All posts by melli

About melli

editor / reformed academic / wife / affective parent / doyenne of the domestic sphere / unapologetic-red-lipstick-wearer

November (7): Rice Pudding

When’s the last time you thought about rice pudding…if ever? For me it was sometime in the early 90’s.  After I moved away from southeastern MA and most things Portuguese-American, I didn’t really have much reason to think about it.  At least until a few weeks ago, when someone I know learned that he was a huge fan.  Such a fan that he asked the owner for her recipe.  Such a fan that my mother assigned it to us as part of our Thanksgiving tasks.

She even managed to dig up my Tia Francis’ recipe and the story that went with it. Tia Francis, my paternal great aunt,  didn’t measure when she cooked. Not surprising, but kind of a chore to give someone else a recipe. My mother and aunt spent the afternoon w/ her, some 30 years ago, learning to making it and, thankfully, WRITING IT DOWN.

N.B.  go cook w/ the older folks in your life and write down their recipes. You won’t regret it.

While I won’t share this recipe w/ you, I will say that it is a fairly traditional arroz doce. Delicious and sweet as all get-out.   It received a thumbs up from a newly minted connoisseur.

Almost December and five more recipes to go!






August (5) / October (6): best carrot cake / lemon cake that I didn’t love

Birthday cake was the order of the month for both August and October, b/c my sweet husband and superior mother each gained another year.

Huz chose Dorie Greenspan’s carrot cake, while I chose a lemon cake for Mah! (like Jeb! only in a far different league).

The carrot cake was sublime; the pictures are not.


He was happy w/ his cake, his fancy back-scratcher, and a winter-gear infusion. Seriously though, this cake…you should make it.  Opt for cranberries if you have raisin-haters in your life.  And the unsweetened coconut avoids any over-sweetness.

Overall, think it’s safe to say that he had a pretty good year, despite all the shoveling.


For Mah!, I opted for the Lemon Cake from Saveur, as she’s not a chocolate cake kind of person.  Frankly, I wish Dorie had a lemon cake recipe floating around out there, b/c this one was ok, but not wonderful.  The curd, I think, needed either more sugar or whole eggs  to avoid the eggy taste that developed by the second day.  The other possibility is that I overcooked it slightly, but I don’t think that’s likely. 11 yolks is a lot of yolks!  Nobody else seemed to mind, so I give this recipe a solid B-.

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The highlight though, was that Huz had the foresight to buy hats and noisemakers! This photo also solidifies my suspicion that we really need to hang something on that wall. We’re still trying to master hanging on plaster/lath walls. They’re so…crumbly.

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They’re very grown-up.

So I’m half-way through my 12-treats challenge, but only 50% complete!  Poor showing — but I still have time!