Sis: Girl, are you alive?
Sis: Well, I cooked. elle, you should've seen the big bag of rice Daddy brought me. And I guess I must've been thinking like him, cuz I cooked way too much rice.
Me: indistinguishable-but-sympathetic grunt.
Sis: Anyway, I'ma put you some on a plate for you and throw the rest out.
Me: (For the first time, a spark of interest makes me rise partially from my repose). Nuh-uh. I'ma call Mama and get her to tell me how to make rice pudding.
So, I call ma mère, who's away at a convention. We exchange pleasantries, and then I jump in.
Me: Ma, how do I make rice pudding?
Mama: Oh, y'all ate rice?
Mama: With what?
Me: Sis cooked rice and fried some chicken. Now, ma-
Mama: Well, boil your rice.
Mama: Okay. Put you some eggs in there.
Me: How many?
Mama: Three. (This will be the last clear direction). And some sugar.
Me: How much sugar?
Mama: You know I can't tell you that, baby.
Me: Like half a cup or a cup or what, Ma?
Mama: Half a cup.
Me: (sounding doubtful) For rice, Mama? Half a cup enough for rice?
Mama: (in that sarcastic/reprimanding blend) Well, put what you think since you know.
Me: Okay. What else?
Mama: Uh, some milk. Add some milk.
Me: How much, Mama?
Mama: elle! Enough. Get it wet.
Mama: But not soupy. You know wet, but not soupy.
Me: Yes, ma'am. That's all?
Mama: Yeah--no, no. Vanilla flavoring.
Me: Like a capful?
Mama: Whatever looks right.
Me: (put upon sigh) Anything else? What about butter?
Mama: Your sister put butter in the rice, didn't she?
Me: Probably, but I like lots of butter.
Mama: Well put it in. But not too much, elle. Just-
Mama: Mm-hmm. And you could put some cinnamon if you like it. I don't like it.
Debate about temperature at which to cook ensues. Mama issues a last minute"Just bake it long enough!" Parting pleasantries exchanged.
Rice pudding going into the oven:
An aside: Chocolate cake from Sunday dinner. It tasted better than my limited decorating skills would indicate.