Crisps and cold rice pudding

Appalling isn’t it? I can cook from here to Bombay, but do I? No. At least, not for me. I cook daily for my son at his home, but here, the dog eats better than I do… she, at least, reminds me twice a day without fail to fill her bowls with something decent.

I live mainly on coffee unless I have visitors, with the odd foray into the larder every now and then in search of something I can nibble while I work. Which is where the packet of crisps materialised… and the rice pudding.

I was going to write about that.. then I remembered that I already had done so, some time ago.. so, as I am up-to- the- eyeballs busy and none too well either, I thought I might share the memories again… cold rice pudding takes me back a very long way…

When I was a very little girl I remember my grandmother telling me that cold rice pudding was an infallible cure for a broken heart. I cannot remember why my heart was broken at that early age, but it obviously was, because she served me a bowl of the stuff. It made me giggle. So as a cure it was, at that point in time, pretty effective.

me1It had to be the tinned version, of course. Real rice pudding, baked with cream and butter and freshly grated nutmeg was serious and the thought takes me back a further generation to my great grandparents’ home, with the square, Deco crockery painted with daffodils. As an even littler girl I had to clear my plate enough to see those daffodils… which was one way of getting a child to eat her greens.

Memories of food, the smells and tastes that come back, visual memories of scenes and rooms, tiny details almost forgotten, intricately linked with those moments in time shared with loved ones. Remembering the daffodil plates I can see my great grandfather sitting opposite, his hair white as snow, cheeks traced with tiny spider veins. Behind me is grandma’s treadle sewing machine with the drawers stuffed with treasures and the brass inkstand shaped like one of the setters.

Most of the small room was taken up with the great carved  dresser with grandad’s treasures from India. Opposite was the big, black-leaded Yorkist range with the bread oven, where the fire burned always and sometimes we made toast in front of the flames or watched strange landscapes in the embers of the coals. And always there were the three red setters, Bonnie, Rory and Meg and great grandma, seated in her chair in the corner with her beautiful long hair bound around her head in a coronet of plaits.

Grandad Doughnuts

They taught me to cook. All of them, one after another. A simple, homely thread of loving that even now can take me back to their hearths and homes.  I was luckier than many and remember most of my great grandparents. There were photographs of five generations together. The threads of learning went back in time for me in a very vivid way.

So the child that grew learned much first hand that in many families she would have missed. I sat at my great grandmother’s knee as she told me of her own childhood in the 1800′s and of her courtship with her husband to be. And she taught me to pray. Not the written prayers we learned in school, but as she did. Simply and from the heart.

Until her death in her very late nineties, she chatted with her God every night, shared the day’s joys with Him, because, she said, they were His and He should know how glad they made her. She took Him her sorrows and fears and laid them in His lap. She taught me never to ask for anything for myself because He knew best and would give what was needed. But to ask instead for blessings on everyone else.

great grandma

Her relationship with God was a very personal one. She spoke to Him like a friend and that memory stayed with me. My own journey has been convoluted perhaps, my image of Divinity has shifted somewhat from that childhood vision, but the simplicity of those prayers remained. So did something she told me when I asked her where God lived. She smiled at me very gently and said, ‘In your heart.’

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Dogs, History, Life, Love and Laughter, Spirituality, The Silent Eye and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to Crisps and cold rice pudding

  1. mbrazfieldm says:

    Beautiful, touching and so very warm. Thank you so much for sharing ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. joylennick says:

    Thank you for such lovely, warming memories, Sue. So comforting to re-visit. How lucky to have had such long-lived relatives. I too had two sets of grand-parents to visit for special times and durable recollections. x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. acflory says:

    My childhood was very different to yours, but we share the importance of food in and for the family. My mother wasn’t a very demonstrative woman, but for her, love was in the food she prepared every day, from scratch. No surprise then that food means love to me too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is such a beautiful post, Sue. I never knew my mother’s mother or any of my biological father’s family, even my half sister and brother. You were a fortunate child as my own boys are. They also have a great grandmother.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sue Vincent says:

