Sunshine and Horchatas


Today it was really sunny and warm outside and for the first time this spring, the Prairie dogs were able to experience lying in the sunshine on the porch. It was PD heaven. Lots of of sun bathing and relaxing going on in dog town.


Handsome Hector

Roman caught about to roll over on his back to sun his tummy

smiling Hector

 This week at IHCC's, the theme is, for mom. My mom passed away many years ago, when I was sixteen. It's taken many years (who am I kidding, it took almost a decade) for me to be able to remember her without feeling pain. She was sick for five years before passing, so a good deal of my childhood memories of her, are of when she was sick. For a while, it was difficult to remember all the important things that you want to remember about the people you love when they leave us... for a while, we can only remember the really hard, and painful stuff. But time does heal, and it does help us focus more on the good memories, and the things we want to remember, happy memories and important things, for me, things like, the way she laughed, her smile, and the smell of her cooking cabbage rolls and how happy she was when she was doing it. I would rather have one more chance to make her laugh, than all the tea in China, or all the money in the world.

The thing that is frustrating to me most as a grown woman now is that there are so many things I wish I could share with her, things I wasn't able to as a child.... ideas, conversations, meals, good wine. I think there is a very special relationship we can have with our parents as adults, one that not every one experiences but there is a form of friendship there that sometimes can grow, that is different than any other.

So with it being Mother's day, and also my mom's Birthday, I thought to myself, what is something I would want to make with her, and share with her, if she were here with me right now. Horchata, a fun to make and popular Mexican drink fit the bill. I drank it in the sunshine while thinking of her, and taking a moment to be grateful for the time I did have her in my life. For many years I wrote letters to her at this time of year, telling her all the things that were happening in my life and that I wished I could share with her. 

Now, I feel like she already knows, and I share them with her every day. 

This drink reminded me of rice pudding, something she loved and made like I will never be able to, no matter how hard I try... I also tried Rick Bayless Coconut Horchata "Colada" using the Coconut Horchata I made, and it was a lot of fun! Just add some fresh diced pineapple, some more ice, and some run to the blender with about 3 cups of the Coconut Horchata, and voila! You've got Coladas.

Coconut Horchata 
from, Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless

6 Tbs raw white rice
One 14 ounce can, Coconut milk (I used fresh) 
a 2 inch Cinnamon stick 
3/4 cup of sugar
Ice cubes
5 cups of water 

Step 1: Soak the rice. In a medium sized bowl, combine the rice, cinnamon stick, and 2 1/2 cups of water. Stir, then cover and let stand at least 8 hours but preferably, overnight. 

Step 2: Scrape the mixture into a blender and blend for several minutes, until a drop rubbed between your fingers, no longer feels gritty. Add 2 cups of water, then blend another minute. Set a medium mesh strainer or large colander over a bowl, and line it with two layers of dampened cheesecloth. A cup or two at a time, pour in the rice mixture, gently stirring to help the liquid pass through. When all the liquid has passed through, gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and twist them together to trap the dregs inside. Squeeze the package firmly to extract any remaining liquid. 

Step 3: Add 1/2 cup of water and your Coconut milk to the strained mixture. Stir in the sugar. 

I strained it again into glasses filled with lots of ice. It's good with pineapple and rum, but also on it's own. Rick says if you make the Coconut version of this instead of another version, like almond, you can switch up the cinnamon stick with lime zest, which would be nice, but my favorite part about this was the cinnamon. 

Happy Mother's day to all the Mother's out there, both here and on the other side. Amazingly although none of my children can speak in human language or have any money, somehow they did manage to buy me flowers... Is it crazy that I have this image of Sammy the goat and Douglas the Pug at the store, asking for the purple flowers in my head? :)


Mary Ann said…
This is a wonderful post, one of the best you've written... and not just the drink recipe... thanks for sharing the memories with us.
Dreaming said…
How tough to lose your mother at such a young age. I am so glad that I had my mom until just about 10 years ago. She got to see her grandchildren. She was part of my adult life.
I took Tucker for a walk the other day. We went by a PD town. The PD's were scolding us the entire time. Tucker didn't really notice them! I immediately thought of you when I saw them
Glad you got a Mother's Day gift from our fuzzy kids!
Deb in Hawaii said…
A beautiful post that really honors your mom.

I keep meaning to make horchata. I love the idea of the horchata coladas too. The prairie dogs look like they enjoyed their day--so cute.
Heather S-G said…
This was such a touching, beautiful post. And the perfect tribute to your mama. I love horchata and yours sounds delicious!
The JR said…
I'm so sorry for you losing your Mom like that.

I miss my mom too. She's been gone for about 5 years.
Jamie K said…
What an interesting drink! Pairing it with the pineapple and rum sounds wonderful!
This is a beautiful post, Donna. My mom passed away three years ago and there is not a single day she is not on my mind.
That is an interesting drink, using raw rice, which I have not seen before. Wish you a lovely Spring!
NKP said…
A lovely tribute to your mother. And a great drink! My daughter can't handle too much milk - but she often craves milkshakes. I should send her the link to this concoction - I think it will fit the bill nicely!
So good of your babies to get you flowers, I imagine the goat carried them home as Doug is rather close to the ground. ;-)
Kim said…
You've written a beautiful and very touching post about your mom. It's so important to take the time to sit down and remember our loved ones.

Love that the horchata tastes similar to a rice pudding. I bet I'd love it!
Karen said…
This is a nice post and nice tribute to your mom. I made horchata a few weeks back, but not with the coconut milk, which I think I'd really like - especially turned into a Colada :)

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