Saturday, March 10, 2012

Breakfast #57: Purple Rice Pudding

This is a special year.  It’s the year little C will be going to school.  We’ve already attended a trial class, where she (thankfully!), after a few nervous but firm “mama sit down chair”, she dove right in.  Between the toys, the kids, the snacks, and the lovely teachers who never tired of her endless desire to “wash hands!”, she seemed quite pleased.  So far, so good.  I only hope this continues through actual classes where I am not conveniently “sit down chair” in a corner.

This is also the year I introduce her to sweets.  I can already hear the divided outcries of mamas everywhere.  One camp says, “You’ve never given her anything with sugar in her whole two years?? Your poor little daughter!”.  The other camp decries, “Why would you want to give you child sugar at all??

I don’t know much about motherhood, but I do know this: you can’t please everyone.  And the sooner you accept it, the sooner you can start having fun! ;)

So, yes, sweets…this is the year.  And by sweets I mean cakes and pie and pancakes and French toast.  Cookies and jam and honey and, oh yes, chocolate.  These are things I enjoy, and things I want her to enjoy too.  I held back until now so she could get a good baseline of natural flavors.  Now it’s time to add another layer to that. 

I’ll admit, another reason why I am slowly initiating her into the world of sweets has a lot to do with school.  I know she will soon be exposed to all manners of sweet things there in a way that she never was at home, and I want to make sure she tries homemade cookies and good chocolate first.

The last reason is purely selfish.  I want to be the first one to see her face when she tastes the bliss that is chocolate.  Is that so much to ask?

You can just imagine my excitement as I hold a perfect square of 66% chocolate, meticulously brought to room temperature, before her.  I take a bite first, as I always do before feeding her anything for the first time.  “Mmmmm!” I say offering her a bite, “Do you want some chocolate?”  She looks at me and, for the first time upon being offered a new food, says, “No!”  This is the same girl who has readily tried everything from asparagus, to lamb, to salmon, to truffle oil pasta.  “It’s yummy I promise!”  But she is having none of it.  “No!  Egg!  Rice!

And so, as I ponder the incongruity of my own flesh and blood refusing chocolate, I stick to things more familiar.

Purple Rice Pudding
  • 1/4 cup purple rice
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
  • Optional: a couple of spoonfuls raisins

- Place milk and rice in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Once simmering, add the sugar and raisins if you’re using them, and stir.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, until the rice is tender and has absorbed a lot of the milk.  Once the milk starts getting absorbed and the mixture thickens you will need to stir more frequently to ensure that the rice pudding does not stick.
- Taste and add more sugar if you’d like it to be sweeter (I didn’t need any).  Give it a final stir making sure any additional sugar dissolves. Serve warm.

I made this with the purple rice I procured from one of my friendly purveyors.  It is harvested only once a year from the Cordilleras, a mountainous region in the North.  The rice’s color, plus the dark muscovado I use (from here), make this look almost chocolate-y.  I've marked the raisin as optional – I used it here but I would be just as happy with this plain.  This is a very simple, bare bones sort of rice pudding recipe, no eggs or fancy stirring techniques, and thus works very well for breakfast.  Its simplicity however does not take away from its creamy, milky, comforting embrace.  Perfect for busy moms and little ones who won’t try chocolate (for bizarre reasons known only to themselves).

Thinking more rationally about it, I suspect she is refusing the chocolate because of its color.  I, personally, have nothing against brown, but if you've spent your whole (2-year old) life eating colorful fruits and vegetables, I suppose an unidentified brown square can look a tad dubious.  Especially if the most common brown thing in your young life is…something mama is not going to mention in her food blog.

In any case, the joy and excitement is in the journey, lest we forget, and there will be other days to try chocolate.  Until then, we’ll enjoy a bowl of rice pudding!


Ling said...

This was so lovely to read :) How time has flown, she's going to "school" already!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful breakfast pudding! i love this variety of rice.



Stepford Mum said...

Hooray for Little C's exciting year! You couldn't have picked a better school for her.

And yay for sweets!

Thanks for posting the rice pudding recipe - I've been craving for that, or semolina pudding, for a while now!

Mom-Friday said...

I am also guessing the brown color did not appeal to hear :) But sooner or later, she will get to taste chocolate and will love it like we do!
Chocolate + rice pudding = Champorado! maybe she can try this first :)

QT said...

