Country Kitchen: Season of Spring Rains

Country Kitchen: Season of Spring Rains

By Mary Emma Allen

As I sit listening to the rain against the windows, I'm reminded of the little rhyme we sing-songed in my childhood:

"Rain, rain go away. Come again another day. Little Mary (or Johnnie, Debbie, Bobby, etc.) wants to play."

I'm reminded, too, as I try to find indoor projects for two grandchildren, two grand nieces, and two of their friends. Playing outside with umbrellas can only last so long before it's time to come inside and dry off.

So today, they made collages, created alphabet books, and walked in the rain looking for salamanders. They played board games and read stories.

Mud & Rain

This time of year, between the melting of the snow and the spring showers, our yards and driveways become squishy with mud. It sticks to shoes and boots and is dragged indoors endlessly. Then the rain drenches us when we step out the door.

Rain though, when it isn't being destructive, can be pleasant and refreshing. Who hasn't enjoyed the invigorating freshness of a sudden spring or summer shower? Who doesn't enjoy being lulled to sleep with the patter of rain on a roof or windowpane?

Splashing Through Puddles

What children don't love to splash through the mud puddles made by the falling rain?

I watched my daughter, when young, walk up the driveway from the school bus. She sloshed through every mud puddle on the way.

"Why did you have to step in every puddle?" I asked.

"Because it's fun, Mom," she replied.

I watch my grandson now and see him study mud puddles and splash through all he can find. As we take walks, he gathers stones to toss into puddles and a small stream along our route.

I recall spring walks with my granddaughter when she was three years old. A rivulet of water ran beside our dirt road and she followed it until it disappeared into the woods. Water fascinates youngsters, whether it's playing in a sink, a tub, or puddles in the driveway.

When we're on the verge of reprimanding them because of soaked shoes and jeans, we remember our youth and splashing through puddles on a bike or soggy sneakers.

Hungry Youngsters

Youngsters come in from the rain, hungry for a snack. "What is there to eat?" they ask as they drip over the floor.

Try some INSTANT RICE PUDDING - Boil together slightly 1/4 - 1/2 cup raisins, 3/4 cup instant type rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 cups milk, nutmeg and cinnamon to taste. Add a dash of sweetened lemonade mix if you like a slight lemon flavor, like my mother-in-law used to do.

Then add a little of the boiled pudding to 2 beaten eggs and stir. Pour into the rest of the ingredients in the pan. If you haven't used lemon flavoring, you can add one teaspoon vanilla at this point.

Cover the pan and let set. Stir the pudding a couple of times as it cools. This dessert can be served warm or cool, with whipped cream, or whipped topping, if you desire.

(C) 2003 Mary Emma Allen

About the Author

Mary Emma Allen has been writing her "Cooking Column" for newspapers and online publications for 30 years and has compiled a family cookbook. SheÂ’s currently compiling a cookbook/story book, "Tales From a Country Kitchen." Visit her web site for more cooking articles. Contact her at

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