Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dang. Now I'm Hungry.

I don't know about you, but leftover milk, or milk that's past useability, really never appears at our house. But it seems that it does in a lot of houses--in the UK there's 290,000 tonnes of milk wasted each year. All part of that wasted 30-50 percent of food in developed countries.

But over at The Guardian, Rachel Kelly has a few (well, 14) ways to deal with leftover milk. I'm more likely to have made too much rice and be looking for a way to use it that doesn't involve making another stir fry. My favourite use is by making rice pudding.

I brought a rice pudding to one of the Friday lunches we attend at the Centre for Community and Cooperative Based Economies (CCCBE) at the University of Victoria. it was my standard, adjust-for-size recipe:

  • a couple or more eggs
  • beaten with vanilla, a pinch of salt, some sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg
  • some cooked, leftover rice
  • a small handful of raisins
  • milk sufficient to cover the rice
  • remixed and baked at 175C or 350F until a lovely light brown shows up on top and the pudding is set.
  • Best served hot with cream over top.

I've eaten this as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as a snack food, simply because it tastes good and qualifies as comfort food for me (and, nutritionally, isn't too bad either).

But when I presented this for lunch, one of the attendees was confused; a visiting scholar from Iran, this was nothing like the rice pudding he was used to. So the next week, he had his wife create one of her rice puddings. Short grain white rice cooked in milk to create a porridge. Sweetened and spiced with cardamon and cinnamon (among others). Served cold.

And wow! What a difference! Light and flavourful, I was transported to a shady courtyard on a hot summer day. My rice pudding is hearty and filling. This is a cool light treat. Similar ingredients, radically different end result.

This is why I love the whole free trade in recipes thing. There's so much to learn that no one can learn it all. And there are so many great flavours to discover.


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