Rice Custard is another old-fashioned favourite. You just can't beat the recipes that Nana used to make. Nostalgia is making a huge comeback to our world, as we all remember a time when life was simpler, and the time that someone spent cooking and serving good meals was an extension of their love. Convenience can never replace those feelings of warmth and belonging that a home-cooked meal can offer. Once upon a time, we looked forward to our futuristic world that was full of promise but now, I find us looking back, reminiscing about what is missing from our busy, time-poor lives.
Vanilla Rice Custard
1/2 cup white rice
4 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 egg yolks
Fresh berries to serve
Rinse uncooked rice and drain well.
Mix rice, milk, sugar and vanilla essence in a large saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until boiling. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked and tender. Stir occasionally during the first 15 minutes and then stir constantly for the last 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir beaten egg yolks through rice mixture, making sure yolks are blended thoroughly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. (Custard will set firmer when left to stand).
Serve topped with fresh berries and a sprinkle of nutmeg (optional).
Note: This recipe makes quite a thick mix. If you prefer a thinner consistency, stir through 1/2 cup extra milk before serving.
Add 100g finely chopped chocolate after simmering and allow to melt through.
Powdered milk is a staple in my pantry. It is an economical substitute for recipes like this one that use a lot of milk. I also use powdered milk in my muffins, cakes, Béchamel sauce, etc.
This is one of those fabulous interchangeable recipes where the variety of fruit and nuts can be changed to suit your tastes. Experiment with different combinations. The recipe given is full of dried apricot and pecan goodness.
This is a great slice for lunch boxes!
Fruit and Nut Slice
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup coconut
½ cup sugar
125g butter, melted
1 cup coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped½ cup dried apricots, diced
1 ½ cups brown sugar½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 180 °C.
Sift flour and combine with sugar and coconut. Add melted butter. Press into a greased slice pan and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
Combine coconut, pecans, apricots, brown sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Lightly beat eggs and vanilla essence together. Add to dry ingredients. Press over cooked base. Reduce heat to 160°C and bake for 15 minutes or until topping is cooked. Cool completely before cutting into slices.
Experiment with different combinations of fruits and nuts.
These sweet little yummies are easy to make. They can be given as gifts or served with tea and coffee or as after dinner delights.
250g dried apricots, finely diced
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
2 ½ cups desiccated coconut
1 cup icing sugar
Extra coconut for coating
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for half an hour and then roll into small balls. (Tip – wet both hands and shake off excess water. The balls are easier to roll and the mixture won't stick to your hands).
Toss in extra coconut.
Life for us has been all about survival on a shoestring budget. I cook from scratch and don't buy prepackaged mixes of anything. I've learnt how to live on very basic (and cheap) staples. I've raised happy and healthy kids and I believe that good food is central to a good life!
The Economics of Eating App is now available for purchase!
I have an unpublished cookbook manuscript that lives on my kitchen bench. This is the collection that I have fed my family from for many years, all made from a core list of practical and economical ingredients. The manuscript is splattered with butter, flour and milk from daily use. It moves between the kitchen and the office as I edit and test-kitchen the recipes.