I wanted a doughnut. In fact I still want a doughnut, because rice pudding is not a doughnut. But I think I will be able to wait a little longer now.
I’m bummed. I don’t want to be bummed. I don’t like being bummed. But I’m bummed. I’m up against an uncomfortable situation and I just have to sit down every day and find a way to swallow it. Typically, I use the Mary Poppins method. Y’know “Just a spoonful of sugar…” only I usually take it in cupcakes, candy, granola bars, ice cream, 85,000 calorie coffee drinks, etc. Since this fight I’m in has already lasted longer than I thought it would, and has revealed that it is going to be of indeterminate length. Or perhaps because I have gained some bit of wisdom, I have come to dislike my body feeling bad when I feed it the wrong stuff, even more than I dislike being bummed. So in spite of my ongoing junior varsity despair (in my best moments I am still well aware of all the blessings I still have), I am making an effort not to pound that with which my body does not play nicely.
I’m proud of myself. I have wanted a doughnut since Wednesday. First, I rationalized that I didn’t just want a Dunkin Donut. In fact I wanted the warm, homemade jelly (or cream) filled delights one can get at ICOB and a couple of other local joints that have twigged to the doughnut phenomena. Then I was able to talk myself out of that because I wasn’t in the mood to pay ICOB prices for a donut, and no matter how big your eyes are, I struggle to finish a whole order of those and will feel sick afterwards. But this morning, with my lingering grumps, I didn’t want to eat and I thought I might cave. The supernasty-but-good-half-inch-crust-of-sugar-coating-on-a-lunchroom-tray-under-a-plastic-cover doughnuts of my local convenience store were a mere 300 feet out my door. But I thought what would a dancer do. I looked in my fridge, begged myself to eat something reasonable (I boiled an egg) and I had an inspiration.
Could I make rice pudding out of my left over basmati and my remaining plain greek yogurt? What to sweeten it with? Honey? Too honey-y. Sugar? I’m trying to avoid too much of that. And I don’t have any raisins. Oh! But I have this last little nugget of brown sugar. I have some roasted, salted pepitas. I have vanilla and cream and lemon juice. Oh and you gotta have cinnamon. And the following was born.
-Microwave or steam your rice (3/4 to 1C) in a miniscule amount of water in a covered pan. You want it soft more than you want it hot.
-Cool the rice. Covered until room temperature. Then put it in the fridge for a bit.
-In a skillet or saucepan over low heat melt 3 Tbl brown sugar, a “pat” of butter, 1 tsp heavy cream. When this is liquid stir in the pepitas (I had about 2 Tbl).
-Line a small pan or plate with foil and then cover the foil with plastic wrap, spread the sugar-pepita mixture thinly on the plastic wrap. Bung it in the freezer.
-When the rice is cool, mix in the yogurt (1 to 1-1/4 C) and 1 tsp vanilla, a few squirts of fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp honey, and a few dashes of cinnamon. Place in ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (an hour or two)
-To serve: break up pepita brittle in each serving and enjoy.
Creamy, thick, tangy, rice pudding with some sweetness, salt and crunch from the pepitas. Hits most of the mouth feel and taste notes. Maybe I can put the doughnut off for one more day :)!