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Mom's Rice Pudding in Tokyo

Mom's rice pudding a holiday breakfast feast!
Even as a child, I loved rice. My mother served it in a handful of ways and to every one's astonishment I gobbled it up as quickly as I could. The taste, the texture, the look all seemed perfect to me. But then, I'm not really a fussy eater. Most internal organs are not on my favorites list, but I'll find something scrumptious about almost anything else.

One year my mother served what she called rice pudding at Christmas. A big casserole dish with raisins, rice, cinnamon, sugar, and milk sat steaming on the table. I thought I'd gone to heaven. My brothers took their polite bites and turned up their noses, which pleased me to no end. More for me! She's served it ever since knowing full well that at least one of her brood will scrape the bowl clean.

Since moving to Tokyo, though, Christmas is mildly challenging. I have no oven in which to make the cookies I adore, and hours of phone calls don't quite make up for the delightful holiday bustle of our Michigan extended family. And, of course, there is no snow.

There is, however, rice.

Just after opening our presents on Christmas morning and just before starting the long round of phone calls home, I popped the ingredients for my version of Mom's recipe in the rice cooker. Tasted like home.

Mom's Christmas Rice Pudding ala Tokyo
1 cup, rice (white or brown or a mix)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, broken up some
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups milk (soy milk might also work quite nicely here)

Soak and rinse the rice. Pop it into the rice cooker, and check to make sure the milk matches the little line for water on the inside. (I added a tiny bit more to make up for the additional materials. If making on the stove, use the same amount of milk as you would water.) Chuck in the rest of the ingredients. Cook for the usual amount of time. Serve with milk or straight-up. Yum.


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