Monday, August 18, 2014
Life has been interesting, if not exciting. Let's see... Some guy cut in front of Connie, causing Connie to slam on his brakes and the airbag sensor to go cattywampus. That was two days in the shop. Then, on our trip to the airport, we took a side trip through Crown Hill cemetery to visit Dad's grave and show my sister-in-law the highest point in the city.
Just as we were leaving, it started to rain.
I was riding in the backseat and had the window down to take photos. The window wouldn't go up. My chivalrous husband put the car in park and ran around and pulled the window up as far as it'd go. (Two more days in the shop...) We then went home and traded cars for the trip to take Barb to the airport. She was here visiting for five days. We got in loads of fun things like a trip to the State Fair with the whole crew. And, dinner with Mom at The Friendly. I had some fabulous fried catfish there...
During Barb's visit, Annie the dog conned her into loads of treats. Wee Mac the cat got in the grove too, showing Auntie Barbara he knows how to high five!
And, Barbs overfed her by more than a bit. So, starting the day Barbs left and lasting for four days, Annie had diarrhea. Lots of diarrhea. My living room carpet looks like someone had a mudball fight in there. Fortunately, once she picked a room, she pretty much stuck with it. Then, she figured out at least one human would actually wake up and take her out in the middle of the night. A human who forgot to turn off the alarm system and woke up the immediate neighborhood with the wailing of the sirens. Ok, then. A trip to see Doc was in order. A VERY undignified examination of the doggie woggie ensued. Meds were prescribed. Excessive passing of gas followed. That's fine except she was laying between my office and Connie's. Both of us were ready for gas masks! Now, Annie is starting to feel a bit better. And, I'm thinking a good carpet cleaning will be happening - soon!
Midst all the fun and excitement, I barely cooked. A barbecue for the kids. Pork chops with peach glaze for Barb. Pork fried rice with the leftover pork chops. Not much exciting. Totally forgot that Secret Recipe Club was sneaking up on me. I'd perused my assigned blog and printed a few recipes. I'd even put harissa on the grocery list thinking I'd make a soup that sounded good. But, I kept going back to the rice pudding with dates and pistachios. One, I've never made rice pudding. Two, we both adore dates and pistachios. Now, I had no business making a dessert after all the goodies we had while Barb was here. But, rice pudding it was. My assigned blog, SimplySensationalFood.com is by Nayna who lives in the UK and is a recipe author for City Connect Cambridge. Her blog is vegetarian and measurements are given in grams etc. I've copied her measurements here since I used the by guess and by gosh method of measuring... And, I left out the saffron that Nayna called for. That is one spice I really can't stand. Guess if I had to choose one, choosing the most expensive one was the best idea!! I was really pleased with this dessert. The dates and nuts added just the right amount of crunchy/chewy/interesting topping. And, the cardamom in the recipe was perfect. I'd have included a link to the recipe but nowhere on the blog could I find an index...
60 g short grain rice
250 ml water
400 ml cream
60 g sugar
1 t cardamom powder
6 medjool dates
60 ml boiling water
In a small saucepan, start simmering the cream and cardamom. You don't want it to boil but you do want it to reduce. In another saucepan, start water for your rice. Cook the rice according to the package directions but add 5-10 minutes so it is VERY soft. Drain the rice. Add the sugar to the cream and stir until it's dissolved. Add the drained rice. Refrigerate so you're serving it cool. An hour or so before serving the pudding, chop the dates and add them to the boiling water. Remove them from the heat and allow them to sit for half an hour. Mash them into the water. Serve the pudding garnished with the date compote and the nuts. As you can see, I chose to use sliced almonds that I'd toasted instead of plain almonds...
Thank you Nayna from Simply Sensational Food!