Category Archives: cooking

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!






March (3): Sticky Toffee Pudding

Well, I snuck (sneaked?) this one in under the wire yesterday.

My plan was to get some vintage madeline pans while we were away last weekend, but instead we were wooed by gold-leaf barware, tiered tea carts, and an Abe Lincoln doll.  After that (and b/c I only saw new ones), I gave up on the pans.  But no pans meant no (baking) plan for March.

Then, yesterday, I was struck by the pressing need to rid myself of ALL those dates from Costco.  My first choice was ma’moul, but they were too labor-intensive for a Tuesday.  I poked around Smitten Kitchen for a while (can’t believe I’ve been reading her since ’07!) and came up w/ what turned out to be an absolute gem — sticky toffee pudding.  I may have cooked the sauce a little too long, b/c I also decided to ad lib on her shakshuka recipe too…

Other than making me spend too much time wondering about the the UK usage of “pudding,” this recipe was super easy.  It’s quick enough for a weeknight dessert (“afters”?) and has a fairly basic ingredients list…especially if you keep 4 lbs of dates in your fridge.

The only thing I added was some vanilla ice cream, in lieu of the whipped cream. It violates my internalized whipped cream hierarchy of use.

sticky toffee pudding by Melliroo