These days our weekends feel jam packed with activities, even when I make an effort to schedule minimal commitments so we don't feel so over booked as a family. Soccer games, birthday parties, family outings not to mention catching up from a busy week all add up to too many happenings. Or does it really? Maybe this is just life as we know it, divide and conquer as parents, fueled by midday coffee breaks and the never ending surplus of energy of our two boys we just keep going. Maybe this is the new normal. I have decided to hit the reset button and take it down a level and embrace more down time, which adds up to more quality family time, husband and wife time and personal time. Homemaking, more time at home less time in my Volvo. So much can be implied in the word homemaker, stay at home mom, CEO of your home or bad ass multi-tasker. I have some amazing friends with busy full time careers and they are outstanding homemakers. I myself work outside the home three days a week and I'm constantly honing my skills as a homemaker, refining, adjusting to the in's and out's of life, nostalgic for simpler times but redefining what it means to be a home maker today.
My idea of homemaker would be memory maker, keeping past family traditions alive or maybe letting them go, and working in new traditions that are more current with my family. Sunday suppers, get togethers with families, building a community for my boys, all fall into the role of a homemaker. Being a homemaker is teaching my sons the art of homemaking, making waffles together on the weekend, setting the table at dinner, spending time with me in the garden, watching and waiting for the first ripe tomato or for the carrots to have grown big enough to eat. These are the moments I looked forward to, the events in life that never feel overwhelming or daunting, simple pleasures that can be so easily over looked if we're not careful.
This rice pudding is homemaking at it's finest. Seeing my boys delight in home made treats gives me so much satisfaction. The recipe is beyond easy as it calls for Arborio rice, it's starchy quality allows you to skip the addition of eggs without losing the creamy texture. I had some leftover dried oranges that I candied and served on top, you could easily go the traditional route and top with cinnamon. Whatever you choose make sure you sprinkle in a little extra love, that's what homemaking is all about.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
4 3/4 cups whole milk, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split in half
1/4 cup heavy cream
In a large sauce pan, bring rice, sugar, salt, split vanilla bean and 4 1/2 cups milk to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is tender and pudding is creamy, 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla and remaining 1/4 cup milk.
Transfer to a serving dish and press plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. To serve, stir in heavy cream and top with your favorite topping.