Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie and Whole Other Canvases

It must have begun my first year of college. I no longer had to add my name to the long list of students who had used and abused the old textbook before me, scrawling their name in its front cover and admitting ownership and responsibility for that year. Nope, as a freshman I dropped a stomach-sickening amount of money on thick Chemistry, Nutrition, and English Composition books to be able to claim them as my own as well as face the dilemma of getting rid of them (especially after realizing I didn't even want to study sugar's molecular structure; I just wanted to paint).

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But along the way I realized that I could highlight and doodle and underline and still get a decent buy-back price from the bookstore. I started wanting to do that in all my books. I even began to hunt through used bookstores for pages with rich texture created by text arrangement and paper surface and they became a whole other canvas.

As an artist, I love the idea of a personal mark, and it's so nice to happen across this in a book someone else has held before me...a little anecdote in the side margin, an exclamation point stuck onto the end of a statement or recipe title.

So maybe one day when I am sorting through my pile of cookbooks or when I am heading overseas and reducing my earthly belongings to a suitcase or two, I'll have to hand off Dorie's cookbook and someone will pick it up and appreciate the yeses and the question marks and the adjusted cooking times and the reminders of fun variations and not just see it all as messy. That's what I like to think, anyway.

This week's recipe is certainly worthy of some black ink because, according to the comments on the TWD site, a lot of us had problems with ratios of rice to milk and achieving a pudding-like consistency. After reading through other people's experiences, I estimated most of my amounts and came up with a very satisfactory result.

You can find the recipe posted on the blog of this week's host for Tuesdays with Dorie, Isabelle, at Les Gourmandises d'Isa (and I would kill to know how to pronounce that with a convincing French accent). She notes her adjustments, but here are mine as well...

Instead of white arborio rice I used brown sweet rice and cooked it to al dente. I halved the amount of milk (it was actually watered down half-and-half; I rarely have milk on hand) and brought it to a boil with only a tablespoon of sugar. Then I added half a cup of rice and stirred it very attentively for about forty minutes. At this point I could push my spatula across the bottom of the pan and see some of the metal before it all sank back together, so I called it good. I distributed the pudding between two cups and stirred a teaspoon of vanilla extract into one (half a teaspoon probably would have been fine) and generously sprinkled cinnamon into the other.

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There are no pictures of my finished product of properly thickened pudding because the sun has set, and with it my camera has said goodnight, but I can testify that they both turned out great (not that they're both gone; goodness no, this is one rich little dish). I think the cinnamon flavor is my favorite, though I could easily be won over by chocolate.

This recipe is basically the same idea as my mom's Norwegian rice porridge that we share for Christmas Day breakfast. And I may be a little biased, but nothing will ever ever compare.

13 comments:

pinkstripes said...

The sweet brown rice sounds interesting.

Lael said...

pinkstripes: It worked out quite well; you should try it! I'm sure arborio rice would have produced a very nice result, but this also got points in the nutritional department.

A World in a PAN said...

I have enjoyed navigating in your blog. I cannot help but relating what you say about buying used books to recycling (which I talked about in my last post), and whatever the reason behind, it;s good for the trees! I love your recipes and the enjoyment you perspire when writing them.

Rachael said...

yes, patience is required to stir it so long on the stove...it does sound very familiar. our norwegian christmas breakfast is nearly around the corner. so glad you had the idea of having it when everyone is here at thanksgiving. six more days till i see you!!!!!

Michelle Stiles said...

Wow, this sounds great lael. I often make variations of rice puddings when I run a lot or are very active. I find it is a great way to get some extra carbs in my system. Now I am motivated to make it for a special occasion, I am thinking of making this recipe for Christmas morning for John and I to enjoy!

Yael said...

Thanks for your comment. Your name is very interesting too! Origin? I'm new to blogging and I enjoyed reading yours. I remember that feeling of buying new books in college. My was that a long time ago! Yet seems like yesterday!

Y said...

What a lovely post. Nothing ever compares to a mother's cooking :)

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I love writing notes in my cookbooks, and it's why I love buying used cookbooks too. Your photos are wonderful!

Debbie said...

Thanks for the welcome to TWD. I looked you up when I saw your comment and I have to say your blog is wonderful. You are a talented writer and your pictures are beautiful.

The cranberry bread is usually wonderful although this time the center was raw. Oh wells.

Teanna said...

Great post! I totally remember signing your name into the back of the book in high school and thinking it was great to not have to do that in college! But then again, I was an acting major, so I didn't really have a lot of textbooks. Just scripts! haha! Great rice pudding!

chefectomy said...

Totally love the photo of the fork and rice - very cool.

--Marc

Arfi Binsted said...

We usually use newspaper or magazines as the base of the vegetable beds before we apply manure. We don't waste things around here hehehe...

Yael said...

Hi Lael! My name is pronounced Ya-ayl. It means gazelle in Hebrew. I speak Hebrew although I was born and brought up in the U.S. I really enjoy reading your blog!
Happy Holidays!