‘Oven Christmas Porridge during the days that lead up to Christmas’
It is tradition in Finland to eat rice porridge in the morning of the 24th, Christmas eve. The one who finds the hidden almond in the porridge is blessed with luck to the upcoming year. Traditionally the rice is cooked slowly in whole milk (constantly stirring) and served with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dollop of butter. This tradition is not a must in our household but I do love a cozy rice porridge during the dark mornings leading up to Christmas. My favorite eve tradition with hubby (before visiting family) is to have a frothy coffee in bed with candle lights listening to Christmas songs and taking a long dog walk in the forest before all the hassle starts. Currently it is so dark outside, you easily forget is it morning or night time! Beautiful flowers can overcome these dark December days, just look at the coloring of this antique looking amaryllis? A few buds are still closed up, but these open ones are just magnificent. I love the muted pink and soft greens, really elegant as a flower itself. A couple of bouquets of amaryllis stems would look sophisticated in a table setting, paired with pine or eucalyptus for a softer look.
This 2.0 rice porridge is exemplified with various festive spices and is cooked slowly in the oven so it is gooey and oh so amazing. It doesn’t need stirring (only a few times in the beginning), and it cooks in 175 Celsius degrees for an hour and a half. Not only does it make the kitchen smell of cinnamon, but it tastes hearty and comforting as it should. Keeping in mind, Christmas may be a hard time for many out there so a little soulful food in the morning, is not such a bad idea.
Begin by greasing the oven dish. Add in all the ingredients and give a little stir. Do not be alarmed by the liquid consistency. Do not put the toppings yet. Place the lid on and put into the oven for 1.5 hours. After 1 hour, add on the toppings; arrange the pecans and dates and sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on top. Place it back into the oven for another 30min before serving. Once ready to eat, serve with fresh berries of choice and a little bit more of cinnamon. I would have served this with fresh figs, but did not have any in the store so blueberries will do.