February 26, 2008
Argentinos have a wonderful word for nagging someone: the verb regañar, which translates literally as to scold, but encompasses nagging, scolding, rebuking, growling, grumbling and reprimanding. I get any and all of these from my husband on certain occasions, but never without a good reason.
In Argentina, you will likely be regañado if you do things that will cause you to get a cold, such as walk on a tile floor without slippers, let your wet hair air dry, or sit in direct sunlight. (Yes, you read that correctly, sun-worshippers!) Guilty, guilty, and guilty as charged, your honor! Especially the last one, which my father-in-law, Carlos, is forever scolding me about. (He never scolds me directly, though, he always says to someone else: "Tell Her she’s going to catch a cold if she sits in the sun like that!" And shakes his head in frustration when I laugh and refuse to sit in the shade.)
Yes, I am a shameless lover of sitting in the sun, and I don’t care who knows it! I haven’t ever been much of a tanner, per se, but I do love to catch afternoon rays on my skin, listening to the birds and neighborhood dogs barking…especially after suffering through a long American winter, Argentina’s late summer sunlight is the most heavenly thing imaginable!
It must have been that unseasonably warm day we had here in Denver last week that did me in. Brazen as I am, I tempted the fates and went on a walk in the park, and SAT IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT!!
And then I got a cold.
My father-in-law was right.
(Of course, it could also be attributed to the fact that the crud has been going around…) I’ve spent the majority of the last week snuffling in bed.
When I’m sick, like most people, I cling to the foods that offer me the most comfort. Arroz con Leche is one of them. Rice Pudding, as we say it in English, is loved by people in every Latin culture, and each one has their own twist with the same basic end result-sweet, warm, milky rice that comforts with each creamy bite.
One thing I like about this recipe is that you can add things to vary the taste somewhat according to your taste or what you have available. Some additions might include: soaking the raisins in a couple tablespoons of brandy, cognac, or rum; adding vanilla extract; adding lemon or orange zest; a change in the type of sugar used (brown sugar or even maple syrup may be a nice variation); nutmeg or the amount of cinnamon used-each of these ideas allows the maker his or her own creative twist.
What comfort foods do you crave when you’re sick? I’d love to know-please share your favorites!
Receta por Arroz con Leche
Rice Pudding Recipe
This recipe is a very basic and easy one-perfect for when you’re under the weather and don’t want to put in too much effort! Can easily be doubled, this recipe serves 4.
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup rice
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 raisins, re-hydrated in water
Bring milk to a boil and add rice and butter. Stir to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. Lower the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid and is cooked through. The rice should be well-cooked, not al dente. Stir in the egg yolk, sugar, and heavy cream and stir well to combine. Stir in the raisins and cinnamon.