My little sisters prefer to eat something exotic over what they are familiar with (especially the older Baby Cub), and this adventurous spirit is something I try to encourage. But sometimes, it makes me laugh when I can trick them into thinking the familiar is exotic by a simple name change - like calling porridge 'risotto'.
Thick porridge has that same consistency as risotto without any cheese. This might heat up the authenticity debate again, but the trick works to get these somewhat fussy eaters to finish their dinner. Eating risotto sounds so much more fun than eating porridge, even though what they are eating really is a porridge over a risotto.
My porridge is a little more action-packed with lots of goodies than most porridges. In Japan, we have two types of porridges - zo-sui and okayu. Okayu is more like the Chinese porridges - they look white with chopped-up rice grains and only a few trimmings in it, which can range from eggs to pickled vegetables. Zo-sui on the other hand, is soupier with more vegetables and meat/fish pieces and firmer, whole pieces of rice grains. My porridge is definitely more zo-sui than okayu. Mine end up being much more of a rice-soup than a porridge.
I wonder what the Baby Cubs are going to think when they have real risotto for the first time... ..."Hey, this isn't real risotto!"...