Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rice cakes!

This Christmas I received a family newsletter from someone I attended boarding school with while growing up in Zambia. Linda was one of my "big sisters"; each of the "little" girls (Grades 1 and 2) was assigned an older girl (Grades 7 to 9) who took care of them for a term. In the absence of parents, the big sisters helped their little sisters do their hair in the morning and after swimming and were generally responsible for making sure their little sisters got to where they needed to be on time.

I met Linda again at the school reunion another friend and I helped plan a few summers ago and about which Linda wrote an excellent report.

In her Christmas letter, Linda included the address for her family's Web site. I've since enjoyed following their activities and having a glimpse into a very different life from mine.

I especially enjoy Linda's reminiscences of boarding school days. And yesterday she posted an illustrated recipe for rice cakes (scroll down). As she mentions, we had rice cakes EVERY DAY for breakfast, after the bowl of cracked corn porridge and before the toast was served.

Two rice cakes were served on square, plastic, yellow plates with a dab of Marmite, except on Wednesday and Sunday mornings, when the rice cakes were served with plain tomato sauce (also know as catsup or ketchup) or sardines/pilchards in sauce. If two rice cakes weren't enough, you could line up for "seconds"; generally, there were no rice cakes left over at the end of breakfast.

Rice cakes for breakfast is a fond memory shared by generations of our school's former pupils. If you ate rice cakes every day (except when home on holidays) for up to nine years, you, too, might gasp in delight when you came across the treasured recipe and immediately write a long post on your own Web site, as a tribute to the memory of rice cakes.

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