I like to exercise. I really do.
The problem arises when the body requests a change-up in the old exercise routine.
I learned from my team athletics days that this will, inevitably, occur from time to time; the muscles become trained, the brain becomes bored, and it becomes necessary to seek out a new physical challenge.
For an accident-prone, lifelong klutz like me, this can present some issues.
I suppose the appropriate solution would be to simply overlook my unfortunate shortcomings, find a new exercise routine, and hope for the best.
But concerns over physical injury (to myself and members of the general public) and property damage abound.
As I pondered my options, I decided to make some Ultimate Rice Pudding.
Rice pudding is one of those super foods that can cure just about any ailment: it’s warm, it’s substantive, and it can be dressed up or down depending on the needs of the consumer.
It’s also an opportunity to engage in a little low-impact exercise. You can stir your way into some of the sveltest wrists known to man!
And it’s pretty much a guarantee that nobody will be harmed during this particular workout.
The other thing that I like about rice pudding is that it is incredibly simple to prepare and takes almost no time from pot to plate.
You really just need to be sure of one thing: don’t monkey around with your rice. You absolutely must use a medium or short grain rice in your pudding; long grain rice just doesn’t have the starch content to produce the thick, pudding-like consistency that is the guts of a successful arroz con leche.
I went with a medium grain rice here, and it worked like a charm. You could even go with a short grain like an Arborio rice if you chose, though.
As I plated and tucked into my luscious rice pudding, I made a decision to join a local gym with lots of classes and supportive instructors. I will be sure to report back on my progress as I work my way into a brand new exercise routine.
My only request is that if you tune into the Today Show next week and hear Matt Lauer talking about some crazy girl in Arizona who tripped over her own feet and knocked over an entire gym during her first Zumba class, please, just change the channel.
Ultimate Rice Pudding
2 c. medium grain rice, cooked
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
1 c. whole milk
3/4 c. white sugar, granulated
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 c. sultanas (you may substitute regular raisins here)
1/2 c. currants
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp. orange zest
Heat the cooked rice, cream, milk, sugar and butter over a medium flame in a large heavy-bottomed pot, stirring regularly until the mixture becomes thick and creamy, approximately 15 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, stir in the vanilla extract and orange juice, and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove the cooked rice pudding from heat, stir in the raisins, currants and zest, and serve immediately.
YIELD: approximately 6 servings