"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Social Media and the Vanilla Bean (Or, How I Used Facebook to Make Arborio Rice Pudding)

by Julie on June 28, 2011

in Minor Miracles

vanilla beans

The magic beans

So typical.

Everything needed to make this amazing sounding Arborio Rice pudding that Janelle at Talk of Tomatoes says was her grandmother’s recipe (you know I’m a sucker for grandmother recipes…mostly because my grandmother didn’t have any.) all except for one.

A vanilla bean. Half of one, to be exact.

I may have a decently-stocked spice box, but I knew I didn’t have vanilla bean. I refused to go back out to the store as I’d already been twice that day and they start to give me dirty looks when I come back in a third time.

Maybe I could use vanilla extract instead?

Nah. Stupid idea. Give me credit for learning something in the last six years.

What to do?

I hit Facebook.  I’ve had luck with this method in the past.  “Any of my local foodie peeps have a vanilla bean I can use?”

And within minutes, I had a mini-conversation going between neighbors about the relative expense of vanilla beans and where they can be procured cheaply.  One neighbor announced that she not only had a vial of vanilla beans for me, but that she was going out and would drop them off at my house.

Just like that. Vanilla beans. Delivered to my doorstep.

Now THAT’S social media, baby. Writ local.

But I digress. The arborio rice pudding:(From Talk of Tomatoes…check it out!)

1/2 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups milk
1/2 vanilla bean – split
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Combine the first four ingredients in a pot and very gently bring to a boil, stirring often. Simmer for 30 or more minutes, until the orzo is plump and the mixture is, well, pudding like. Turn off the heat and add the almond extract.

Discard the vanilla bean, silly.

Yes, it came out. To wild applause by the nits. I couldn’t quite believe I’d whipped up what tasted like a restaurant-quality dessert in 45 minutes on what amounted to a whim. I mean, who the hell keeps vanilla beans around? Besides the four women in my immediate neighborhood who apparently do, that is.

Janelle says she loves this with homemade jams or preserves. But I found this so rich and sweet I wouldn’t add anything more to it, other than maybe some fresh peach slices or strawberries or….God…just stop me, it’s too much.

Yes. That good. Again, we ate all of this before I could get a picture.

It’s delicious and easy. Try it today.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Smashy/Flickr Because the Drama Teen erased my own photo of vanilla bean in the course of doing an animation project using my bad-ass camera. No matter. It wasn’t nearly so arty as this one.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sandi January 28, 2016 at 2:57 am



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