Monday, 27 April 2009

If it is raining: Butterscotch Rice Pudding

Throwing open my bedroom window to catch
the fleeting sun, peeking through wisteria
Within minutes, the sky was covered
again -- with black clouds

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
(T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land)

A day of storms -- outwardly and inward.

This morning, the gardener and I huddled under the porch as the rain pelted down. The daisies will live another day, because the lawn mower couldn't eat its way through the long, sodden grass. It's spring to the eyes, but not to the chilled skin.

After a week of sunny days and tempers, my teenage daughter had a miserable bout of Texas homesickness -- and a storm of weeping which could not be appeased. I made homemade chicken soup for my emotional invalid, and sent her early to bed.

Sigmund feels tired and blue, too. But there is butterscotch rice pudding bubbling away in the oven, and we will eat a comforting bowlful with some early raspberries.

Like many good things, this recipe comes from my mother -- who clipped it out of the newspaper and mailed it to me. It can also be found in Judy Walker's book, Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans.

File it under comfort food:

Butterscotch Rice Pudding

12 oz water
pinch of salt
5 1/2 oz short-grain or pudding rice
24 oz milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 oz unsalted butter
8 oz heavy or double cream
5 1/2 oz firmly packed dark brown sugar

Grease a 2 quart ovenproof (Corningware or similar) dish.

In a saucepan with a lid, bring the water to a boil, and then add the rice and pinch of salt. Reduce to the heat to low, then cover and cook for 20 minutes (or until all of the water is absorbed). Keep an eye on it, because it may not need the entire 20 minutes. After the rice has cooked, stir in the milk and heat for approximately 5-10 minutes -- just until the milk steams. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 350F/175 C.

In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat -- and then add the cream and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour this cream mixture into the prepared rice. Stir well and spoon into the prepared dish.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the pudding is thick and has a golden crust. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. It is best hot -- but also delicious when cold, if you like that sort of dense gloopiness.

a delicious clump of tulips
one of the nicest things about April

(and because rice pudding isn't very photogenic)


Beth said...

No matter how often you tell yourself, "April showers bring May flowers..." one gets so tired of the rain.
Your recipe looks delicious. I love home-made applesauce as a comfort food. Comfort foods all seem to have some sweetness to them!

CashmereLibrarian said...

Hello Bee and welcome back!

Gorgeous wisterias and the Bluebonnet post was a visual feast.

Hope your daughter rallies...ah the trauma of the teen years. I'm happy that I'm almost done but we are not out of those emotional woods just yet!

I'm at work but I want to run right home and whip up some of that pudding!

La Belette Rouge said...

Any day that involves home made pudding can not be all bad. Hope sunshine soon finds you and your girl.

willow said...

I do like that sort of dense gloopiness! Hope the blooms and the pudding works their healing magic.

willow said...

Um...that would be "work". ;^)

JaneyV said...

Oh I could do with a bowl of that pudding now. I'm feeling jaded after a wonderful trip home. The party went on past dawn. I left just before 6am - they were still dancing. Lots of fun was had but not much sleep. I fear that I may have towed this awful weather back with me. *shiver*

I was so tired last night I couldn't sleep. The problem with being over-tired whether it's because of overindulgence or jet lag is that it feels like your "self" has been misplaced. I'm not surprised your daughter is missing Texas. It'll take a little while for her self to catch up.

Your wisteria is beautiful. ;0)

Anne said...

Oh, poor dear! I hope your daughter's spirits lift soon. Butterscotch rice pudding sounds like it will cheer up even the gloomiest of days, and I thank you (and your mother) for this recipe. I'm sure it will become a favorite in my comfort food arsenal! Butterscotch and rice pudding... what's not to love?

The tulips are beautiful! That pale pink is just wonderful.

herhimnbryn said...


Will file as you suggest and then when the nights become colder and we have to light the fire.......

Delwyn said...

Hi Bee
wisteria and rice pudding- two most wonderful things - nostalgic and comforting
Happy Days

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

Just the name of this pudding screams comfort! And if it comes from New Orleans you know it will be good. I will give it a go as soon as I lose some weight from all my Easter over-indulging!

Rinkly Rimes said...

May I versify your recipe. It sounds divine and I haven't had a poetic recipe on my blog for ages.

See below for the address of my first one so you get an idea

♥ Braja said...

OMG I love you. I LOVE YOU. :))
and TULIPS??
woot :)

julochka said...

what a very lovely nigella-like description. i'll be making that when i get back home at the end of the week! tho' i'm sorry everyone's out of sorts at your house. ours was like that last week, but this week is shaping up quite nicely. i hope the butterscotchy goodness made it all better...


Reya Mellicker said...

The pudding sounds delicious!

As for storms inwards and outwards, I know the feeling. I always say "The weather predicts me."

Hoping the skies clear soon - both outside and inside.

In the meantime, hope you enjoy the pudding!

The Clever Pup said...

