We are well into the rainy season, it’s still plenty hot most of the time, especially when the clouds gather in the afternoon at the hottest part of the day and hold all the air still and tepid all through the night.
We went for a swim in the lake yesterday even though we could see rain in the distance and hear the thunder, it's still warm enough to be totally comfortable.
Other days a cool wind breezes in, hurries the clouds together and the storm bursts rapidly with an explosion of fat drops of rain that subsides to a lighter pitter patter after several minutes. While it’s not what I would call cold, it’s is a big enough drop in temperature to chill you.
And the perfect thing for those “chill” times? Arroz con leche.
Warmly soothing creamy milk with soft smooth rice, splashes of vanilla, sprinkles of cinnamon, the permeating fragrance of cloves… inherently local with its use of few ingredients, but many adjectives.
Eva helped me make arroz con leche one rainy afternoon. I’ve learned from some cookie/purple rock disasters that since recipes I get from those around me generally come without measurements, it’s best to have someone who actually knows what they’re doing present the first time.
We started out with a 1 ½ lbs of rice, Eva made sure to point this out so I would remember when I made it alone, but I’m not quite sure why since rest of the process had no measurements.
Fortunately, it is utterly simple. Boil rice, add milk, the rest of the ingredients, boil some more and serve hot.