March 3, 2010
It's a funny thing getting out of bed each morning. One never quite knows how the day may turn out. I was planning to do lots of cooking and lots of washing because the rain has fallen relentlessly for days now and the washing is piling up. That is until I received a call from Hubby at eleven oclock.
He was at the farm and found a little heifer on our place looking very forlorn, very lost and very hungry. It was trying to feed off our cows but unfortunately they were rejecting it. The neighbours had sold their entire herd of cows and calves the other day as they wanted to get out of the "cow" business. It would appear this little blighter went undetected and it is amazing the wild dogs hadn't picked up on her. We decided the only hope she had was for us to hand feed her for the next couple of months. Given her recent neglect, the next few days are going to be testing. Poor little calf. Poor mother who lost her.
We drove out to the farm in the truck, bungled her in and brought her home. Whilst Hubby and The Borb went about constructing her makeshift home, Issy and I raced across the other side of town to acquire some calf milk replacer, a bottle and a teat.
We returned home to find her in a very well constructed pen. We hastily read the instructions and whisked up her first batch of feed. Getting the right temperature was a mission, but we got there. The poor little thing really struggled trying to cope with the strange teat and the flow of milky feed was quite slow given that she really didn't have the strength to suckle strongly. Frustrated, Hubby punctured the teat causing it to flow easily. We may have problems later but at least it is flowing for now. She only took about three or four hundred mls. She needed two litres of the stuff! We all had a break and thought we would try again just on dark.
The next attempt saw Issy coming in with an empty bottle. Hurray. She had all of it. We were so happy. And so here it goes again. With this heavy rain of late I was actually feeling grateful we no longer had any guinea pigs because it was always stressful worrying about them getting wet or cold and moving them to higher ground and so on. I was grateful that Tony the horse was out at the farm and no longer needed our attention. I was grateful Josie the kangaroo had grown up and was happy, healthy and very capable of looking after herself.
And now we have "Elfrieda". Elle to Issy, Freda to The Borb, and Elfy to me. We all have our nicknames for her and we all have our fingers crossed she survives, thrives and ends up having a long and happy life back out at the farm when she is strong,fit and able enough to handle it. It won't come without lots of work, love and care on our part. But hey, it's not the first time and it probably won't be the last.
I had actually planned on making another batch of rice pudding today. After spending weeks in Sydney, the clan had to stock the pantry during my absence and I remember being absolutely mortified to see a can of rice pudding in the cupboard. Yuk! The Borb had eaten half of it and well, I think the other half was turfed. Some things simply should not be canned. A rich, creamy, rice pudding to me spells comfort, cosy and homemade. So instead of having a 'milky'day in the kitchen, I ended up having a 'milky' day with Elfrieda.
Well, one day later, we have our rice pudding. The worst part about having a rice pudding in the fridge is it is sooooo moorish, luxurious, velvety, creamy and delicious. The biggest rice pudding gobbler upperer in the family is me. I'm terrible, I just love it. This recipe takes time and patience; it needs to be stirred, watched and nutured. The rewards are really worth it - I ought to know - I've had lots of experience, both in the pot, in the pen and in the pouch.
Best Ever Creamy Rice Pudding
80gm caster sugar
150gm rice, I used medium grain
a small scraping of vanilla seeds from the pod
1 full teaspoon vanilla extract
freshly grated nutmeg; nutmeg powder simply will not do
1 large thin peel of orange - optional
*** Just made a pot with 900mls milk and 100 mls cream. I think it's better as I prefer a 'looser' rice pudding these days.
Combine cream, milk, sugar, vanilla seeds, vanilla extract and orange peel if desired in a heavy based saucepan. Bring the milk to a boil; stir well then add the rice. Using a wooden spoon or a whisk, mix the rice around a few times. Turn heat right down to bare simmer; place lid on tightly and continue to cook over low heat for about fifty minutes. You will have to stir the rice several times especially in the beginning so as to make sure the rice doesn't "catch" to the bottom of the pot.
Remove the orange peel after cooking (I didn't use any because I don't have any fresh oranges at present.) I usually leave the lid off the cooked rice for about ten minutes to allow the liquid to absorb a little more into the rice. A skin will develop but thats okay. Mix it in, then pour straight into a serving dish. Generously grate fresh nutmeg all over the top of the rice while warm.
Once cooled down, lid or seal and place straight into the fridge and then spend all day trying to avoid it. In the end resistance is futile and temptation will win, but, oh my oh my, what a way to go! It is heaven, pure heaven and you will savour each and every sinful moment!