Hi Bee, Thanks for favouriting me. I like your blog very much. I'll spend a few days going through your pages too!

Hazel in Toronto

Lisa said...

I love the idea of relating weather to a certain food.

The recipe looks delicious and I'm a fool for the flavor of butterscotch.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Bee, you had me with wisteria in the window.

But lilacs and homemade chicken soup and butterscotch rice pudding AND RASPBERRIES?

Ah....sensory overload.


This may just be the antidote to my miserable rain.

Meri Arnett-Kremian said...

Don't you just love the words "breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire?"

And don't you love it that you have the opportunity to teach your almost-grown child about self-nurturing and honoring your sad feelings and helping her to understand the emotional truth that leaving the known for the unknown is hard, hard work? Sometimes in the midst of the angst, it's hard for mommies to see the gift in it. . . but it's there.

Butler and Bagman said...

Just the thought of butterscotch rice pudding makes my mouth water. Great to see your blog again.

Bee said...

Beth - I like applesauce, too. We made pots of it during the fall. As for comfort food, I find it is definitely mostly carbs or sweets. Isn't there a serotonin connection?

Cashmere Librarian - Yes, the teen years do make for "heavy weather." I have about seven years to go, I reckon.

La Belette Rouge - I do find that baking is solace for a rainy day.

Willow - Yesterday, during the fatal snacking hour (5 pm), I enjoyed a big spoonful of "dense gloopiness." thought of you, my friend

JaneyV - Past dawn? What a party. I wish that I could deliver some rice pudding to you. It sounds like you need that PLUS a day in bed.

Anne - Having just read your recent delicious posts, it definitely sounds like we are on the same page. (About those tulips: I took that picture the night we got back from TX. It was a lovely golden, warm evening in the garden.)

Herhimnbryn - I did promise to post it! You will LOVE this recipe on a cold, damp night. Does it feel autumnal yet?

Delwyn - Yes! I don't remember eating rice pudding as a child, and yet it is still a nostalgia food.

A Thousand Clapping Hands - You really did feast at Easter. I ate way too many chips with queso when I was in TX. When I first got back, I ate salads for three days. But I'm Over that now . . .

Rinkly Rimes - Oh yes; please versify away. I'm coming to visit now . . .

Bee said...

Braja - You are just full of bliss these days!

Julochka - I don't know if it was the pudding -- I'd like to think that maybe it was -- but everyone woke up feeling much better the next day! (And thanks for the Nigella comparison. I'll take that any day.)

Reya - I like that: the weather always predicts me. It must be true, because the sun is shining and I feel really exuberant today.

Hazel - Thanks for visiting. I've always been lucky with Canadian friends.

Lisa - Well, I am a person who definitely thinks of food as prescriptive thing. (And sometimes that means a dipped cone from DQ. I want to go back to TX just to get one of those.)

FF - A person who lives on the Northwestern rain belt should not be without this recipe. I aim for sensory overload at all times . . .:)

Meri - I DO particularly love those words. The Waste Land is a good example of a poem that I don't entirely "understand" and yet love anyway. Those lines seem to encompass so much. (And thanks for the emotional advice/feedback, too.)

Butler and Bagman - Thanks on both counts!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Oh, your poor sweet lovely. But at least the sun has come up again and we have a beautiful springy-summery day once more. I think fresh air and sun works wonders in the mood department.

TLC in the form of chicken soup, a wonderful sounding butterscotch rice pudding and an early night sound perfect too.


Sarah Laurence said...

Stunning view and gorgeous photo. My in laws have wisteria on their home near yours too. I wish it grew in Maine. The Waste Land is a favorite of mine. I’ll take your tulips over rice pudding. I hope your daughter feels better and you too. I can feel the sadness in this post. I feel that way after leaving my hometown of NYC.

Stacy Nyikos said...

This sounds so yummy and like just the right cure for all of the rain we're having here. After the creek episode on the weekend, we are now being inundated with wave after wave of rain. Please tell your daughter Texas isn't much better right now than England. All this Oklahoma rain is coming straight up from Texas!

Nimble said...

Oh boy is it ever raining here in Kansas. We are boggy and the streams are overflowing and there's plenty of rain yet to come in the forecast. So thanks for the recipe! While in need of treat-food to counteract all the gloomy weather I found a recipe for caramel gelato. But rice pudding sounds easier and I'm going to try this one first.

Bee said...

JAPRA - Haven't we had a bit of everything this week? I made some really good oatmeal cookies this afternoon. That lifted my mood, too.

Sarah - Your NYC posts are full of the buzz of the city -- and so interesting to read. I'm looking forward to seeing what Maine spring looks like, though.

Stacy - At least the rain here tends to be a gentler variety!

Nimble - I figure you can even eat this for breakfast. But there's definitely room for that yummy sounding gelato, too.

Littlemummy said...

Butterscotch rice pudding sounds amazing, I love the clotted cream rice pudding - originally from Marks but Tesco are doing them too now.