Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rice pudding and halfway points.

I'm something of a rice pudding fanatic. Ever since I read a historical fiction book about american pioneers as a wee tot (can't remember the name for the life of me) my favorite breakfast treat has been rice pudding. They talked about rice pudding being the best breakfast food so often I'm 99% sure I was delightfully brainwahsed into it as well.

I've been trying to perfect the recipe througout the years, and only tonight do I think I've gotten somewhat close to the perfect one!

1 cup white sugar
1 cup rice (any kind, though white works best, and sticky rice is even better.)
2 pinches salt
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I usually get vanilla beans and scrape out the insides the old fashioned way because I'm convinced it tastes better, but extract works great when you're not neurotic like me!)
4 cups milk

Stir together milk, sugar, and rice over medium low heat. When it's all evenly mixed, set to low. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt. Turn rice up to medium and stir in egg mix. Turn up to medium high and stir constantly for the next five minutes or until milk is sufficiently evaporated.

You're aiming for the consistency of very thick smoothie, maybe a little thicker. As a good judge, you should be able to see the individual grains of rice very slightly. Refridgerate overnight and sprinkle cinnamon and raisins to taste before serving. It's great to eat hot, too. I used golden raisins, but any type of dried fruit works awesomely. This is also a great way to get rid of leftover rice you know you'll end up throwing away later!

Here's the finished product! Forgive my crap skills at taking yummy-looking food shots.

I wish I could make a metaphor about rice pudding being like the halfway points in new WIPS, but I can't think of one.

I think I enjoy the point when a WIP starts to take on a life of its own. There's a point where you start writing, and you build the blocks, and at some point the story stands on its own two legs, jumps up from the playpen, and runs around screaming; "HI I'VE ARRIVED". You get this weird sense of pride, and love, and a million other positive feelings that are almost like getting drunk and falling in love all at the same time. It's this big swirl of everything good about life; rain, tea, happy tears, the smell of fresh sheets and sun on the water.

Those moments make the tough pains seem a little less horrifying. Of course you'll suffer while writing. Of course you'll get frustrated and feel like quitting when you compare your work to someone else's, but those tiny moments of true accomplishment fill up the flask of the muse bit by bit.

Soul food!

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