Nisser, Rice Pudding and the Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…
The Night Before Christmas is a wonderful poem, but Clement Clarke Moore clearly wasn’t visiting a Dane. You see in Danish Christmas we have nisser everywhere and these little guys like to make mischief, especially tonight. Our RV may be parked in Florida, but I’ve still got a well-founded respect for these little guys so we’ve been diligently working to get things ready for tonight.
Nisser are a type of mythical troll or elf traditionally part of Scandinavian rural folklore. They bring good luck but are also whimsical and extremely mischievous, unless that is you keep them happy. Traditional rice pudding is the magical elixir so there’s many a Dane that will make up a good portion the day before Christmas Eve and leave a bit out to keep the little guys happy. Then, on 24th we’ll make a desert (ris-a-l’amande) with the leftovers.
We’ve got the rice pudding done and hope nisserne will be good to us tonight.
If you didn’t get the chance to make your own here’s the original recipe from 1955’s edition of Lærebog I Huslig Økonomi. This will make enough for 4 people or 2 people and a houseful of nisser.
- 250g round/pudding rice (grødris eller runde ris). Sushi or arborio rice can be substituted
- 2 liters full-fat milk (sødmælk)
- 1 teaspoon salt
Preparation (~1 hour):
- Rinse the rice: Rinse the rice and allow to dry on a sieve.
- Boil the milk: Bring the 2 liters of milk to a rolling boil under med-high heat. Stir the milk during this process to keep it from burning, and keep a close eye to prevent the milk bubbling up over the edge of the pot.
- Add the rice: Add rice and keep stirring until the milk is boiling again. Continue stirring for an extra 5 mins once boiling.
- Boil the rice: Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to bubble slowly for ~1 hour. Check the pudding and stir periodically to make sure it’s not going too fast, or getting burnt. At the very end of cooking add the salt. The final result will be a thick, rich pudding ready to eat hot off the stove!
With a bit of luck nisserne will enjoy the treat and be back next year to visit too.
Eat well and sleep tight, my little friends…SPONSORED LINK:
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