This Warm Apple Rice Pudding made with apple butter, maple syrup, and spices is comfort in a glass. We need loads of it right now, people.
Is this America right now?! It’s 2018 and we’re seriously out here having to defend our right to exist over and over and over and over and over again.
Is it not enough that we have done whatever it took to assimilate?
We grew up and left our slang behind, or at the very least only code switch in majority brown spaces. We didn’t associate with people who were deemed ‘trouble’. My entire adolescence was defined by the phrase ‘dime con quien andas, y te dire quien eres’ (tell me who you hang with and I will tell you who you are). We dropped friends who participated in questionable behavior due to an instilled fear of ending up a drug addict or in prison.
Monitored our grammar and diction to belie our immigrant beginnings. Brunch and expertly grasp wine stems to assimilate into spaces which increasingly view us as… Threats. We’re too loud, or too slow, too extra – but what they really mean is we’re too brown, too black. We are labeled uppity or ungrateful if we dare enter with confidence and feel at ease inhabiting these spaces; a right we have earned.
Viewed through the prism of our enslaved ancestors – Hardy, indestructible, volatile, dangerous, angry.
Our ancestors were property – Stolen, branded, beaten, raped, forcefully assimilated into a foreign culture – And we managed to survive it long enough to continue procreating, to thrive even. We are seen as impervious to abuse, as if we’re not fragile, which is why it’s done so often and so easily.
We are treated as if our freedom is designed to be tenuous. These publicized incidents of racist ass, fragile ass people calling the police on people of color for merely living their dang lives cements the belief that People of Color aren’t free – We’re just loose. And apparently the racists know this. They thrive on calling the police to serve as THEIR enforcers. By law we cannot be excluded or kicked out of restaurants or schools or venues. By calling police officers and merely stating they feel ‘nervous’ or ‘threatened’ they stay playing with our lives.
If you viewed the latest incident at Yale University where a white graduate student called the police on a black graduate student for napping in a common room area, you’ll understand what I mean. The smugness in which she states she had ‘every right to call the police. You cannot sleep in that room’ as she took photos… Lord.
When I hear people state racism is a thing of the past – Why do we bring it up – They must inhabit spaces where people look just like them. My son attends a majority African American high school. A vast majority of the teachers are either African American or Latino – The students are either African American or Latino. They lived in innocuous environments where – As the majority and in varying shades of brown – They do not face micro aggression or racism.
This may soon change and as much as it hurts, I’m preparing for son for it.
Almost all the boys in my son’s High School will graduate and attend college in spaces where the majority does not look like them. Spaces that may be welcoming, or spaces where some racist will believe our sons don’t belong because the color of their skin. A person who instead of engaging or interacting with our brown sons and realize the only thing that set them apart is skin color, may immediately view them as a threat and put THEIR lives in jeopardy.
People truly need to understand what it means to be brown in America right now and stop this both sides ‘you don’t know the whole story, wait for all the facts’ – ESPECIALLY when there is VIDEO PROOF OF INJUSTICE – bullshit. If you find what is happening appalling, speak the hell up.
Stand the hell up. Be an ally. Like a true ally – not ‘Facebook or Twitter status’ ally. We need you on the ground, right now. We need people to stop playing with our lives.
Now flow with me quickly – I made you this bomb ass Warm Apple Rice Pudding.
I’m not going to lie, I made this rice pudding in November (I think). I took a long break and didn’t get around to posting this. It’s here now. Sorry about the leaves. And it’s just as good today, as it was back in November. If you made apple butter (and I hope you did) – You should have some left over. Store bought is fine too.
How to Make Warm Apple Rice Pudding
Steep rice in apple cider and spices for about an hour and then bring the rice to a boil. As the liquid reduces, the apple and spices bond to the granules of rice, thus infusing it with flavor. You add milk – Whole, evaporated, and sweetened condensed to the mixture, followed by apple butter and maple syrup. We roll deep in flavor here. You add a bit of vanilla extract for another layer of flavor. Finally, some raisins. Golden ones. You cook the mixture over low heat and stir. There’s a rhythm to stirring. You’ll get it. Be sure to stir often, as no one enjoys burnt rice pudding.
Serve it warm.
Serve it cold.
Just serve it.
Warm Apple Rice Pudding
- 3 ½ cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup white rice preferably long grain
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups apple butter (homemade or store-bought
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup Golden raisins (heaping)
- In a heavy 8 quart saucepan, soak the rice, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger and grated nutmeg, apple cider, and water for about 1 hour.
- Once the rice has soaked bring the rice mixture to a boil over medium/high heat, uncovered. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 12 to 15 more minutes or until water is almost evaporated. You should still see some moisture.
- Add the apple butter, whole, evaporated, and condensed milks to the rice. Stir to incorporate and taste. Add maple syrup, followed by the sugar - one tablespoon - at a time. Stir and taste the mixture. Don't be tempted to add too much sugar or all the sugar. The rice pudding will get sweeter as it cooks and thickens. Also, the raisins contribute greatly to the overall sweetness of your rice pudding. Always start with a tablespoon at a time and add more once the mixture thickens if it’s not sweet enough for you.
- Add the salt, vanilla extract and raisins to the pot and cook over low heat, stirring carefully and often until the mixture thickens and desired consistency has been reached, about 25-35 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and allow rice pudding to cool slightly. Portion into ½ cup serving dishes. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon, garnish with raisins, and enjoy!
- Note 1: I eat my rice pudding while it’s still hot, but cold rice pudding is just as amazing.
- Note 2: Rice pudding thickens as it cools, so if you like yours on the thinner side remove from the stove after about 15-20 minutes.
- Rice pudding can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days.
- Makes about 8-10 1/2 cup servings.