Whew. Glad I got that off my chest. {Thank you so much for your kind comments..really, really heartwarming}

In other news, I ate rice pudding for breakfast yesterday.

This is significant because rice pudding was not a popular treat in our home growing up. That is not to say that other families in America didn’t enjoy the benefits of this beautiful, creamy delight (but, umm..did they?) It’s just that our place was more of a chocolatey….butterscotchy…poppyseed-y kinda joint.

Having said that, I secretly always loved tapioca pudding. I enjoyed how you could feel the pearls of tapioca rice in each mouthful…how you could roll those velvety little lumps around in your mouth this-a-way and that-a-way and then try to bite down on just one pearl which never seemed to work. I guess you could say that I loved the very thing about tapioca that puts many people off: the lump factor.

When I moved to Ireland, it took me awhile to get used to the Irish repertoire of confections. In particular, I found it peculiar that jam is used to sweeten many desserts and sweet treats. Jam on scones. Jam on sponge. Jam donuts. Jammy Dodgers. And, of course, jam on rice pudding. I had been accustomed to thick, buttercream frostings or custard fillings as a conduit to the sweet.

I discovered the glory of rice pudding shortly after moving out to the farm. We ventured to a lovely inn for a family Sunday lunch and in between bites of my roast lamb and three versions of potatoes, I noticed the constant flow of rice pudding in fancy dessert glasses being carried out by serious waiters to various patrons in the dining room. When it came time to order our final course, my mother-in-law, Peggy, ordered the rice pudding and I followed suit. It came with a dab of raspberry jam and a dollop of freshly whipped cream. It was ravishing. And, suddenly, jam made sense.

This week I received a long-awaited, anxiously anticipated parcel from my friend, Heidi Skoog. Heidi is a florist in Minneapolis and now also purveyor of gorgeous jams and jellies which are aptly named, Serious Jam. I got to sample some of her new jams over the summer and instantly fell in love. I couldn’t resist ordering some from her website to have in our cupboard for the winter. And, I specifically couldn’t wait to for this jam to grace the top of a dainty glass of rice pudding.

I found out later that rice pudding is actually Peggy’s favorite {with Victoria Sponge a close second} although she only eats it when dining out.  I decided to bake up a batch in the morning (with a taste-test for brekkie) and bring it over to share over tea yesterday afternoon. Popped a sprig of rosemary in the baking dish and topped it off with Heidi’s violette + plum jam and a wee bit of cream and that is all that needs to be said.

Happy days.

Recipe is pretty standard. Here it is excerpted from a classic Irish secondary school cookery book, All In The Cooking.{Moderate oven = 300 F or 150 C}

Slan Abhaile,


Photos & Styling by Imen McDonnell. Jam by Serious Jam.

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