Winter is very much everywhere, in every fold, in every colour, in Aotearoa. It’s in the smell of olbas oil and presence of tissue boxes, printed with the promise of Springtime blossoms.
Last night I made ‘Rock around the Kitchen’s’ wholesome Pumpkin and Dhal
soup. This delicious zuppa is rated 2011’s number 2 soup (who wants to know what number one is?) and is a recipe Amanda and Kelvin gifted Jeremy and I as part of a wedding present. Has anyone else heard of the Scandanavian tradition of guests gifting a favourite recipe to the bride and groom? We inherited a great collection of flavours including an Ox-tail Casserole from our friends who own and tend the Waihi Waterlily Gardens http://www.waterlily.co.nz/, and a ‘sumptuous and heavenly baked custard with burnt honey syrup’ from our friend Amber Hendry.To accompany the soup which gave my forearm a workout due to so-much-but -worth-it chopping, I whipped up Nana’s Rice Pudding. My husband accuses me of cooking this on a regular basis because it means I get to have the oven (our pseudo heater) in operation for 2 hours in the afternoon. Ooowh (said with gusto and a shiver), my body disagrees with our New Zealand winters. My bones feel drowned in wet, like they’re made of moss.
Haere mai te Ra I need your magic.
If your soul and body need warming by my dear Nana Frances’ Rice Pudding, who passed away this May at aged 92, try this simple and inexpensive (bar the electricity) recipe.
Nana Frances’ Rice Pudding
4 Tbsp Short grain white rice
3-4 Tbsp White sugar (I use 3 due to giving it to Clara our 14 month old)
1 litre Full cream milk (I use the organic one in the carton)
Pre-heat the oven to 150. C.
Tenderly throw all the ingredients into a oven dish. I use a circular one about the same dimensions of the white ceramic one with the vertical ‘corrugation’ my Mum used which was designed for souffles. Give the milk, sugar and rice a wee stir. Place in the oven. Bake for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, or so, depending on how much Maku (milk skin) you want on top. The more the stir the less Maku (FYI: Japanese word, not Maori – my husband lived in Tokyo for 3 years). Kids, grannies, and men love this. Can be a favourite for breakfast too – Nigella would approve.
Be warmed – thanks Nanny.