Rice Pudding and Coffee with my Motherline


Leora Wilson was my grandmother. The Santa is the only one of her Christmas ornaments to survive. In her later years, she decorated a Norfolk Island pine a little as her Christmas tree.

She crocheted the antimacassar. The Home Sweet Home design is only one of several she liked to make.

The spoon was also Leora’s. She bought a set of the Gorham Invitation silverplate when my mother Doris did, after the war and when Doris could finally afford it.

The Noritake china also carries a family story. My mother helped her grandmother, Laura Goff, choose the dishes in the bargain basement of Omaha’s Brandeis department store in 1939.

I just love heirlooms with stories, especially those that link me to my motherline. All four of us–Laura Goff, Leora Wilson, Mom (Doris Neal), and I–are the oldest daughters in our families.

My husband loves rice pudding. These days I make him the Crockpot version:

Crockpot Rice Pudding

6 cups cooked white rice

1 cup raisins (or craisins)

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

3 12-ounce cans evaporated milk

I use my large oval Crockpot to make this, first combining the liquids in it, then adding the rice and raisins. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours. I keep a small shaker with a cinnamon and sugar mix, about half of each, to sprinkle atop each serving. Good warm or cold.

The only thing better than an heirloom is an heirloom with a story.


  1. Nothing like heirlooms to make us feel warm and cozy in the winter and closer to our past! Thank you for the easy rice pudding recipe too 🙂 Yum!

  2. This is delightful: I too feel an affinity for heirlooms that link us to our forebears. Thank you for sharing these details with us.

      • I’m the same way–and I have the cluttered house to prove it. I enjoyed the story of the Invitation silverware, and I’ve saved the rice pudding recipe. I love rice pudding, but I’ve never been able to find a satisfactory recipe. I look forward to giving yours a try.

  3. My Swedish grandmother often made rice pudding, and it always was part of the traditional Christmas Julbord, a kind of Christmas buffet. At Christmas, an almond was hidden in it, and the person who found the nut was considered lucky, and given the opportunity to compose a little verse of thanks for the meal.

  4. That reminds me to search for my mother’s rice pudding recipe. Loved your post! Mom sometimes would serve hot rice with cream and sugar for a breakfast cereal. She would put raisins in it.

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