There are bad days…
And then there are BAD days.
Sometimes bad days leave you punching holes in your walls, buying more shoes (you know you don’t need any more dang shoes) or watching the series finale of Six Feet Under while clutching your favorite hot pink blanket and pretending that you’re not crying your eyes out. I have no idea who would do this…
But for days like this, sometimes all you need is something warm and steamy in a bowl to make your soul smile.
Let me introduce you to the bad day band-aid… rice pudding.
Forget what you know about rice pudding. Push aside all your bad memories of semi-solid rice pudding cups from the grocery store. This rice pudding doesn’t hold a candle to what you are about to whip up and pour into your bowl.
It’s warm, silky rice infused with vanilla beans and lemon zest. You can add golden raisins or dried cranberries or brown sugar… go wild.
So grab a bowl and have a nice sit down with your favorite hot pink blankie. But don’t forget to grab the tissues before you sit down… just in case you shed a tear or two.
The Best Rice Pudding
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook via Joy the Baker
serves 4 to 6 (or 1-2 if you’re having a REALLY bad day)
2 cups water
1cup long grain rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split open
1 cup golden raisins (optional, I skipped but I’ll toss in dried cranberries next time)
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in lemon zest, salt and long grain rice and return to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer the rice, covered, until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Once rice is cooked, place it in a bowl and rise out pan. Add 4 cups of milk, sugar and vanilla bean to the pan. Bring to a low boil, stirring often so the milk doesn’t burn. Add the cooked rice, butter and raisins to the hot milk. Stir often, until the milk cooks down and the rice is creamy, about 20 minutes. Place in a large bowl or serving dishes to cool. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Or just grab the whole pot and park your bum on the couch with a big spoon and eat it warm. I’m not here to judge.