My family’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner is Swedish “milk rice.” Mother always started it early in the morning, stirring away at a pot that seemed to hold nothing but milk.
As the day progressed, we’d start checking the pot more and more anxiously, wondering if the meager grains of rice at the bottom would swell up in time for Christmas Eve dinner. Most of the time they did…but a few years, they waited until Christmas Day breakfast.
Of course, there was the constant danger of scorching the milk and ruining everything. (Which happened when an unnamed teenager was in charge of stirring it one year…)
When Mother discovered a recipe which involved parboiling the rice to speed up the process, we were skeptical. Part of our Christmas Eve tradition was the all-day uncertainty about the milk rice!
Then we actually tried this recipe for Finnish Rice Porridge.
It took less than two hours, start-to-finish, and tasted (to quote Mother directly) “better than the original!”
Which means that if a distracted Choleric teenager multi-tasks when she’s supposed to be stirring, you’ll actually have time to throw out the scorched batch and make an entirely new one before anyone starves.
(Not that I know this from experience or anything…!)
Finnish Rice Porridge
- 1 ½ c. white rice
- pot of boiling water
- 1 ½ c. water
- [1 Tbs. butter]
- 8 c. milk
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- [2 Tbs. butter]
- 1 ½ tsp. grated lemon peel
- 2 tsp. vanilla
NOTES FROM CHERI:
- I never use the butter and it turns out just fine. (I don’t mind using butter when I can enjoy its taste and texture, but when it gets this completely hidden, I don’t see the point!)
- When cooking the rice for 10 minutes, I put the lid on the pot — off-kilter so some steam can escape — and the water doesn’t boil off so quickly.
- When bringing the milk mixture to a boil, I use a gravy stirrer non-stop to make sure nothing starts sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. (Once milk scorches, there’s no saving any of it!)
- Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, I turn it as far down as possible, put the lid on — again, off kilter — and set the timer for 5 minutes to remind myself to come back and stir. Sometimes, it takes a full hour before it’s nice and thick.
- 1 c. water
- 2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
- ¾ c. sugar
- 1 ½ Tbs. lemon juice
- 1 package (10 oz.) frozen sweet raspberries
- 1 ½ Tbs. cornstarch mixed with 1 ½ Tbs. water
NOTES FROM CHERI:
- I like to use fresh raspberries when possible…two small baskets work great.
- Mix the cornstarch into warm water and pull pot off the stove for a little while before adding the cornstarch, or the cornstarch will clot.
- If you’ve got a favorite recipe posted, tell us a bit about it and leave the link!
- What is your favorite Christmas memory or tradition?
- Anything else on your heart!