Yay for leftovers and odds and ends!
This rice pudding is a case in point. I had leftover basmati rice from a restaurant meal several days ago and whole milk about to expire. Voilà! The rice had a few cumin seeds in it so I added several green cardamom pods (my current favorite spice) and some sugar, and slowly simmered it all for about 45 minutes keeping an eye on it so it didn’t dry out. (Didn’t think of it until later, but a little vanilla wouldn’t be amiss.)
Best rice pudding I’ve ever had, and I’m not normally much of a fan. Of course I had to gild the lily with some whipped cream – a canister is always in my fridge – and a spoonful of the strawberry balsamic jam I recently made. That fruity touch is so good with rice pudding, but I’m not big on the usual raisins, unless they’re the golden kind.
I was recently talking to a friend who was bemoaning the food she had languishing in her freezer. She was loathe to throw those items out (that’s just not cool these days, is it?), but wasn’t getting around to using them up. My suggestion was to jot down what you have that needs using, then build a meal that will use 2 or 3 bits and pieces, or a grocery list that will complete a dish using one or more of them. In my kitchen, you’ll often find a note on a scrap of paper that lists one or two things I know I should use soon. Eventually it comes to me: Hey, I can put this and that together, and I’ll have dinner. (Being sure to have pantry staples on hand also helps, and I often find eggs come in handy.)
My point is that – unless you have hungry kids at home – you have to make a point to use up leftovers, and when I do I get a lot of satisfaction out of it. (Hey, I’m all for simple pleasures these days!)