Pudding is a funny word. Maybe that’s why I had never tried Rice Pudding. George Carlin had a whole bit in his act about being a fussy eater and how sometimes you don’t like food just because of the way it sounds (on not liking squash: “It sounds like somebody sat on my dinner!”) I think that’s me with pudding. And why have rice in my dessert? I kind of like my rice up front on the side of my plate and not served up as my last course. There’s just a lot of things wrong with the whole concept of Rice Pudding to me. But since today is National Rice Pudding Day, I needed to celebrate. So goes the rules of the Quest.
I searched for recipes online and found one from our friends at Food Network. Lola and I were early adapters to Food Network, way before it became the 24 hour Diners, Drive Ins and Dives channel that it is today. We used to spend some lazy Saturday afternoons binging on all our favorites (Ina Garten, Giada, Rachel Ray, Alton Brown). Then, when we’d be all fired up and would go to the store to make something new and exciting for dinner together. Fun little memories. We will still tune in when we start to rev up for the big holidays Thanksgiving/Christmas) and it always helps put us into the holiday spirit. That’s why I like looking there for recipes. The recipe I found was from Dave Lieberman, who I don’t really know, but his recipe looked easy and more importantly, contained only items I already had in the house.
Rice Pudding is essentially rice that soaks up sweetened milk and then sets so you get a really creamy concoction with a pudding consistency. Thanks to my new schedule, I was up and at them today and had my rice cooked and my milk, sugar and cinnamon combination simmering on the stovetop by 11:00 am. That’s when the phone rang. It was one of the owners of my old company (it’s weird to say old). He called to check in with me and offer his best. He was actually the guy that I officially interviewed with when I started all those years ago. It was a nice call to get and good to know he was thinking of me. However, he just happened to call at the crux of the recipe – right before the rice was done and had to be pulled from the heat and then added to the simmering milk which was in danger of scorching if not attended. Would this call sabotage my Quest recipe (can I combine that to questipe)? Would the call take me out of my celebration moment?
In the end, all came out well. I was able to multi-task (good resume skill right there) and finish the pudding while taking the call. I hung up feeling glad I was able to talk to him and then finished up the Rice Pudding. I poured it into a bowl, wrapped it up and then put it aside to cool before I placed it in the fridge to set. All done with my quest for the day, and it was 11:30. Now what?
Lola left the house early today for an appointment in Providence, so I spent my morning alone doing what any freshly unemployed person would do – coffee, a few games of 2003 NHL Hockey for XBOX, checked my Facebook page, cooked some breakfast, a little more XBOX. When she got home around 12:30, I was sitting outside on our deck soaking up the sun. She came home with some Del’s which always makes the day a little better, especially hot ones. We chatted for a bit and then decided that the best plan for today would be one of action. So we went to the movies.
Naturally, we got there early so we could play some Skee Ball and Air Hockey before the show at the arcade in the Mall. We both won a game of Air Hockey each and although I won more tickets in Skee Ball, Lola actually played better than I did, so I’ll give her that victory. When it was time for the show, we got the Melederer special: popcorn, Milk Duds and a Diet Coke to share, then we watched Bad Moms which was pretty funny (got some good laughs out of Lola). Afterwards, we picked up sandwiches and some beer on our way home and then sat outside together in the waning sun and enjoyed.
When the bugs came out, we went inside and it was time to serve up our Rice Pudding. It turns out that Lola’s Mom was a fan of Rice Pudding as was my father and they were the first two people we each thought of when we heard the words Rice Pudding. It made us think of a world out there where they were having a laugh together enjoying a nice bowl of Rice Pudding. That’d be a fun party for sure.
The pudding had set up nicely, so I scooped it out into two bowls and topped it with some Cool Whip which we had in the Fridge (don’t judge). I topped it with a sprinkle of cinnamon and then crumbled a few Nilla Wafers on top for some pizzazz. It was good. I actually really like the consistency of the whole mixture and how the sweetness came through. It’s a combination of great flavors. I’d definitely make it again and serve it up for friends. I guess I’ve learned that maybe I won’t be such a pudding snob from now on. Rice Pudding – celebrated!
Tomorrow: National S’mores Day and Duran Duran Appreciation Day. I’ll be hungry like the wolf.