Welcome to Glam Grans’ Favourite Foods – part 4 – comfort and wellness
This week features two favourite grandmothers with recipes to comfort and to make you well.
FAVOURITE FOODS – COMFORT AND WELLNESS
The comfort food is my dear friend Kris’s recipe for rice pudding.
Rice pudding is an ancient dish cooked by many cultures throughout the world.
It has long been associated with good nutrition and easy digestion, thought to be most helpful for the sick and the elderly, as well as children.
Rice Pudding is the title and subject of a poem by A. A. Milne, in which the narrator professes puzzlement as to what is the matter with Mary Jane, who is “crying with all her might and main/And she won’t eat her dinner—rice pudding again—/What is the matter with Mary Jane?”
It is thought to have been introduced to Europe via India around the thirteenth century.
These days it is enjoyed in various different forms, all over the world.
Buddhist Sutras state that Gautama Buddha‘s final meal before his enlightenment was a large bowl of rice pudding.
In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the supercomputer Deep Thought derives the existence of rice pudding from first principles.
Large family gatherings with delicious food have always been a feature of Kris’s life and they are all the more fun now she has two beautiful grandchildren to share them with.
Kris has fond memories of her own grandmother cooking on an old fuel stove.
She can still picture “the warm and cosy kitchen with the fire going and everyone sitting around the table where there was always a full teapot and home cooked jam drops or cake”.
This rice pudding recipe was one of Kris’s favourites. If she wasn’t eating it in the cosy kitchen during winter, she and her family would have it as a summer treat while sitting in the shade on the veranda.
My Granny would sometimes serve this with stewed apricots or apricot puree made from dried or fresh apricots, depending on the season.
KRIS’S GRAN’S RICE PUDDING
Prep time = 20 mins (including cooking the rice)
Cooking time 1 ½ – 2 hours
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cream
- Pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Handful raisins
- Knob butter
- Beat eggs, salt and sugar, then add milk, cream and vanilla.
- Put rice in a buttered ovenproof dish and add raisins.
- Pour over egg mixture, then sprinkle with nutmeg and add butter knob.
- Put in an oven tray half filled with water and bake slowly (160C) until set.
FAVOURITE FOODS – COMFORT AND WELLNESS
FOR WHEN YOU’RE SICK
When it comes to food to make you better when you’re sick the first thing that comes to mind for me is chicken soup.
It’s no secret that this famous soup has been used to fight off colds and other illnesses for generations. Now its healing properties are being backed up by scientific studies.
A study published in the medical journal Chest in 2000 states the soup inhibited the movement of neutrophils (the most common type of white blood cells that defend against infection) during laboratory tests.
The tests were conducted by Dr Stephen Rennard of the University of Nebraska Medical Centre in Omaha. Dr Rennard used his wife’s chicken soup recipe, which had been handed down to her from her Lithuanian grandmother with blood samples from volunteers.
Researchers could not identify the exact ingredient in the soup that made it so effective but Dr Rennard theorises that by inhibiting the migration of the infection-fighting cells, chicken soup helps reduce respiratory and cold symptoms.
The second Glam Gran to be featured this week is my dear friend Viv.
It seems just about every time I’m talking to her Viv is making up a batch of her (nearly) famous Nan’s Chicken Soup to help someone recover from some ailment.
“I remember Nanna Baxter making it when I was only about two years old,” she said.
“Then my Mum made it regularly for all her married life, passing the recipe to me.
Now my daughters make it for their families.
Even Viv’s godchildren (who live in Qld) know the healing properties of this recipe, exclaiming;” I wish Auntie Vivie was here to make me some chicken soup” when they are ill.
NAN’S CHICKEN SOUP
Prep Time = 15 mins plus 5 mins after cooking
Cooking Time = 1 hour
- 4 -5 skinless chicken pieces with bone
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 stalks of celery, washed and sliced
- 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1 small bunch parsley, washed and finely chopped
- 1 rounded tbsp basmati rice or pearl barley – DON’T BE TEMPTED TO ADD MORE, IT WILL TURN GLUGGY
- Place all ingredients in a large pot with 3 – 4 litres of water (enough to fill pot) and chicken stock.
- Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce to low heat and simmer for 1 hour
- Stir occasionally and top up with water if it reduces too much.
- Remove chicken and debone then shred and return to pot.
- When the chicken has heated through remove the pot from heat. Serve and get well!
MORE COOKERY BOOK FUN
As promised during part 3 of this series I will continue sharing the words of wisdom from the W.M.U Cookery Book, this time focusing on the chapters for diabetic foods and ‘invalid cookery’.
I have friends with diabetes and it wasn’t so long ago they struggled to find tempting dishes that kept within their guidelines for healthy eating. These days wonderful recipes abound but I was impressed that such an old book would feature a section on diabetic cooking.
There are, however, only 10 recipes in this section ranging from scones and bread to soup and custard.
I’ll share one with you as it seems ridiculously easy.
BACON AND APPLES
Fry required the quantity of bacon and apples together.
Yep, that’s it.
The invalid section is bigger with a total of 17 recipes, although many of them actually make me feel ill just to think of them.
Take, for instance, the recipe for Calf’s Foot Jelly. How would you like to be offered that when in rolled up in pain with stomach cramps from the latest bug? The fact it doesn’t actually contain a calf’s foot is beside the point.
The recipe for Celery Tea could be of interest for those suffering from rheumatism.
All you do is clean and cut 2 -3 heads of celery and stew in a quart of cold water for several hours. Strain and season with salt and pepper and drink ‘hot, using half as much milk as tea”.
Stay tuned next week for the final post in this series where I feature another favourite gran’s favourite dish and share with you the value of Borax, plus the recipe to make us happy – courtesy of the M. W. U Cookery Book.
If you’ve been enjoying this series, don’t forget to share and let me know in the comments below.
Happy cooking and have a gleeful week, Tamuria