The standard recipe for Who Pudding from the Dr. Seuss website can be a disappointment for kids because, after making it, you have to let it sit in the fridge for 8 hours to overnight. This quicker rice pudding is just as yummy. Make it over the winter vacation while watching or reading "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas ".

1/2 cup long grain white rice or one cup cooked leftover rice

1 1/4 cup water (not needed if using pre-cooked rice)

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon to taste

Red and green M&Ms ( or other colourful Christmas candy)

Boil the rice and water in a saucepan.

Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes after it comes to a boil.  

Whisk the egg in a bowl, then add the milk and sugar. 

Pour over the rice.

Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat and cook at low heat for about 30 minutes stirring often.

Stir in the vanilla. Add cinnamon if desired.

You can serve it warm, room temp or cold. 

Garnish with M&Ms or other red and green candy.

Persimmon Breakfast Parfait

Inspired by the dessert parfait from Maman's Homesick Pie, I wanted a lighter, quicker version. This colourful, healthy, and quick breakfast is perfect for using autumn persimmons and pomegranates.

Persimmon pulp,very soft

Honey to taste

Yogurt, flavoured or plain, if desired

Granola, if desired

A scattering of pistachio and/or pomegranate seeds ( other seeds or nuts will taste good too).

Place granola in a bowl.

Cover with yogurt, then pomegranate pulp.

Dribble with honey and scatter with nuts and seeds. 

This rich, elegant dish is a wonderful alternative to a turkey if you dislike it or are small in number for Thanksgiving.

Roast Duck Legs with Dates and Lentils from Maman's Homesick Pie

Six Muscovy duck legs, patted dry

1 medium yellow onion, diced

I carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced,

2 whole cloves 

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme

Honey or 1tablespoon pomegranate molasses

2 cups duck or chicken stock

1 ½ cups pomegranate juice

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups French green lentils or you can use brown

1½ cups diced Medjool dates

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or pomegranate vinegar

Preheat the oven to 325.

Brown the duck legs for 8 to 10 minutes skin side down in a skillet.

Then cook 3 to 4 minutes on the other side.

Keep enough fat in the pan after removing the duck legs to sauté ½ of the carrots, onions, celery, and seasonings.

Then add the pomegranate juice and simmer ten minutes.

Add the stock and cook ten minutes further.

Pour over duck legs in a baking dish and cook for 1 hour.

Sauté the remaining vegetables and herbs in a pan.

Add the lentils and 3 cups water or stock.

Cook for thirty minutes until tender, or less for brown lentils.

Then add the vinegar.

After an hour take out the ducks legs.

Return to the pan with the dates underneath.

Cook skin side up at 400 for thirty more minutes.

Place the lentils on a plate with the dates and duck and cover with remaining sauce. 

You can reduce the sauce from the duck if you like.

Pomegranate Sorbet

Pomegranate Granita from Maman's Homesick Pie

Maman's Homesick Pie" A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen, is about unwilling Iranians exiles who settle in California. The daughter, Donia Bijan, becomes a chef and restaurateur.  She makes it easy for me once again by including her wonderful recipes in her memoir. 

This is an immensely good sorbet for its own sake, but it is also perfect to refresh palates during a long and heavy Thanksgiving dinner.  And it's a beautiful colour for Christmastime.

2 cups fresh squeezed, frozen, or bottled unsweetened pomegranate juice

1  1/2 cups simple syrup

Made from 2 cups sugar and ¾ cup water with lemon zest added.

Bring to boil.

Simmer for two minutes.

Cool.

Combine syrup and juice.

Place in fridge in a metal container.

As it freezes, break up the crystals with a spoon, every fifteen minutes for an hour. 

Then let freeze for six to 8 hours.

Best served fresh. Although it actually keeps rather well. 

Garnish with sprigs of mint and fresh pomegranate seeds.

Barm Brack from "Pomegranate Soup"

Pomegranate Soup is about three young Iranian sisters who emigrate to small-town Ireland, where they open a restaurant. A lot of great Persian food wafts throughout the book, but naturally Irish fare is also mentioned. Barm Brack is a traditional Irish brea,d often served at Halloween or Samhain. It's also great for St. Paddy's Day. More complex than soda bread, it's really yummy toasted or made into bread pudding once it's a few days old.

4 cups flour

1 cup room temperature milk

1 1/4 cups raisins or currants

2 rounded tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cake or package of yeast

3/4 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup mixed chopped candied citrus peel

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg

Mix the dry ingredients. 

Rub in the butter.

Combine the yeast with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon milk.

Add the remaining sugar to the flour mixture and blend.

Add the milk and egg to the yeast miixture then blend with the flour. 

Use a dough hook for about 5 minutes or knead for ten minutes.

When the dough is elastic add the fruit. 

Let rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled. 

Place in two greased cake or loaf pans. 

Leave to rise for thirty minutes.

Bake at 400. 

You can combine 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons hot water as a glaze. 

Spread or dribble over the bread at the end of baking and cook for an additional three minutes. 

For Halloween/Samhain, I add charms which you can use to tell your future, but that is strictly optional. 

Pomegranate Soup from "Pomegranate Soup"

Pomegranate Soup, by the late Marsha Mehran, is about three young Iranian women who emigrate to Ireland where they open a Persian restaurant. The book is chock full of delicious recipes. This adapted recipe is lovely for chill autumn evenings. 

Pomegranate Soup

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup yellow split peas (green are ok too)

6 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 cups fresh parsley, chopped

2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped

I cup fresh scallions, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

1 pound ground lamb

3/4-cup rice 

2 cups pomegranate juice

Pomegranate seeds

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon angelica powder, optional

Sauté the onion in a large pot in the olive oil until tender. 

Add peas, rice, water, salt, pepper, and turmeric and bring to a boil.

Simmer covered over lower heat for 30 minutes. 

Add the parsley, cilantro, mint, and scallions reserving some of each for garnish.

Simmer. 

Season the lamb with salt and pepper and roll into meatballs

Sauté until browned.

Toss in the pot. 

Add the pomegranate juice.

Cook for ten minutes.

Garnish with reserved herbs and pomegranate seeds.