In Greece, it used to be a custom, children to take the names of their paternal grandparents. For example, my name is Katerina just like my father’s mother and my brother’s name is John just like my father’s father. They did it mostly to keep the generation’s name alive and out of respect for the older. That’s how they perceived continuance. Today this tradition is still kept alive but people are not as consistent as they used to be.
My grandmother Katerina was a woman who suffered many hardships in her life; from World War II to Civil War and her imprisonment for her political ideas. She raised three children and while her husband, my grandfather, was in prison too she managed to keep the family united and look after them. She was completely illiterate something that was so difficult for me to conceive as a child. When I was in elementary school I tried to teach her how to read and write, but I guess she was too old and too impatient to be able to concentrate and commit herself. She loved me so much that she sat with me for hours and pretended to learn just to make me happy. Since I had her name, I dare say that she loved me just a pinch more than her other grandchildren.
As I am getting older, I miss my grandparents more and more and regret that I didn’t get as much of them as possible back when I had them all. I have the best memories of them and always keep their love inside me.
Rice pudding was one of my grandmother’s favorite sweets. Since she lived in the village for many years, the ingredients she had available were limited and she, just like all the villagers back then, tried to make the best out of them. Rice pudding is a sweet we find in almost all kitchens of the world.
The introduction of rice in Europe is not so certain. Some scholars say that it was in the 8th century, while others say that it was not until late 10th century that rice first came to Europe. Rice was known to European people as early as in the ancient Greece and was used for medical purposes.
The cultivation of rice into this part of the Mediterranean was the result of the merchant vessels that set sail from these southern waters. With the property of rice to need abundant water and sun for growth, the plant settled itself in parts of Northern Italy and Spain. In Greece rice is widely cultivated in the northern and central parts of the land.
Rice pudding is an easy nutritious sweet that can be made very easily and quickly with ingredients everyone has in his closets.
- 1 kilo minus 4 tbsp / 2 lb. milk
- 70 gr. / 2.5 oz. rice
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 to 5 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 4 tbsp cold milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Cinnamon for garnishing
- In a pot add about 300 gr. / 11 oz. water and bring to boil.
- Add a pinch of salt and the rice and simmer until the rice becomes very soft.
- it took me 40 minutes.
- Remove from fire and drain the rice to get rid of the excess water.
- In another pot pour the milk and sugar and bring to boil.
- Throw the corn starch and whisk until it starts to thicken.
- Add the rice and simmer for about five minutes.
- With an immersion blender mash the rice and add the vanilla extract.
- Divide the batter to small bowls and let it stand until it reaches room temperature.
- Cover and put in the fridge.
- Just before you serve sprinkle some cinnamon on top.
- 1 κιλό γάλα μείον 4 κουταλιές της σούπας
- 70 γρ. ρύζι, γλασέ ή Καρολίνα
- 1 φλ. ζάχαρη
- 4 κ.σ. με 5 κ.σ. κορν φλάουρ διαλυμένο σε 4 κ.σ. κρύο γάλα
- 1 κ.γ. εκχύλισμα βανίλιας
- Κανέλα για το γαρνίρισμα
- Σε μια κατσαρόλα προσθέτουμε περίπου 300 γρ. νερό και φέρνουμε σε βρασμό.
- Προσθέτουμε μια πρέζα αλάτι και το ρύζι και σιγοβράζουμε έως ότου το ρύζι γίνει πολύ μαλακό.
- Εμένα μου πήρε 40 λεπτά περίπου.
- Βγάζουμε από τη φωτιά και σουρώνουμε το ρύζι για να απαλλαγούμε από το νερό που έχει μείνει.
- Σε μια άλλη κατσαρόλα ρίχνουμε το γάλα και τη ζάχαρη και φέρνουμε σε βρασμό.
- Ρίχνουμε το κορν φλάουρ και ανακατεύουμε μέχρι να αρχίσει να πήζει.
- Προσθέτουμε το ρύζι και σιγοβράζουμε για περίπου πέντε λεπτά.
- Με ένα ραβδομπλέντερ λιώνουμε το ρύζι και προσθέτουμε το εκχύλισμα βανίλιας.
- Βάζουμε το μείγμα σε μικρά μπολ και τα αφήνουμε να σταθούν μέχρι να φτάσουν σε θερμοκρασία δωματίου.
- Καλύπτουμε και βάζουμε στο ψυγείο.
- Λίγο πριν σερβίρουμε ρίχνουμε λίγη κανέλα στην κορυφή.