More Sentimental Cuisine

After a brief detour last week to acknowledge the Easter season in this blog, I once again return to the topic I’m going to call “Sentimental Cuisine.”

I hope that the Pizza Burger recipe printed in the blog that appeared in the March 15 print edition of the Daily Globe satisfied that particular cafeteria craving. I am aware that there was a typo in the “For a Crowd” recipe, but I hope it was pretty obvious to everyone that I meant beef instead of beer. (That was written on a Friday, and I obviously had other things on my mind.)

Today I had planned to share another submission that resulted from the pizza burger conversation — the original burrito recipe from Taco Towne — but I got delete happy in my e-mail inbox. When I went looking for it, the recipe had vanished. So, if the person who provided the recipe would resend it, I would be much obliged: This time I promise to put it away someplace safe from overeager deleting.

So we move on to rice pudding, which, although I don’t remember it, was evidently also a well-beloved item on the local school menu — loved enough that there is also a request for the recipe. At the Daily Globe’s recent Women’s Expo event, I happened to see former school cook Donna Reed, who indeed had the school’s rice pudding recipe in her files.

“The school put so much butter in it,” she noted, “so I think that’s why it tasted so good to everybody.”

Here it is, pared down for single household consumption.

School Cafeteria Rice Pudding

In a large saucepan, combine 4 cups water, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 cups raw white rice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 14 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

Add ½ stick butter, 1 cup sugar and 2 to 3 cups of milk (enough to make the rice a little soupy, Donna explained). Put in casserole and bake in oven for 30 to 45 minutes at 325 degrees. If it looks too dry, add a little more milk. Top with cinnamon and sugar.

The rice pudding request also yielded a response from Margaret Wieskus of Jackson, who shares a recipe that was originally printed in DotMom’s column.

“It is a real nice creamy pudding,” writes Margaret. “Your Mom had gotten it from a Mrs. Seim, gleaned from the Dinah Shore show. Dinah got it from the chef of the Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, who trimmed it to family proportion from the original recipe, which called for 6 pounds rice, 60 eggs, 20 quarts milk, etc.”

Dinah’s Rice Pudding

Boil 1 cup water and ½ teaspoon salt. Add ½ cup rice. Cook 7 minutes. Add 1 quart milk and 1/4 cup butter; stir a little. Cook over low heat for 1¼ hours, stirring occasionally.

Combine 3 beaten eggs, ½ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Pour the mixture into the rice, stirring slowly until the rice starts to thicken.

Serve war or cold, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

Added note from Margaret: “It serves 4, or two real rice pudding fans, like my youngest daughter, Janice Freeman. She and I still make it. If you like raisins, you can add them (1 cup) with the eggs, sugar and vanilla.”

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