Horchata


This year winter is threatening to last forever. It seems that I have been cold for so long and I yearn for summer to come. I took it upon myself to see if I could hasten its arrival.

My abuelita used to say that summer and horchata was a natural pair. You couldn’t have one without the other. I have fond memories of drinking horchata on hot summer days. It was so cooling and fresh; it tasted like nothing else.

Since my grandma said the two went hand-in-hand and I knew that whenever summer came we would have horchata – logic would have it that the reverse was also true. Therefore, if I whipped up a jar full, summer should result. I had not tasted it for years and I began to look forward to this exercise.

I went to work and gathered up the ingredients. I blended rice, water, and canela. I let it soak in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning I added milk, and sugar. A splash of vanilla topped it off and I was in business.

I poured a tall glass and headed for the kitchen table. Glancing out the window I saw it had begun to snow. I knew it was not going to be easy to banish the winter. I brought the glass to my lips, took a sip and closed my eyes. I was immediately transported to my grandmother’s kitchen. It was warm and the smell of cooking meats and breads perfumed the air. My abuelita would hum a tuneless song as she worked; and all was right with the world.

I glanced out the window of my kitchen again. If anything the snow was coming down harder now. So, it’s on then. I was prepared to drink the entire pitcher right now, if need be. I was done with winter. I craved summer. I topped off my glass and raised it in challenge to the winter snow.


Too many words, sorry about that Light and Shade.  Here’s a recipe.

 

Horchata

1 1/3 cup rice
5 cups of water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup milk
1/3 cup white sugar (or to taste)
Vanilla (to taste)

Put 1 1/3 cup rice in the blender with about 2 cups of water and 2 cinnamon sticks. Blend until the rice and cinnamon are roughly ground. Add the remaining water and blend thoroughly. Pour into a pitcher and place in the refrigerator to soak (overnight is best but if you can’t wait that long go at least 4-5 hours).
Strain the mixture. Add the milk, sugar (a rounded 1/3 cup for ‘not too sweet’ – 2/3 cup for ‘sweet’) and a generous splash of vanilla. Serve chilled

 

 

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21 thoughts on “Horchata

    • The whole idea of seeking to control things that you should not be able to is intriguing. I believe this general quest has led to a lot of inventions over time and will undoubtedly continue to do so. Thanks for the read and the comment.

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  1. It’s quite amazing how the human mind can connect seemingly unrelated things into one giant web of memories. Good luck with your challenge 🙂 And thanks for the recipe.

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  2. I loved the description and the determination to bring in the summer. I also love the recipe. I had never heard of horchata. (word count is fine, don’t sweat it) Lyssa M x

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    • It was kinda fun to write. Working off the prompt one swallow does not a summer make but I really needed to be verbose. Thanks for the read and the feedback.

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  3. A lovely childhood memory (thanks for the recipe.) I’m sure for those living through last year’s harsh winter, a little abuelita magic would have been welcome.

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