Great artists require great inspiration. F. Scott had Zelda, Cassavetes had Rowlands, and I have Condoleezza. This is my deepest darkest secret: Condoleezza Rice is my muse.
She calls to me like a siren. Literally. She sits on top of a police car in the parking lot outside my window.
“EEEEHOOOHEEEOOOOH!” she yells.
“Yes Condoleeza?” I reply.
“MAKE ME A SANDWICH!” she replies.
“Right away, Condoleezza.”
I’m not being fair. Condoleezza can be very gentle. Sometimes she climbs up my drain pipe and says things like: “Sweetheart, would you be a doll and make me a pot roast?” Or: “I’d kill for some salmon.” Occassionally she denies prior knowledge of Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist plots but then she remembers that I’m not the 9/11 commission and requests a BLT.
Tonight being the fourth edition of Is My Blog Burning?, the internet-wide themed cooking event for food bloggers (tonight’s theme was RICE), I informed Condoleezza that I would be making rice pudding.
“Rice what!?” she demanded.
“Pudding,” I answered.
“Hmmm,” she pondered, scratching her chin. “Not sure that I like that.”
“Well,” I proffered, “Perhaps I can make it a tribute pudding? Put your name in the title? Condoleezza Rice Pudding?”
Condoleezza wailed a happy wail. I took this for a yes.
The recipe I used came from the Food Network: Gale Gand’s Arborio Rice Pudding. I got to work right away.
This recipe is incredibly easy. It requires little work and little skill.
Place half a cup of rice in the pot:
Add three cups of milk and one cup of cream:
Then half a cup of sugar:
Then add a vanilla bean.
“A vanilla what?” asks Condoleezza.
“Bean,” I answer.
“Let me inspect that,” she requests.
“Yes yes,” she says, “Condoleezza likes this vanilla bean.”
“Very good,” I say, a bit half-heartedly.
I slice the bean in half horizontally (the recipe only calls for half the bean) and then vertically. I scrape out the seeds and place them and half the bean in the pot.
That’s all the prep you need. Now turn the burners on and start cooking.
“THE HEAT IS ON!” sings Condoleezza, her photocopied head floating around the kitchen. “THE HEAT IS OOOOONNNNN…”
I bring the milk, cream, et al up to a boil and then lower it to a simmer. For the next forty minutes I stir quite regularly.
Soon the pudding looks like this:
I take a taste to see if the rice is done and consequently burn my mouth.
“Dumbass,” observes Condoleezza.
I plate the pudding and serve, as Gale Gand suggests with berries.
“Those berries look dangerous,” warns Condoleezza. “Perhaps we should inspect them.”
She begins plucking them out of my bowl.
“I’m the National Security Advisor, ok?” she says, chewing away. “These berries could be dangerous.”
She then grabs my bowl, scarfs it down, and goes to serve herself more:
As far as muses go, Condoleezza can be pretty nasty. But truth be told, she’s pretty entertaining. And she sings a mean 80s song.