Riskrem for Christmas Eve

IMG_4404Being Norwegian, it would not be Christmas Eve without rice porridge for lunch. Cooked with milk, and served with cinnamon, sugar and an eye of butter, it is essential. Usually there is a blanched almond hidden in here, and whoever finds it wins a marzipan pig  (in red wrapper below).  This one came from Norway. ingredients for rice porridge I had brought rice for the porridge from Norway, and found expensive almonds at Koala here in Accra (32 cedis for 200 grams, about 8 USD. Still the almonds were in the fridge and thus not rancid, so worth it.  With power cuts and heat, nuts are often not at there best even well before expiry date, but these were good. As mentioned earlier,  I was searching high and low here for cinnamon for my Christmas Eve rice porridge, and almost cried when shop after shop had no cinnamon and it was the 23rd. Cloves, nutmeg, ginger: none of those would have been quite right. I must have looked upset: one of the staff in the last shop found me an opened jar of cinnamon sticks in the back, which I clasped with joy and took home, grating it with much gratitude. The lone blanched almond cooling on the kitchen counter attracted an army of tiny ants: we must keep all food sealed, I can see.

As you see, there is also raspberry syrup and potato flour here: leftover rice porridge is cooled and mixed with whipped cream, and served cold as riskrem for dessert Christmas Eve, with a fruit-based sweet sauce. If the almond has not been found, it’ s the second chance to find it. I made

Riskrem med rød saus   (Creamed rice with red sauce)

Rød saus: (do earlier):
3 desilitres of undiluted sweet fruit cordial (raspberry, cherry, or red currants)
4.5 desilitres water
1.5 tbs potato flour (cornflour might work too)
3 tbs water

Heat cordial and water. Stir the potato flour into the 3 tbs of water, and when the cordial mixture is coming to the boil, pour it in while stirring. Boil briefly, it will thicken and become syrupy. Cool.

7 desilitres cold rice porridge
5 desilitres whipping cream
1.5 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tbs sugar

Whisk cream with sugar, fold gently into cold porridge. Serve with a little cooled red sauce poured over. Voila!  As I forgot to take a photo, here is a nice one from http://ceciliesmat.no/  (many thanks!)

PS If you want a to make a  vegan version of rice porridge and creamed rice, have a look at Arctic Grub’s Riskrem: a classic Norwegian Christmas Dessert.  Informative, vegan and delicious!

Happy holidays from Accra!

wp-1450884376096.jpg It’s December 23, we are in Accra (Ghana) and I just wanted to wish you all the best for the holidays! It is very different here, but we are doing just fine. People are nice, the pineapples are amazing and we are finally settling in.

After a month in hotels we have found a nice small apartment, and our small pile of boxes from Rome just arrived today. Sheets, pots, towels, my battered plastic Christmas tree! I am SO pleased!

wp-1450884370718.jpg You might not see them in the photo, but there are chickens on the street there. Big streets, small streets, there are chickens all over here.

Now that I have my pots, I’ll be making Norwegian risengrynsgrøt tomorrow, the traditional rice porridge, a double portion so the leftover rice porridge can be mixed with whipped cream to make riskrem for Christmas Eve dessert.  Two friends are coming over, so we will hide the blanched almond in the riskrem, and whoever finds the almond wins a small marzipan pig. I just need to find cinnamon for the porridge and an almond this afternoon, which means a quick trip to Koala (Lebanese shop) on Oxford Street here this afternoon. Food shopping is interesting here, more  on that later.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday, wherever you are!