Thursday, January 2, 2020

Cream of Rice Cereal

When I was little many many years ago, my mother's go to cure all was Cream of Wheat or Cream of Rice hot cereals.  She made these hot cereals whenever any of us had a "tummy ache".  That is what we called any upset stomach.  It was my mom's go to cure all even when she was in her 80's.  My grandpa used the term tummy ache when he was in his 80's also, but that was code for wanting us to go to the store for those round Pepto Bismol tasting pink candies.  One of my favorite memories of him was always having those candies close at hand.

Last week my husband was nursing a respiratory virus and didn't feel very well.  He didn't want any heavy meals, and he was sick of eggs and oatmeal for breakfast.  He ate a lot of soup but really didn't know what to eat in the morning.  I remembered the hot cereal from my youth.  Of course, I hadn't bought any Cream of Wheat, Malt o Meal or Cream of Rice for years.  So what do I do, I make my own.  I decided cream of rice would be the easiest.  I would have liked to have used brown rice because it is more nutritious, but I was out of that too.  I opted for white rice.  I looked up the cost of Nabisco cream of rice cereal, and it was between $4 and $5 per 14 ounces of dry cereal.  White rice is very inexpensive, it's gluten free and it doesn't have any added ingredients.  What if I spent $5, and he hated it.  His mother never made cream of rice cereal.  Well, maybe when he was a baby.  Rice cereal is usually one of the first foods babies eat.  I really didn't have anything to lose.

I put two cups of rice in the blender and ground it into a fine powder.  It looked just like flour.  I imagine you could use it just as potato starch or cornstarch to thicken other foods as well.

Then I put 1 cup of cold water into a sauce pan, a pinch of salt and stirred in 1/4 cup of this pulverized rice.  It dissolved quickly.  Then I turned on the heat, brought the liquid to a boil and cooked the rice for 1 1/2 minutes.  Total cooking time was less than four minutes.

The final product was creamy and smooth.  In my opinion, it needs some sweetening or it could resemble wallpaper paste.  I added some plain white sugar, but honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or fruit would be wonderful.  I put almond milk on my husbands, but a little milk of any kind would work.  This is a "to taste" type cereal because it tastes like unseasoned rice, but very filling, easy on the stomach and satisfying.

It is easy and fast to make.  For people who can't have gluten, it's the perfect choice.  Just make sure the white rice you have is plain with nothing else added.  He asked for it again, so I think he liked it.  I tried it too and it truly could be considered comfort cereal.