      My sons had their great-great granny for several years, which was wonderful. They have only the vaguest memories of her, but they do remember. I just wish that, as a child, I had realised how great a gift it was to have them all.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Ritu says:

    What beautiful reminiscences 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alli Templeton says:

    She got that right. Spirituality and religion is so personal, and ‘in your heart’ is right. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jenanita01 says:

    I know I missed out on such a lot, not having a wonderful childhood full of memories. I wasn’t taught anything in that way and had to figure things out for myself. Which explains the yawning great holes in my emotional life… I love reading about yours though, Sue…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sadje says:

    Beautiful memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mary Smith says:

    Wonderful, warm memories, Sue. I was lucky when growing up to have two sets of grandparents – one town, one country. Your post has triggered lots of my own memories. I should write them down before they slither away again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. How wonderful to be able to remember your great grandparents Sue, not many of us have had that privilege and such lovely memories of rice pudding and simple prayers… hugsxx


  11. Violet Lentz says:

    What a war embrace, this memoir. I could cuddle right up and listen all day.


  12. Darlene says:

    A very special post. I was also fortunate to have known my great grandmothers, tough pioneer women, who also had a strong faith. They also passed down some wonderful german recipes. Now I am a great grandmother and have a wonderful relationship with my two great-granddaughters. I only hope they will have special memories of our times together. One of them is already a good cook. I hope you have some cold rice pudding and feel better soon. Hugs, Darlene


  13. noelleg44 says:

    What a wonderful family memory. I was also lucky to know both grandparents and my great grandmother, although she was a bit of a curmudgeon and didn’t talk much – but she could cook!
    How was your rice pudding? Do you know the Milne poem about Mary Jane and the lovely rice pudding?.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I don’t hink we realise as children what a gift that is. My granddaughters have great-grandparents… and it is wonderful watching them together.

      (What is the matter with Mary Jane? Oh yes, I know that one 🙂 )


  14. Sue, your story brought back memories of my own grandmother and how she always made special food and desserts for all of us. She was a wonderful cook and a baker of bread, cake and pies, and so many other things. Your story is so beautiful about your grandmother. She had a beautiful smile. Thank you so much for sharing.


  15. Reblogged this on Once Upon a Time…. and commented:
    Sue, your beautiful story brought back memories of my own grandmother and how she always made special food and desserts for all of us. She was a wonderful cook and a baker of bread, cake and pies, and so many other things. Your story is so beautiful about your grandmother. She had a beautiful smile. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. memadtwo says:

    I too remember that my grandmother’s faith was for others, not herself. It’s a concept that’s out of fashion. (K)


  17. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories, Sue! You are blessed to have them. Have a beautiful weekend Michael!


  18. willowdot21 says:

    A beautiful, beautiful post full of joy 💜


  19. I thoroughly enjoyed your memories of childhood. I would say that you were one very fortunate little girl indeed.


  20. I haven’t made rice pudding in a long time. Since the kids moved out. But it IS a cure for everything. Almost everything, anyway.


  21. dgkaye says:

    Beautiful memories Sue. And that pic of you as a youngster is adorable ❤


  22. Widdershins says:

    Lovely memories. 😀 … I’ve had hot rice pudding, but not cold. Is it the same thing only chilled?


  23. Eliza Waters says:

    Gosh, you were so adorable with all those curls, Sue! I enjoyed your walk down Memory Lane, lots of love there. 🙂


  24. CarolCooks2 says:

    So much love shines through I also was lucky enough to know my great gandmother..and rice pudding has been on my mind for a few days now ..truly …slightly updated I will add…but still with the nutmeg and the skin was the best bit for me…A beautiful post , Sue:) xx


  25. Jane Sturgeon says:

    A sharing from your heart, Sue and a delight to read. Blessings indeed and your pictures are beautiful. Here’s to simple prayers, cold rice pudding and living from our hearts. ❤ xXx


  26. Jennie says:

    “In your heart.” Ah, yes! Wonderful memories, Sue. The detail you remember is the frosting on the cake.


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