Looks sooo good!

Betty Ann said...

What a cute story, Joey! It will be a wonderful year for you, I bet. Love this purple rice pudding! Too bad I couldn't bring some back here. Next time, I have to make this over there in Manila. Thanks for sharing!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ling! Time flies by so fast! Too important to cherish each moment :)

Hi Rosa! I really like it too :)

Hi Iyor! I am really excited for her to start :) The teachers were so nice! I love rice pudding...and I have a semolina porridge recipe in the archives too :)

Hi Mom-Friday! Champorado is definitely on the list! :)

Hi QT! Thanks!

Hi Betty Ann! Looking forward to this year and all the adventure it will surely bring :) Yes, you must try this next time!

Tangled Noodle said...

Fantastic as always! As I read about the purple rice from the Cordilleras, I couldn't help but feel kind of sorry for those who don't have access to the marvelous variety of rice we have here in the Philippines (or Asia as a whole). In addition to purple, I've picked up red rice, too. Hooray for rice (especially in sweet dishes)!! 8-D

Anonymous said...

This looks very yummy and healthy. Since I don't have access to purple rice, what other types of rice may I use for this recipe?

Midge said...

Wait! Your daughter doesn't like chocolate at the moment?! Oh, my. Give her a bit more time, though; I daresay she'll come around. :D

Shalum said...

This actually a more sophisticated champorado already! You taught her well :) How did she find the pudding?:)

sanju said...

I will never say no to anything you offer me!

sanju said...

I will never say no to anything you offer me!

Catherine said...

I'm with you with the no-sugar beforehand. I'm not a mother but I somehow feel strongly about that idea.


ChichaJo said...

Hi Tracey! I love exploring our local varieties of rice…we are truly blessed in that way and it’s good that we appreciate it :)

Hi Anon! You can try this with white to make a regular rice pudding, or even with brown rice :)

Hi Midge! I think it’s really because she is put off by the color…I am sure she will come around :)

Hi Shalum! She like stuff like this and oatmeal…I love champorado!

Hi Sanju! Haha! Now I know where to send our leftovers! Heehee ;)

Hi Catherine! I now right? Time enough for that later…there is no earthly reason really to rush into it! It’s not like they even know what it tastes like, heehee ;)

Katrina said...

I'm sure you know I'd be in the camp that's aghast at a two-year-old never having sugar! ;-) A friend of mine didn't let her son taste sugar until he turned one, and then he got a bite or two of carrot cupcake. You can imagine my reaction: "You wait a year to give him sugar, and you give him a *carrot* cupcake?! HAHAHA! My family prides ourselves in our love for sweets, so there's no way we could do that.

Don't get me wrong, though. I totally support what you did. In fact, I'm also uncomfortable with giving kids sweets too often. Most people are born with a natural preference for sweet food, so I like the idea of getting her into the other flavors first. My new niece's pediatrician recommended she be given sugar water in her bottle to help her gain weight (she was premature), and I don't like the idea that she's already ingesting refined sugar this early; not to mention, it may permanently set her taste preference for sweets.

I'm curious, though: since you do bake desserts once in a while, how did you keep her from wanting to eat them?

Katrina said...

And NO, I was not going to ignore the fact that you used PURPLE rice! :-D I just wanted to separate the two topics. ;-) I first saw purple rice in a small store in Angeles, Pampanga. We bought some to try, and it was good -- very aromatic! We just cooked and ate it like regular rice, though; didn't think of making pudding. Speaking of which, I LOVE rice pudding and rarely see it served in local restaurants, which is why the few times I do (like in Cyma), I have to order it. Thanks for the recipe, then. I didn't realize it was so easy to make, almost like cooking pasta. Maybe I'll try this soon. :-)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Katrina! It was actually quite easy and happened fairly naturally :) C hardly has any sweets so we don't have them lying around the house often. When I bake, or have desserts, I just don't offer her any and, so far, it's never been a problem. Sweets will definitely be a part of her life (as it is a part of mine) but I just wanted her to have a good foundation of different flavors before having any. One of the things I enjoy most about having a child is the pure, uninitiated palate they have that I can form (or try to influence at least)! It is magical seeing someone experience different food for the first time!

Rice pudding is so easy to make! And you can make small portions, like oatmeal almost :) We also eat this purple rice it!