To make stove-top rice pudding, mix 3 1/2 cups of milk with 1/2 cup of rice. Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt and cinnamon to taste, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the rice is soft.
Use either cooked or uncooked rice for the rice pudding. If you use cooked rice, cook the pudding only until it is heated through. As the pudding simmers, stir it frequently with a wooden spoon to prevent the rice from sticking to the pot. Take the pudding off of the stove before it thickens completely.
Customize the rice pudding to your preferences. For a richer pudding, stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. If you want a sweeter taste, increase the sugar to 1/3 cup. Substitute white sugar if you do not have brown sugar. Alternatively, mix in 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk. Stir in 1 tablespoon of orange peel to build a more complex flavor.
Mix in 1/2 cup of raisins to the rice pudding a few minutes before you remove it from the burner. If you prefer a strong taste, soak the raisins in whiskey while the pudding cooks. Drain the liquid before adding the raisins to the pot. Serve the pudding with sweet cream or sweetened creme fraiche.