Our son, Alex, loves arroz en leche. I learned to make it exclusively for him, it's his comfort food.
We met with Alex when he was four (that was when, in my heart, he became my son) and he came to live with us when he was eight (that was when he officially became our son). During his early childhood he used to eat a lot of "atoles" (porridge): Atol de Elote, INCAPARINA, Arroz en Leche, Mosh, manjar, Atol de Platano, Atol de Masa, etc. These are staples of a Guatemalan diet, they are cheap and hearty.
Myself, I didn't grow up with atoles. My mom says she had to eat so many of them growing up that she did not want to make them anymore plus they also reminded her of struggling economic times. Hence, I didn't acquire the taste or the skill to make them just right.
Arroz en leche is the only one that I learned how to make for Alex, the others I asked friends to once in a while make them for him. I do have to say now I regret it. He is now 19 with a mind of his own and I should have given him all the comfort I could when I could. (Well, I guess there is still time... I will learn how to make more of these atoles!)
Alex is now living on his own and I am going to visit him today so I will take some Arroz en Leche for him.
I am using a recipe from the book Recetas de Oro de Olga Perez Guisasola de Cáceres.
1 cup of rice.
4 cups of water.
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp salt
1 pinch of lime zest (the peel)
1 liter of milk
1/2 pound of sugar
1 tsp of grounded cinnamon
Bring the water to boil, add the rice, cinnamon stick, salt, lime zest. Let it cook at low heat, stirring occasionally. If needed you can add more water.
When the rice is cooked add the milk and sugar and let it cook longer. Let it cook as long as you want to get the consistency desired. (some like it runnier, others thicker).
To serve sprinkle cinnamon on top.