Trigo con Leche (Bulgur Pudding) is an example that life moves in circles, doesn’t it? And never is this more evident than when you have kids, and one day you look at yourself in the mirror and your mother (or father) stares back at you, while that kid loudly demanding your attention reminds you of that child that used to look at you from inside the mirror. You sigh, half annoyed, half startled and realize that you have changed in ways that you did not believe possible.
Why, yes, I might be feeling a tad old these days.
I used to be your typical example of the liberated, modern urbanite, wondering almost halfway through my 30s if I was ever actually going to have kids. I love kids, but the enormous responsibility of raising one scared me witless. I questioned myself, questioned my motives and my husband’s, I wondered if I was cut out for the job. What if? What ifs…
And then my daughter came, and I understood every cliche about parenthood. Yes, parenthood is tremendously difficult and indescribably rewarding. Scary and exhilarating. And no, until you are yourself responsible for another human being you will not understand it fully. In Aunt Ilana’s words – a veteran of motherhood by the time I was pregnant – “only lousy parents don’t question themselves”, and sometimes “because I say so!” is a perfectly good explanation.
I did not like this dish as a kid, but my mom loved it. Bulgur has a tough husk that even after much soaking and boiling does not get totally soft. I did not like the texture, I wished it were sweeter, but my pleas fell on deaf ears and a “that’s what we have for dinner” put an end to any protests.
Nadia had never tried it, I hadn’t cooked this since she was born. I decided to make some new pictures, and see if I had changed my mind about it. Much like with avena I found myself enjoying the familiar texture, the aromatic spices, the subtle sweetness. In a perfect example of life moving in circles, my daughter did not like it. Of course, “that’s what we had for dinner”.
- 2 cups of bulgur
- 7 cups of water (more may be needed)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 cups of evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon of clove powder
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- A pinch of lime or orange zest
- 1 cup of sugar (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmet
Soak the bulgur in 6 cups of water for at least two hours (you can leave it overnight in the fridge).
Place the bulgur, water from soaking, and cinnamon in a heavy pot and boil over medium heat for 5 minutes (add an extra cup of water if it looks like it might need it.)
Add milk, clove powder, raisins, salt, lime peels.
Cook over low heat until it acquires a pudding-like consistency (10 mins approx), stirring frequently to prevent it from burning. Add sugar to taste.
Serve warm if you are using it as a breakfast dish or serve in individual bowls and chill to serve as dessert. Sprinkle with nutmeg before serving.
Add less sugar for a main breakfast or dinner dish, more sugar to serve as dessert.
If you are a vegan, you could use milk substitute of your choice. I have used soy milk with great results.
If you are on a no-sugar diet substitute sugar for sweetener of your choice. Add sweetener after you have removed it from the heat.