Rice Pudding

3/4 cup long-grain white rice
6 cups low-fat or skim milk
1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg 

 1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Combine the rice and milk in a large saucepan. Tip-warm up the milk just a bit in the microwave first, before pouring in the saucepan. You don't want the milk to become hot. You just want to take off the cold edge and bring it to room temperature. This will cut back on the amount of time you spend standing next to the pot, stirring. Bring the rice and milk to a boil, stirring constantly. This will take a while; 10-15 minutes. Reduce to a very low simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until the rice is soft and the pudding becomes thick (30-35 minutes).

Remove from heat and add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If you like raisins, add 1/4 cup of any variety. Note that as the pudding cooks, a film will coat the bottom of the pan. This is important in most milk-based, white sauce recipes because it creates a slight barrier that keeps the rest of the sauce from burning. As you stir, be careful not to scrape the bottom of the pan too roughly or those burned bits may mix into the pudding. Cool the pudding and spoon into serving dishes.