Wednesday, October 21, 2009

field notes

When making rice pudding, use any combination of old Chinese take-out steamed rice gone stale and crunchy, burnt rice from the bottom of the pan (1 cup white rice in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 1/2 cup water, bring to a boil, cover, simmer on the lowest possible flame for 17 minutes, thank you Craig Claiborne), a glollop of brown rice, or the huge quantity of barley that was left over after forgetting how much it expands and cooking far too much for the beef stew or tomato soup (a chopped onion and head of minced garlic sauteed in butter until golden brown, add three or four diced carrots, cook until bored, puree in blender, add to a stock made of ham hocks or something else and a half gallon of tomato puree, cooked down with generous amounts of dried basil and left over wine then frozen several weeks ago, allow all to simmer together for an hour or so with the barley, serve with gobs of cheddar cheese) and the left over barley or brown rice or white rice is scattered over a glass baking dish with three or four times as much milk, some butter and raisins and cinnamon or not, coconut milk or soymilk or not, bake at 325 for 2 hours stirring every fifteen minutes, but when making rice pudding, remember that acid -- artistic touches of cranberry or lemon -- will make the milk curdle instead of caramelize, and it will still taste passably comforting and, in the case of cranberries, be pink, but curdled rice pudding probably shouldn't be served to guests.

waiting for the arrival of a host of material through interlibrary loan. wait. wait. wait.

not even November, and it is all about wool and flannel