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My dad is in town, and we made sushi for dinner last night.  Actually, I held Will while my dad and John made the sushi. We ended up with a lot of extra rice– nice, sticky sushi rice, and as I lay down to go to sleep last night all I could think was: Rice Pudding.  Rice pudding with chai spices.  Yes, I would make rice pudding in the morning.

And so I woke up and scraped all the extra rice into a pot, poured some almond milk and some of my black tea in it and then added spices.  And then I realized: Cashews!  So I broke up some pieces of cashews and threw those in.  And raisins.  Once I was at a potluck where a woman had made a rice pudding and had added a little bourbon to it.  It was incredible. I didn’t happen to have any on hand, but next time I make this I will add some.

Also, they say that newborn crying peaks at around 6 weeks, which is (sniff, sniff) just about where Will is, and he is certainly reaching new levels of hysteria.  “Welcome to the vale of tears, baby” my dad said.  I always vowed we wouldn’t be one of those families who go to great lengths to get babies to sleep, driving infants around in the car, tiptoeing around, and other completely ridiculous and absurd things.  We would just place our baby in his crib at the appropriate time, and he would fall asleep in a timely and reasonable fashion.  But now here we are, John, my dad, and myself, in the living room, speaking in hushed tones, with Will strapped in his carseat (because he loves it) and my dad swinging him all around.  In his carseat, in our living room.  Ah, the sweet taste of humble pie.

Oh, the rice pudding is delicious.  Definitely a keeper.

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Chai Spiced Rice Pudding

3 c. cooked rice, preferably short grain (we used leftover sushi rice)

1 c. milk (we used almond milk, but this would be much, much better with some good, real whole milk)

1 c. strong brewed black tea (optional– if you don’t use this, you can just substitute the same amount of water or extra milk)

1 c. water

1/4 c. coconut oil or butter (optional)

1/2 c. sugar

1/3 c. raisins

1/4 cup cashews, in small pieces (I just broke them with my fingers– you could also put them inside a dish towel and smash them with a rolling pin)

2 t. ground ginger

1/8 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. black pepper

1/4 t. ground cloves

1/2 t. ground cardamom (optional)

1 t. vanilla extract

1 t. bourbon or whiskey (optional)

Mix everything together in a pot and cook on low for about 10 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.  Taste at the end to see if you want to add more sugar or spices.

Also (from a week or two ago):

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