No one was more happy to smell the scent of cinnamon wafting up from a steaming sauce pan than my oldest brother. Peering over my mom’s shoulder he would stop for a moment to watch the rice dance about in the bubbling milk.
For us it was milk rice and it was dinner.
I liked it but my brother LOVED it. So the other day when I decided to make milk rice for my boys I couldn’t help but think of him.
The leftovers were brought to his house but by the time he returned home from his job that carries him all over the country, all that remained of the dish was the vivid description given to him by his wife.
He called the next day for the recipe.
It’s the time of year where I try and sneak pumpkin into many dishes and this rice pudding is no different. The addition of this brilliant seasonal vegetable also helps to justify my habit of eating pudding as a meal. That and the fact that I’ve used brown rice here – oh and isn’t cinnamon really good for you as well? I mean really, it’s practically health food.
I like mine served slightly warm with a cool dollop of whipped cream and a very fine dusting of cinnamon on top.
The brown rice creates a welcoming nutty texture and flavor. The milk morphs into a custard-like sauce as much of it evaporates into the gentle steam that carries with it the inviting scent of spice. And before you know it the bowl is empty but feel free to have seconds as it is health food after all.
For my brother, Chris
Pumpkin Rice Pudding (or in my family – Milk Rice)
1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 c water
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt – vanilla salt is wonderful here
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
Add the milk, brown sugar, salt and spices to the rice. Bring back to a boil then turn the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Cook on low for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit 15 for minutes. Serve warm with lightly whipped cream.
Can also be served cold for breakfast.*
*Hey, if my family had it for dinner then I say feel free to eat it for breakfast. Go ahead. You have my permission.