I can feel it – it is definitely coming… a little too soon for me. I saw a school bus driving up the mountain to drop off excited and exhausted children returning from their first day of the school year and the light over the mountains and through the trees is changing ever so slightly. I feel as if I just put all of my woolies away, exchanging them for sundresses and sandals, and I’ve barely had a chance to entertain outdoors as I love to do on warm summer evenings. Hardly a bike ride was had, and now, a glimmering of fall is in the air.

Gearing up for the cooler months

Gearing up for the cooler months.

There is a tree at the bottom of the hill that year-after-year, decides it wants to be the first one out of the autumnal gate. A stately maple that has begun changing its colors before the barbecues have had a chance to cool. It blazes a red display that is quite impressive against the rest of his compadres who are taking a more leisurely stance, showing a reluctance to leave the warmth of summer. It’s a tree that looks forward to shedding its cloak of foliage for the nakedness of winter when it can bare all in a show of confidence, only to renew itself once again in the spring.

Along with the waning summer comes the season of many charitable parties and events. September brings an event that I am helping to plan; BoldeReach goes Bollywood, an event to raise funds to help stop the trafficking of woman and children into sex slavery (boldereach.org).

I have spent a lot of time recently working side-by-side with a wonderful group of women, many of them from India, planning our event. The décor is that of saris, intensely colored linens and flowers in hot pinks and oranges. Of course, the food will be a highlight of delicious fragrant Indian cuisine.

Rice-and-plum-pudding

This recipe is inspired by my work with the women who give so much of themselves to others in the name of service. They are dedicated to making the world a safer place for women and children who live in a very dangerous and insecure situation.

Honey & Plum Rice Pudding
Recipe type: Dessert
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup Jasmine rice
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios, chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the 1 ½ cup water in a saucepan with the rice that has been rinsed under cold water.
  2. Bring the rice to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, corn flour and spices in a saucepan.
  4. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and toss it into the pan.
  5. Slowly heat the mixture, stirring constantly so the bottom doesn’t burn.
  6. After it has warmed up a bit, add the honey and continue to cook for another minute or two.
  7. Turn the heat off, remove the vanilla bean, scraping out any remaining seeds from inside the pod and adding them to the pot.
  8. Add the rice to the pot, turn the heat on to medium and stir.
  9. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until thick and creamy.
  10. Serve pudding warm, room temperature or chilled, topped with compote and garnish with some chopped pistachios.

Plum & Port Compote
Recipe type: Dessert
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 small plums (figure ½ plum per serving)
  • ½ cup Ruby Port
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into 2 pieces
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a pan, stirring gently to combine.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the plums are soft and liquid is syrupy.
  3. Remove the plum skins which separate easily from the plums when they are cooked.
  4. Allow the skins to cool enough to handle and then chop them up a bit and return them to the compote.
  5. Set the compote aside to cool.
Notes
If you have the time, the compote is best made a day ahead of time to allow the plums to steep in the syrup. It can be kept in the fridge for up to one week.

plum-and-rice-pud-close-up-wb

Enjoy!

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