The Great Rice Compromise (Cinnamon Winter)

I was never that fond of white foods. Lack of color was a signal that it would be boring.
I’ve gotten better with age, but I still have to add something to normal boiled potatoes to find the desire to eat them – cheese, oregano and capers, diced boiled ham and cheese, artichoke hearts – anything. Grand Sasso blue and Marsican red potatoes come close to being edible alone, but still sea salt and freshly grated black pepper help them out.
Boiled white rice is still problem, even with butter and Parmesan I was never wild for it. Especially in elementary school.
Growing up I was adamant about it. Why eat lumpy pasty stuff? So it would sit there and a little verbal arm wrestling would pass. But not for long. I don’t know when she started (I was too little at the time) but Mom would doctor it by reheating the rice in milk adding a tablespoonful of sugar (Mary Poppins-style) and then tap cinnamon over it all to make a soup. The powdered cinnamon would form islands and swirls on the surface of the milk.
It was gone in a flash.
Since then sweet milky cinnamon rice soup has been one of my comfort foods. Years ago a friend with a cold with nothing in her apartment phoned me for advice on what to eat. There wasn’t much, and she had to substitute coconut milk for the bovine variety. When it was ready there was silence on the other end of the line. I hung up and let her eat and sneeze in peace.


One response to “The Great Rice Compromise (Cinnamon Winter)

  1. I didn’t invent this way of getting a fussy eater to eat rice. Nannie used to make rice with milk, sugar and cinamon for Aunt Judy and I. Who knows, her mother may have done the same for her and Aunt Mary. It was an inexpensive meal in the days when she and Grakka had little money. She’d serve it for breakfast and even for Sunday night supper. Sometimes, the rice was left over from Chinese carry- out, but more often than not, she cooked the rice. Especially, after the invention of Minute Rice! Speaking of cinnamon, have you taught Sofia and Emily to make cinnamon toast? Here’s the easy recipe: Take really awful white bread, like Wonderbread. You know, the kind that when you cut off the crust, you can wad it itno a doughy ball. Toast it. Spread it with butter and sprinkly sugar and cinnamon on it. It’s about as nutritiious as the typical Italian breakfast of cookies and milk and Nutella!

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