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The shiva rice pudding

The shiva rice pudding

was the only one I ever made that turned out wrong —watery
beneath the cinnamon-sugar topping.
And I forgot the raisins. She
made it year after year in the old red
wedding gift baking dish, then
in the new red baking dish she bought
after the first one broke.

It’s always more or less about the food —
the chicken soup, the casseroles, and, yes,
rice pudding, her mother’s recipe.
Still, what else can we do but bring out these
pale reminders year after year and set out plates?


Ellen Steinbaum