This was the conversation in my house this morning between my wife and our almost 3-year-old. I had to have the last word (of course).
Wife: What do we leave out tonight?
Kid: Cookies for Santa!
Wife: YES! What else?
Kid: Carrots! For reindeer!
Me: What else?
Wife + Kid: Silence
Me: Rice pudding for the Nisse!!!
Wife + Kid: Dumbfounded silence
Well, fine then. Keep just putting out cookies and carrots for the jolly ol’ fat man in red and his flying reindeer, but don’t give me weird looks when I insist on leaving out rice pudding for the Norwegian barn gnome. And get used to him, because next year we’re making little Nisses for Christmas crafts.
To be fair, the yuletide season is one of the hardest times in the year for me (as it is for many), for a multitude of reasons. But this year I’ve found a little hope and solace in pivoting into crafts and traditions found in Norse+Germanic folklore that fold seamlessly into our already established secular routine. With a bit of inspiration from The Old Magic of Christmas. And this is why we’ve found ourselves leaving out a bowl of rice pudding (a more modern take of the rice porridge of yesteryear) for the Norwegian Nisse. Since my living room is literally covered in old photographs of my Norwegian ancestors, it’s only fitting to honor the barn gnome our older ancestors may have left a bowl of porridge for as well.
Slow Cooker X-mas Eve Rice Pudding
Because I used to cook a lot from scratch–but these days I’m lucky if I can throw stuff in the slow cooker! 5 minutes to prep, 3 hours to cook.
- 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
- 3 cups cashew milk
- 3/4 cup sugar (white granulated or in the raw)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/3 cup melted vegan “butter”
- brown sugar (optional)
- pat of vegan butter
- a few almonds (traditionally only used on xmas eve)
Combine all ingredients except the melted butter in a lightly greased slow cooker. Pour the melted butter on top and turn on high for 2 1/2-3 hours. When ready to serve, place into dessert bowls and top with brown sugar, vegan butter and a few almonds. Be sure to set aside a serving and leave it out xmas eve night for the Nisse (or, if you want to go old school, leave it outside on the porch or in your barn if you have one).
*Some notes on the ingredients + their magical properties
This rice pudding recipe can also be used to show gratitude for certain properties at xmas eve dinner, or, if you make another batch for new years eve, you can use the rice pudding to attract those properties in the New Year. It’s packed to the brim with goodness!
- Rice: protection, money + fertility
- Cinnamon: healing + love
- Nutmeg: health
- Ginger: success
- Cardamon: love
- Currants: healing
- Apricot: love
- Almonds: money + prosperity