I’m putting a spell on winter.
With way too much dry, windy, and unseasonably warm weather here in Colorado, I’m taking matters into my own hands and working some food magic. We need buckets of snow to keep the fire danger at bay and to call in the kind of forced stillness that winter brings. Let there be long days of flurries and the silence of deep snow and the lovely scent of things long-cooked in the kitchen.
The coziest of winter mornings belong to rice pudding. Not the current or raisin–cream form of British yore, but my own secret recipe made with coconut milk and tons of vanilla, cooked until it’s the consistency of creamy polenta.
My intention is to conjure a wallop of a winter storm, so I pour two cups of cooked brown jasmine rice (any kind will do) into a heavy gauge sauce pan and add three cups of coconut milk and about a tablespoon of vanilla. Just a pinch of salt and bring to a boil, then simmer covered until the mixture is creamy—about two hours. The trick to my little spell is to add the sugar last so the rice and milk won’t burn and stick to the pan. When you’ve got the consistency you want, adding more coconut milk as needed (at least a cup), sweeten away. This morning, I added a third of a cup of turbinato sugar to my pudding.
You can eat rice pudding warm for breakfast or chilled for dessert. Top with raspberries, blackberries or toasted almond slivers.
Now, let it snow!