Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rice Pudding

“Alfred,” said Mother, “I have discovered a wonderful recipe for Rice Pudding,” putting a bowl of rice pudding down in front of Alfred.

“Oh?” said Alfred.

“The old recipe I had took eight hours in my Euro-Pro Ninja Multi Cooker” said Mother. “This new recipe is quite as good, and only takes a minute or two in the microwave.”

Alfred looked up from his New York Times Crossword and asked, “What’s a eight letter word for improbable? It has to start with a “U”…“Oh, I know, “Unlikely,” said Alfred, picking up his Crown Princess Pattern silver dessert spoon.

“I have also discovered a new word,” said Mother. “‘Snarky’, as in “Don’t be snarky, Alfred.”

“Snarky,” asked Alfred, “Is that a word?”

            “It means ‘crotchety’ Alfred,” said Mother. “We have to be open to trying new things.”

            “Well, there you have me,” said Alfred. “You are quite right.” He paused, took a spoonful of the rice pudding, and added, “Hmmm!”

            “I take it, that ‘Hmmm’ means you like it?” asked Mother.

            “What is it, Mother,” asked Alfred, putting the second spoonful in his mouth and savouring it.”

            Mother retreated to the kitchen and returned with a tin of Ambrosia Creamy Rice Pudding. “Our Scottish housekeeper Agnes Findlay swears by it. I think that she picked it up at the British Emporium in Grapevine.”

            “Quite good, Mother, quite good,” said Alfred scraping out the last of the rice pudding from his bowl.” 

            “As we get older Alfred,” said Mother, “I don’t want us to get stuck in our ways. Nothing could be worse than degenerating into two stuffy old people who won’t try new things.”

            “You mean ‘Grumpa’ and ‘Grumpma,’” said Alfred.

            “Exactly,” said Mother, “Grumpy, rocking on our rocking chairs and vegetating in the sun. By the way Alfred, I decided to accept Father Goodfellow’s invitation to host Abbot Wigbert next week. That ought to be interesting; I’ve never met a monk before.”

            “Wigbert,” that’s an odd name,” said Alfred.

            “That’s what I thought,” answered Mother, so I asked Father Goodfellow about it. He said it means something like Fighter, Warrior and Bright.”

            “Bright Warrior?” said Alfred. “If he lives up to his name he ought to be a spark to have around. Hosting an Abbot is like having something old and something new at the same time. Centuries old in tradition, but new to us.”

            “You and I, Alfred,” said Mother, “have always enjoyed having an adventure, and this ought to be an adventure. After all, if I understand Father Goodfellow correctly, Christian life is an adventure, a journey to new places we’ve never been before.”

            “It’s kind of like Ambrosia Creamy Rice Pudding,” said Alfred. “God values the old things, yet He is always doing new things.”

 “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them” [Isaiah 42:9].

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