I know it’s not real autumn just yet and there is hopefully a long Indian summer to come, but I like to organise my life into clear seasons, 3 months each. And I have grown to like autumn recently, so I am quite looking forward to the cosy chilly evenings in a blanket, even more tea, lots of hugs and cuddles, and, most importantly, all the amazing veg coming into season.
Speaking of the cuddles, I am just about to throw something personal into the wild space of internet, but I try to be honest each time before a recipe, and this just seems to be the true reason behind it, so there I go. I warn you in case you want to skip straight to the recipe - this is quite cheesy.
At uni I have met someone very very important. It was a boy. For a very long time I felt extremely suspicious: he was definitely hiding something. He was too good to be true. He was too nice, too much of a gentleman, too handsome... And I was waiting, and waiting, and patiently waiting... And he was very good at hiding whatever he was hiding. And then after a long long time I had to stop waiting and realise, that he is just genuinely really lovely.
He owns a big bag of never-ending-patience, regardless whether I am having a good or a bad day, he will not give up, he will be loving even if I am at my worst behaviour and I am having a typical girly mood of not knowing what I want and blaming it on him. He will laugh at the situation when I almost crash his boat because of not looking at what is in front of me. He will make me laugh when I am in tears in the airport of Istanbul because I have just slept through m flight, as he will call me a '24 carat plonker' (that he loves very much). He will not get angry at me when I crinkle his expensive suit for the 34th time by squishing it into the wardrobe, he will just tell me (again) what to do next time, smile, say 'we'll get there eventually' and give me a big hug. He will bring me flowers, bake my favourite scones, get excited about my cooking, and make me feel safe, special and beautiful.
I still think he is too good to be true. Because of how lovely it is, I feel like it would be wrong to wait for special occasions to treat him nicely. Thus, I try to make something nice for him every now and again, like this cardamom rice pudding with strawberries:
Ingredients for 4-5 small portions:
2 cups cooked rice
1.5 cup whole milk
2/3 cup brown sugar
5 cardamon seeds
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
Start heating your milk, make sure you don't burn it to the bottom (I have done it too many times). Pour in the sugar and let it heat on slow fire for a few minutes, but don't let it boil. Put in the cardamom seeds, nutmeg and salt and simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat.
Strain the milk and make sure there is enough flavour in it, it should be really sweet but don't worry, it will get evened out by the rice. Mix the milk and the rice and let it cool down a little. You need it to be of a lower temperature, as you don't want the egg yolk to clump up and have some scrambled eggs in your rice pudd. So, once it has cooled down a little, gradually mix in the egg yolk and put it back on heat. Simmer while stirring occasionally until it becomes the right consistency.
Serve with some strawberries, which beautifully match the sweetness and creaminess with their sweet acidity.
Have you got anyone really special in your life you could treat?