On a recently cold day (there have been so many) a friend asked what I cooking for dinner.
"Rice soup'" I said and she was less than thrilled. Rice soup is really one of my favorite things, but I too, shared that initial reaction the first time I encounter it. My godmother cooked it one day when I was young. She made some rice and when it was done, she added some half-and-half, butter, salt and pepper. I was still not convinced. Then I tasted it. It was truly a revelation. Simple, creamy, rich, salty with a pepper kick. I was hooked.
Now it is a favorite planned-over. I always make more rice than I need. It's funny to me that we eat all sorts of grains for breakfast, but unlike most of the world, we rarely eat rice for breakfast. (Do not tell me you eat Rice Cripies... it's just not the same.)
Rice SoupThis is a lovely dish to serve for breakfast, lunch with a salad, or as a side for dinner. Try making it in individual cocottes.
2 cups cooked rice
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup half-and-half
salt and pepper
Place the cooked rice in a small saucepan. Add the butter and half-and-half. Heat thoroughly, but do not bring to a boil! Add lots of salt and pepper.
For a more fancy presentation: Ladle the rice soup into a bowl. Add an egg. Set under the broiler until the egg is just set. Shave some Parmesan over the top.
Let me just say here that, while I am not the best photographer, the picture does reflect the color of my eggs. I take little credit. I do feed my chickens well and they comb the countryside foraging for nice buggy protein. (And they occasionally forage into the kitchen!) The yolks are really that bright orange!
Yesterday we featured our:
Cookbook Of The Day Challenge:
1. Go to your shelf and pull out your favorite cookbook.
2. Check the purchase price.
3. Donate that amount to Feeding America.
We took the challenge with A Platter of Figs which was our Cookbook Of The Day.
I learned to make the above rice soup from my godmother. She was the most beautiful woman I ever saw with copper red hair that featured a stark, white streak emanating from her left temple. She and my godfather were a dashing couple. My godparents are both dead, but I think of them often.
They lived next door to my mother in Alabama during a period when they were all destitute. My godfather was driving a truck and arrived home late one night, tired and hungry. There was nothing in the house to eat. NOTHING. My godmother went to her sister and she had nothing. She went to my mother's and my mother had one can of English peas. My godmother cried because he didn't eat English peas, but she took them home because that was all they had.
When I knew my godfather, he was an immaculate dresser, with a gold watch, a money clip full of hundred dollar bills and new Cadillac. But I never saw him that he didn't tell me the story of the English peas, they were he said, "The best peas he ever ate."
I cannot imagine empty cupboards. But everyday people go hungry in America. Don't forget them.