Catholic Recipe: Risengroed
Also Called: Rice Pudding
As the feast of St. Thomas is celebrated, the charity of Christ was made to include all. In Gloucestershire, England, poor women went a "Thomasing" or begging, and no one would refuse them gifts. In Shropshire each farmer reserved a sack of wheat from the harvest. This was distributed on St. Thomas Day to the poor, a quart at a time. The wheat was taken and cooked for the Christmas feast. First it was boiled until the grains had burst. (Try using a pressure cooker, it will make the grain softer.) Then the boiled wheat was cooked again in milk and eggs; raisins, sugar and spice were added. In old English this was know as Frumenty. This staple of the Christmas table is much like the Danish Risengroed or rice porridge which is always part of the Christmas feast.
The Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle was traditionally on December 21. Although the feast is now moved the July 3rd, this day still marks in Europe many customs, and also marks the final countdown for baking and cleaning for Christmas.
Scald rice with boiling water. Drain. Rinse a pan with cold water, and pour into milk. Heat milk to boiling, add rice gradually. Cover pan, and simmer slowly for 50 minutes. (You can cook it in 25 minutes in a pressure cooker.) When tender, add cream and salt. Serve in soup dishes with butter and raspberry syrup. Use sugar and cinnamon to taste.Recipe Source: Cooking for Christ by Florence Berger, National Catholic Rural Life Conference, 4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310, 1949, 1999