Like many people out in the Land of Food Blogs, I made sure to catch Molly Wizenberg of Orangette during her recent book tour. For the record, everything you've read is true. She's as sweet as her writing. Getting to see her in person was a bittersweet experience for me. Her blog has come to symbolize so much of what I love and long for about Seattle: Its nerdy chic; flourishing DIY ethos; blindingly gray afternoon light (that Molly captures so eloquently in her photographs); and subtle, fresh food. As I clumsily attempted to tell her within ten seconds how much her writing means to me, I realized that me getting to meet Molly was much like Mary getting to meet Gwen Stefani. Or my friend Terra getting to meet George Stephanopoulos. Or my mom getting to meet Melissa Etheridge. Needless to say, I don't think I conveyed to her how very fantastic I think she is. That's okay. I've gotten to spend some time with her book, and that's nearly as good.
I purchased Molly's book as a gift to my mom, but it's been getting quite a bit of use before even reaching its intended owner. (Mom; I hope you'll forgive a couple of olive oil and/or batter splatters. Consider them a reminder of how much I love you). Each story is a confession, a small part of Molly that she has packaged for her readers to share. The accompanying recipes are treasures. Sometimes odd and always incredibly delicious, Molly presents them carefully and at the perfect moments within her gentle narrative.
This weekend, searching for a special breakfast to prepare for some vegan, gluten-free friends, I decided to pull together a sort of vegan rice pudding with stewed prunes on top. I know you don't think it sounds good, but it was. It really, really was. I stewed the prunes the night before, which took all of two minutes, and I whipped up the pudding in the morning with leftover rice from dinner. Lucky me, there are still plenty of prunes left over in the fridge, and I've been savoring them for the last few days. Even if you don't think you like prunes, I think you should try these. They are so good, so simple, and yet so decadent.
Vegan Coconut Rice Pudding With Stewed Prunes
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life
1 orange, preferable seedless
1 pound pitted prunes
1 cinnamon stick
Cut the orange in half from stem to tip, then slice it into six sections (including peel), picking out any seeds. Put orange slices in a medium saucepan with prunes and cinnamon stick, and add water just to cover. Place over medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer and cook, adjusting the heat as needed so that the liquid barely trembles, for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the prunes are tender, the orange sections are soft and glassy, and the liquid in the pan is slightly syrupy. Remove the cinnamon stick and orange sections, cool (if you want to) and serve. You can also let the prunes cool to room temperature and then store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Coconut Rice Pudding
4 cups of leftover rice (any type, though I used jasmine)
1 16 oz. can of coconut milk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. agave nectar or honey
In a small saucepan, combine rice and coconut milk. Stir until any clumps of rice break up and it is warmed through. Add cinnamon, cardamom, and agave or honey. Serve topped with rice milk and stewed prunes.