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add a few glops of vanilla (2T?).
Serve warm or cool in refrigerator.
Optional: sprinkle with cinnamon