January 21st, 2011

Rice Pudding

I have been thinking about gender lately, mainly because I’ve run into a number of books and movies that make some unfortunate generalizations. Then last night’s meeting of the ever-excellent Women’s Writing Salon touched on smallness in the context of domestic and quotidian detail, and are those things either trivialized or thought of as “women’s” in the public consciousness? And if so, do we care?

I left early for my three-bus trip home, but I believe we were arriving at “meh” (anyone who stayed later should correct me if I’m wrong): You have to write about what you care enough to write about, and it’s the skill and sensitivity of the writer that makes the text “big” or “small.”

Anyway, that’s about as far as I can get with the issue, and this blog is pink and I haven’t worn pants in public in 3 years, so if you were going to judge me for being too “feminine,” you probably already have (and stopped reading the blog??) So here’s a really good recipe for rice pudding:

Into a big, deep greased casserole dish, put
4 cups skim milk
3 tablespoons brown rice
1/3 cup brown sugar (or less)
1/2 teaspoon salt
nutmeg if you’re into nutmeg

Stir, then put into a 300 F oven. Stir every 20 minutes for the first hour, then every hour or so until you’ve either reached a total of 3.5 hours, or it looks about the consistency you’d like to eat. Then do so.

This is a great writer’s recipe, because it’s barely any work but it forces you to stay home and write for an entire afternoon, instead of say, getting bored and wandering off to the movies. Of course, there might be some people who leave the house with the oven on if they know they’ll be back before it’s done, but I always worry I’ll get hit by a bus and then not only will I be in the hospital but my building will burn down.

Anyway, you stay home, you stir occasionally, you get lots of work done, and then you are rewarded with the best rice pudding in the world. The only probably is that it boils down to only about 2 cups, so though the recipe says serves 4-6 (I’ve adapted this from Fannie Farmer’s Cookbook), only if most of those 6 don’t really like rice pudding. You get either four small lunch-sized portions, or two generous ones. Not that most people think that a romantic dinner-a-deux should be capped off with rice pudding–but I do. Actually, I’ve never suceeded in sharing my rice pudding with anyone; I always eat it all before anyone worthy shows up!

5 Responses to “Rice Pudding”

  • AMT says:

    i really like rice pudding. and staying home in the afternoon. so, we have a plan here.

  • Rebecca says:

    We have so much in common! If you make it, let me know if you like it as much as I do!

  • Alice Zorn says:

    That’s a good debate–whether domestic detail belongs to women alone. I only like men who know how to cook and wash the floors. Doesn’t that belong to life?
    I read your blog, though it’s pink which I was brought up to believe (by my mother who likes “earth colours”, ie mud) that it’s ugly and soppy.
    I’m interested in your rice pudding. Will so few Tb rice soak up so much milk? Okay, I’ll try. I don’t like rice pudding but my fellow does, and he’ll be delighted.
    I’m actually a hermit and don’t need more incentive to stay at home. But since I’m here anyhow…

  • Rebecca says:

    I think the fear is not that men don’t care to wash a floor (though shockingly some don’t), they don’t care to write about it…and when they do it, and do it well, they are inordinately praised for it, whereas when a woman writes about housework…well, of course.

    What’s neat as that the rice grain absorb so much milk that they explode, making it really soft and fluffy. But yeah, this is a milkier rice pudding than some. Since the recipe makes such a small amount, it’s good that there’s only 1 in the household that likes it! Kind of you to make something you won’t enjoy!

    I hope it turns out well!

  • Alice Zorn says:

    You’re right of course. Men are always amazing when they write about the most mundane domestic task or change a diaper.

    He adores rice pudding. If I make it, he’ll cook a meal. I’m not so much kind as pragmatic. Rice pudding sounds easy. I might add a Tb more rice.

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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