I've spent the last few days being very sick. Like, stayed in my pajamas all day, went through two and a half boxes of tissues, had to slather lotion on my poor little chapped red nose to keep it from falling off kind of sick. It made me realize that I need to see a dentist, because every time I sneezed it made my teeth hurt.
I started off the week with a sore throat (which I managed to ignore by drinking beer, eating Reese's peanut butter cups and going to see a very cheesy movie), and ended it with sinus congestion, chills, and a headache the size of Milwaukee.
An appropriate mural down the street from our house.My husband believes that there are two kinds of people: those who call in sick at the first sign of a sniffle, and those who keep working until they're almost dead. I definitely fall into the latter category.
I had promised weeks earlier to take charge of the dessert and coffee for a ladies meeting at my church on Saturday night, so I arranged to have a friend come over in the afternoon to help me bake. By the time she arrived, I looked like a character out of Zombieland and felt like my head was going to explode, but I managed to suck it up and disinfect myself long enough to make a batch of butterscotch blondies. At that point I should have called it quits, but I insisted on going to the meeting and staying the entire time. My friend sat beside me and looked on in pity as I honked and snuffled, stubbornly refusing to admit defeat. When the meeting was over, I took my streaming eyes and nose and hightailed it out of there as fast as I could. I was halfway home before I realised I'd forgotten my purse.
The moral of the story is - keep your diseased self at home. Stay in your pajamas all day. Sit on the couch and watch six episodes of "Jamie at Home" in a row. Make rice pudding. You'll get the rest and delicious dessert that you need, and your friends won't be exposed to your contagion. Win win.
The thing I love about rice pudding is that it's so versatile - you can really do anything with it. Plus it's like, the easiest thing ever to make. It can be customized in a million different ways. You can make it with almost any kind of rice (even leftover Chinese takeout rice). If you want it creamier, add more milk. I often make mine with coconut milk and a bit of cardamom, which is really tasty! Go the classic route with cinnamon and brown sugar. Add some orange or lemon zest for a citrus-y kick. Branch out with different kinds of nuts and dried fruit. Stir your favorite jam into it. Be a booze hound and add some Baileys or amaretto. The possibilities are endless.
inspired by Jamie Oliver
Jamie served his pudding with homemade strawberry jam. I also attempted a strawberry sauce but failed rather miserably, producing something more akin to strawberry glue (recipe therefore not included). I did, however, add a nice little twist to my pudding with some lavender sugar.
To make lavender sugar, put some granulated sugar and (organic) lavender buds in a jar or other airtight container. I used about a tablespoon and a half of lavender for a cup of sugar. Let it sit for a week or two. If you're in a hurry, you can also grind the lavender and sugar in a food processor, which will have the same effect.
1 cup rice
4-5 cups milk
sugar to taste
Put the milk, rice and sugar in a pot over medium high heat. Bring just to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in your chosen extras. Enjoy.