Mom used to say that she noticed when I was a baby, I laughed and babbled more than I normally did whenever she added puréed pumpkin, instead of the usual puréed fruits or greens, to my rice cereal. I wouldn’t touch pumpkin by itself, but would lap up the combination of rice and pumpkin. Then I would ‘talk’ a lot. Maybe the times I was in a particularly good mood happened to coincide with the times when she fed me rice-pumpkin porridge. Maybe Mom was just imagining things. Maybe I was a weird kid. I don’t know.
This is a grown-up version of what’s supposed to be my favorite baby food. I love this dish and make it often. The salty garlic shrimp balances out the sweet rice-pumpkin porridge. The pumpkin seeds add some crunch to what would otherwise be a texturally dull mush. Vegans can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and salt instead of fish sauce and skip the shrimp or replace them with mushrooms.
I can’t say anything about whether you’ll get more talkative after you eat this porridge. But if that happens, perhaps you and I (well, the baby version of me, anyway) have more in common than previously thought. Continue Reading →