Disclosure: this is a sponsored post. All thoughts and feelings are purely my own.
It’s no secret that I love food. In great part because food is connected to all of the happy memories in my life. But recently, I’ve come to the realization that in my family, food is used in another way: as an apology.
I have certain “go to” dishes for comfort. And then I have certain exclusive only-my-dad-can-make-that-for-me dishes. This is the case with rice pudding.
My only problem is, the man makes it in batches that can feed a platoon. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good problem to have. But most days there’s more than I can take in without putting myself in a sugar coma.
Things haven’t been great with dad lately. Ever since Mom died, the balance of the family has been off kilter and his refusal to grieve takes things to another level.
But then there’s rice pudding. I recall it being made for me in the middle of the night during hurricane Charlie when dad’s anxiety over the weather wouldn’t let him sleep. I sat on the couch watching the news and eventually fell asleep. I was woken up around 3:00 a.m. with a small tasting plate of rice pudding. It was made for me while I was pregnant, at my request. And at times, it spontaneously made its way into my refrigerator when he felt I needed it even though I had kept my heartaches to myself.
Batches of rice pudding are made when we argue or when he’s done something that he knows has upset me. Rice pudding is the food equivalent to his “I’m sorry”. He doesn’t utter those words but in his making of foods that are near and dear to me, foods that will inevitably always tie me to him long after he’s gone, he creates a ritual like none other. Instead, the words are formed inside whatever he is making. The secret ingredient that is mean to be a salve for my heart.
With my love of the dish and my love of International Delight, I decided to create a more Delightful version. It is my hope that you create beautiful memories of your own with this dish. And that you don’t let your dish speak your words but that you let the flavor color your memories in a delightful way.
- 2 cups International Delight Creamer of Choice (I used Vanilla Caramel Crème)
- 1 1/2 cups of evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of cinnamon
- In a large pot, combine the evaporated milk, creamer and rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook on med/low for 15 minutes then once the rice has softened up, stir in the sugar, vanilla extract, pinch of salt and pinch of cinnamon.
- Set to low and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid it sticking.
- Some people like their rice pudding hot while others prefer it cold. Chill it if needed.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.